Originally played with only one deck of cards, blackjack has undergone many changes over its history. It was introduced in casinos as a means to counter card counting. It was also thought that more cards would make the game harder to count. Eventually, it became one of the most popular games in Las Vegas.
A player’s best hand in blackjack is a blackjack with an ace and a face card. This hand beats all other hands. The worst hand is a 16-point hand. Unlike other casino games, the dealer cannot bust in blackjack. However, if the player’s hand totals more than 21, he will lose his bet. The aim in Blackjack is to get close to 21 without busting.
After the initial two cards are dealt, the player has to decide whether to hit or stand. A “hit” is taking another card and a “stand” is staying with the two cards. The dealer then acts last. If the dealer’s first two cards are an Ace and a ten-card, he will get to draw, but if the dealer’s first two cards are any other card, he must hit.
If the player and the dealer both have 21 points, they both have a tie. If the player and the dealer both have 22 points, they both have a blackjack. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the hand goes to the player. The player can win by drawing to a soft hand (with a six-card), doubling, or by winning with insurance. If the dealer does not have a natural, the bet is paid at three to two odds.
The dealer must stand on hands of 17 through 21, unless the player’s hand exceeds that number. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player’s bet is returned to him. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, the bet is kept by the player.
If the dealer has a Blackjack, the insurance bet is paid at half the original bet. The other bets are paid at even money.
If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, then the insurance bet is lost. The other bets are paid at one-half the original bet. Depending on the casino, the player can play up to two hands per round. Usually, if a player wishes to play more than two hands, he must place a bet in each betting spot.
Players can also split their cards if they receive a pair of the same rank. This is called a “split” and is played on the left or right side of the dealer. In some casinos, pairs may be split up to three times. This gives the player a better chance of winning.
The dealer’s down card is the one with the higher odds of being a ten. If the dealer has a Blackjack, he will win the insurance bet. He can also take a second card to try and improve his hand. A pair of five-cards has a value of 10; a pair of eighteens has a value of 8; and a pair of aces has a value of 9. The best way to make an insurance bet is when the count is high.