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Blackjack is the most widely played casino card game in the world. Commonly called Twenty-one, it is a banking card game that matches players against the dealer. It is usually played with more than one deck of fifty-two cards and the objective is to reach a number higher than the dealers without exceeding Twenty-one or “Busting as it is usually called.

At the beginning of the game players are dealt two cards. One facing up and the other facing down. Face cards, including kings, queens, and jacks, are valued at 10 points. Each other number is counted at face value, the number presented on the card. Aces are the exception. An ace can be counted as one point, or as eleven points depending on what the player desires.

After being dealt their initial two cards, the players then have four options: They can either “hit” or take another card from the dealer. “Double down”, where the player is allowed to increase the initial bet by up to 100% in exchange for committing to stand after receiving exactly one more card. “Split”, only if the first two cards have the same value, the player splits them into two hands, by moving a second bet equal to the first into an area outside the betting area of the original bet. The dealer separates the two cards and draws a further card on each, placing one bet with each hand. The player then plays out the two separate hands in turn, with some restrictions. Or the player can choose to “Stand”, where the turn is ended when he or she meets their ideal number and stops drawing so that the next player takes his turn drawing. If a player reaches twenty-one before the dealer, then the game is over and the player wins.

Some Blackjack games allow the player to surrender after the dealer has checked for blackjack. When a person surrenders, the dealer then takes half of the player’s bet and returns the other half to them. This ends the player’s participation in the game.

If the card facing up on the dealer’s play is an ace, each player is offered “insurance” before the dealer checks the card facing down. This is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack and is independent of the original bet. Insurance pays out two dollars for every one dollar bet, doubling the money. Players with blackjack may also take insurance, where the player breaks even. Players do not place more chips for the insurance wager.

Blackjack was first noted during the 17th century in Spain, where it was first written about by Miguel de Cervantes, who is famous for writing Don Quixote. It was then introduced to the United States and quickly accepted by gambling houses across America where it thrived and became an essential game to all gamblers. It is a game of skill, chance, and strategy that is the most famous of card games, and will continue to be so for as long as card games are played.

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