Free Blackjack Games
The History of Blackjack
Nobody truly knows the origins of Blackjack, save for the fact that it is one of the oldest card games in existence. Spain had a game known as “one and thirty” where the goal was to get as close to 31 as possible with three cards, but that hardly sheds much light on the affair. It is also thought that the early Italians (pre-Romans), the Etruscans had the game. Generally speaking, most people are willing to accept that blackjack comes from the French game Vingt-et-un” which translate as “Twenty One”. Their game was spread by colonialists in North America and by 1931, the game was established in Las Vegas as a legitimate casino card game. That game had the rules changed so that people would win more if they made 21 with a black Jack (Jack of Spades or Clubs) plus the Ace of Spades. The pay-out was a hefty 10-1 for this happening. Today, the pay-outs have been reduced and the rule has faded, but the name blackjack stuck. Blackjack had new life breathed into it with the advent of online casinos, and today it can also be played as a mobile casino or live dealer game, too.
How to play Blackjack
Although most people will tell you that to win blackjack, you have to make 21, this is simply not true. The true objective in blackjack is to simply beat the dealer’s hand. To start off with, two cards are dealt. The player must use the numerical values on the cards to obtain the best hand that they possibly can, without going over 21. If you go over, you are “bust” and out of the game. Players may choose to “hit”, which is take another card, or to “stand”, which is to stick with the cards that they have. Generally, one of the player and dealer’s cards is drawn face up, the other cards are drawn face down.
The values of the cards
All of the numerical cards count for their face values in blackjack. For example, a 2 counts as 2, and a 8 counts as an 8. The face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) all count as tens. The Ace has a double purpose in blackjack, as it can be used as both as a one, and as an eleven.
Sticking and folding
Generally speaking, the dealer will almost always stand on a 17. It is wise for a player to follow this method. Anything lower than a 15, and the player has a reasonable chance of getting a decent hand, closer to 21. Anything higher than 17 is unlikely to be obtained from hitting (taking a new card), once 17 has been reached in the player’s hand.
There are many blackjack variants out there today. Classic blackjack is the game described above, and is considered to be the default blackjack game. Double Exposure is a pretty standard blackjack variant, although both of the dealer’s cards are exposed from the beginning of the game.
Single deck blackjack is a variant that naturally only uses a single deck. This has its purposes and it allows the player to “guestimate” what kinds of cards are still left in the deck, if more than two players are sat at the table.
Surrender is a type of blackjack game that allows the player to surrender (fold) if their first two cards are pretty bad. Switch on the other hand, is a blackjack game that allows you to play with two hands at once, and to swap cards between the two hands.
Pontoon is British version of blackjack, which means that you cannot see any of the dealer’s cards, making it more difficult to play. You can also play Face Up blackjack, will has all cards revealed face upwards, both yours and the dealers.