Blackjack, formerly called Black Jack, Vingt-Un (pronounced vING-toot-ee) and sometimes Jacks (pronounced “jacks”), is an Americanized form of the Spanish word “Jugar”, meaning black. In its most common form, blackjack involves betting that a player will win a single black in a game of twenty. The number of blackjack cards dealt out in a game usually determines the value of each blackjack card, and a player may acquire more than one card. Jacks are dealt from high to low on the table. It is possible to use aces and a king to beat a dealer if that player bets the amount of the aces and kings already owned by the dealer. Blackjack is generally played for money at casinos, online, or through live dealers.
Some basic strategy for blackjack revolves around using stops or check raises, to raise a bankroll above the house edge. Stops can be made anywhere on the table, although the most effective is placing a bet with the dealer, covering your opening hand. This strategy is not foolproof, since some players may bluff by betting the amount of their remaining chips, thus covering their initial bet, but this is a more foolproof strategy than the basic strategy of covering your bet with additional chips. A variation on this basic strategy is called chipping, where a chip is placed on the table as an investment for future play; if the chip hits a red when it is rolled, the player will get his money back.
Another useful strategy in blackjack is to bet multiple bets against the dealer raises. If the first raise is defeated, the second one will have greater value than the previous one, since the previous one could not cover the bet raised. Players can counteract this disadvantage by playing weakly, or by betting the same amount on each hand.
The most powerful hand in blackjack is undoubtedly the Ace of Blackjack, but only players with excellent drawing capabilities should attempt to keep this hand. An Ace of Blackjack can turn the odds in the player’s favor, but players should be careful not to fall into the trap of having the Ace of Blackjack in the hand, because after the turn the Ace of Blackjack is worth exactly eight points. Players with weaker hands should stick with lower cards, and players with stronger hands should make strong plays with the Ace of Blackjack. An Ace of Blackjack can end the game in a few seconds, so it is important not to play with such a hand unless you are prepared to lose a great deal of money.
One less powerful than the Ace of Blackjack is the ten-value card, which can be used as either a bluffing hand or as a valuable piece of real play. For this ten-valued card, the basic strategy for blackjack is still applicable. After the player reveals his hand, the dealer will usually counter-bet, calling the raised card and passing the turned over cards to the player. If there is another bet made on the turned over cards the dealer may call that one as well, ending the match up the ten-valued player. A ten-valued card is worth more than an Ace of Blackjack and is usually worth more than another card once it is removed from the player’s hand. Players who are at an advantage, such as professional players, should try to have the ten-valued card as the basis for their entire strategy.
Some rules variations may be used to try to alter the game slightly in order to shift the odds in the blackjack player’s favor. When using rule variations players should be careful to follow all of the rules, which include: having the same number of chips as the dealer, calling the dealer before the turn, making the highest bet possible, waiting for the last card to be dealt and not betting when the last card is dealt. The disadvantage players should watch out for are having too many bets, betting too low, and betting too long. In some cases, if a player bets too much or too often the dealer may call that player’s bet, called a “burn” and will decrease the player’s chips. If the player keeps to the rules, the odds of winning will be greatly increased.