Blackjack or 21 as some people call the game is definitely the most popular of casino table games. The primary object of this particular game is to beat the dealer, but like all casino games the odds are with the house. The game is played with anywhere from one to eight decks of cards. In some cases the dealer holds the deck but usually it doesn’t have more than two card decks. With up to eight decks of cards a shoe is used to deal the game from. Some of the casinos are now looking at a new technology that continuously shuffles the cards a well as holds the cards and deals them.

While blackjack might not seem like it is a very complicated game it is in fact complicated. The game of blackjack is all about the odds of obtaining the right cards to beat the dealer. If the dealer deals your cards by hand then your cards are dealt to you face down. If the cards are dealt out of shoes or trays then the cards are dealt to you face up and you may not handle your cards. However the hands are being dealt the play of the game is basically the same, which is beat the dealer.

As I said the object of the game is to beat the dealer and the way you do that is either by holding a hand closer to 21 than the dealer or drawing a blackjack which is an ace and either a king, queen, jack, or 10 of any suit. If you go over 21 then you have busted your hand and the same is true of the dealer also, but the dealer must stop hitting at 17 or when their hit goes over. You however are not restricted to playing until you hit or go over 17 with a hit you may hit as often as you choose until you go bust, but you don’t want to go bust.

The suits of the cards do not have any effect on the game of blackjack. The card values are not complicated either, because all card from the 2 to the 10 are counted by their face value. The face cards jack, queen, and king are worth 10, while the ace is worth both 11 and 1. The ace will also determine whether you have a soft hand. For example an ace and a 2 are either a soft 13 or are 3, and will you to decide whether to hit or stand.

By Simon Skinner
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