The image of a casino normally stirs up an image of a very few specific casino card games, 21 blackjack being one such example.

Blackjack can also be known as the game pontoon, or vingt et un, which in French, is the number twenty-one. The French term, in fact, comes from the origins of where the game was developed. As far back as the 1700’s, players could see this game being played in French casinos.

However, the term blackjack has other origins outside France. When casinos attempted to introduce 21 in the United States, initially, it was not a well-liked game. Consequently, these casinos required a way to attract players to the game. In an attempt to offer bonus payouts, some casinos offered a 10-to-1 payout if the player was holding an Ace of spades and a Jack of clubs or spades; or more commonly known today as a black jack. Although this bonus did not last long, as we can see today, the name “blackjack” remained.

In fact today, the term blackjack might seem somewhat bizarre, as a Jack of clubs or spades has very little to do with the game 21 at all. In the game of blackjack, players are each dealt one face up card and another face down. Although the dealer can see the one face up card, he is unaware of what the other card is. Thus, he must attempt to make a hand that is closer to 21 than his opponent. Although this may seem straightforward, it can one of the most difficult parts of blackjack strategy. The choice between “hitting” (taking another card) or “staying” (turning down more cards) is the key to the game.

When playing internet blackjack – or even casino blackjack – players are always hoping to be dealt two high cards by the dealer; either a Queen and 10 card, or a Jack and a 9 card. Consequently, one of the most difficult hands in online blackjack to be dealt is a stiff hand. A stiff hand is a scenario where an blackjack player is dealt cards with a value of 12 up to 16. Winning this sort of hand in basic blackjack can prove to be a very difficult obstacle for a player. Players do have a higher risk of busting, according to blackjack odds, therefore, some will opt not to take a card even at the risk of losing. On the other hand, this card value is normally too low to beat the dealer in online casino blackjack.

One way of withdrawing from this sticky situation is if a player has matching cards. If they do, a player is normally able to split their pair and thus double down on their bet. Aptly named, this move is called a split in blackjack rules. It can only be done with matching cards, and when split, the player is able to play on two separate games. Although one needs to double their bet with this play, they are also able to double their winnings.

By Gene Marshall
Internet blackjack buff Gene Marshall is commissioned by several distinguished online blackjack publications. The author focuses on editorials about free online blackjack and blackjack. Further blogs published by Gene Marshall on the issue of internet blackjack can be obtained on line.