Blackjack: The Art of Reaching 21 

Often deemed a casino classic, Blackjack has been a popular game for many generations. Since the earliest form of the game as we know it first made an appearance in French casinos around 1700, it has stood the test of time, continuing to adapt and evolve to cater to modern-day technologies. 

Join us as we take a look at exactly what Blackjack is, where it came from, and how to play, so the next time you play online Blackjack or take a seat at a land-based establishment, you’ll know everything you need to know about the iconic game. 

Read on to find out more.

A brief history

Originally, Blackjack was known as Vingt-et-Un, which translates to Twenty-one. It is said to have derived from popular card games in France at the time, like Chemin de Fer and French Ferme. There were many versions of the game all throughout Europe, with a version that was popular in Spain at the time known as One and Thirty. The aim of this game was to reach 31 with a minimum of three cards. 

Despite all the different versions cropping up throughouthistory in Europe, Vingt-et-Un eventually reached the shores of North America with the help of French colonists, where it appeared in some of the first legalised casinos in New Orleans, and continued to gain popularity in the state of Nevada in 1931. 

It was here that Vingt-et-Un became known as Blackjack, as some casinos offered a special bet that would provide players with the chance to win a better payout if they held a hand that featured either one of the black Jacks (Jack of Spades or Jack of Clubs), as well as the Ace of Spades. Whilst this offer faded out, the name did not.

The aim of the game

Gameplay takes place between you and the dealer – no matter how many other people are also sitting at the table. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer. To win, you must draw a hand that’s valued higher than the dealer’s, or if the dealer goes bust – by drawing a hand value that exceeds 21. You could also win by drawing a hand value of 21 on your first two cards, when the dealer does not. However, the dealer will win if your hand exceeds the value of 21, or if he has a hand that’s a greater value than yours at the end of the round. 

The game is usually played with between one and eight 52-card decks. The suits don’t matter, and cards two through nine count at face value, whilst face cards count as 10. An Ace can count as a one or 11, depending on which value helps your hand the most. 

How to play

So, after you’ve bought your chips and placed your wager, the dealer will deal the cards clockwise, with one card face up to each player and one face down for themselves. Then, another card will be dealt face up to each player, with the second one of theirs also face up. After this, you’ll be able to ‘hit’ and take another card, ‘stand’ if you’re happy with the cards you have, ‘surrender’ if you wish to pull out of the game and receive half of your original bet back, ‘split’ (if you have a pair), or ‘double down’ and double your bet. 

If your hand is still in play at this point, then it’s a simple battle of who has the best hand – you or the dealer. If you win, you’ll receive a payout based on the wager you placed, if they win, they’ll sweep your bet.

So, do you think you have what it takes to master the art of reaching 21?

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.