|Written by Vincent Di Mello|
The history of the BlackJack card game itself is still disputed but was probably spawned from other French games such as "chemin de fer" and "French Ferme". BlackJack originated in French casinos around 1700
where it was called "vingt-et-un" ("twenty-and-one") and has been played in the U.S. since the 1800's. BlackJack is named as such because if a player got a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards (Spade being the color black of course), the player was additionally remunerated.
The object of BlackJack is for the total of your hand to be closer to 21 than the dealer's hand, without exceeding 21.
In BlackJack, Aces count as either 1 or 11, face cards as 10, and number cards as their face value. If you receive an Ace and a ten-value card as your first two cards, you have Blackjack and win one and a half times your bet (Example:if your bet was 10, you receive 10 plus 15 for a total of 25). If the total value of your cards is closer to 21 than the dealer's, you win as much as you had wagered (Example:if your bet was 10, you receive 10 plus 10 for a total of 20). If the total of your cards is more than 21, you bust and lose your bet. If you and the dealer have the same card total (17 and up) neither of you win and your bet is returned to you in a push.
If your first two cards have the same point value, you may split them into two separate hands by placing a second bet equal to the original bet. You then proceed to draw cards. If you split two aces and one of your hands totals 21, it is counted as 21 and not BlackJack.
After you are dealt two cards and you think that one additional card will allow you to beat the dealer's hand, you can increase your initial bet by the same amount as your original bet. Your wager is doubled, and you are dealt only one more card. The casino may have variations of when you are able to double. Example; any time after the first 2 cards, total of the cards is between 8 and 11, or total of cards is 10 or 11. Please check with the casino.
Insurance is offered only when the Dealers' first card is an Ace. Insurance is considered to be a game of its own within BlackJack. It allows you to try and protect yourself when you think that the dealer may have BlackJack. When buying insurance, you place half of your initial bet by pressing the Insurance button. If the dealer does have BlackJack, you are paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. (Example: if you bet 10 and insure 5, if the dealer has BlackJack whether you tie or lose with the Dealer you will win 5 plus 10 for a total of 15). If the dealer doesn't have BlackJack, you lose your insurance bet.
Checking for BlackJack
The Dealer will check or peek at the face down, second dealer card if an Ace is showing. If the dealer's second card is a face card or a 10 (BlackJack) the card will turn over, display the value and game will finish. Dealer wins. However if the dealer's second card does not complete a BlackJack the card remains face down and the game continues.
If the Dealers' first card is a 10 or a face card, no insurance will be offered, the second card will be checked (peek) and if it is an Ace the card will turn over, display the value and game will finish. Dealer wins. However if the dealer's second card does not complete a BlackJack the card remains face down and the game continues.