Blackjack, one of the most widely-played casino card games in the world, got its name from its basic winning rule. Originally, this game was named ‘twenty-one’ (still known by this name in British English). This name has its roots in the simple rule that the highest winning score should not exceed 21. Blackjack’s origins are traced back to 1700 AD from France, where it was played in casinos by the name ‘vingt-et-un’ (twenty-and-one). When blackjack arrived in the United States, one of the earliest rules of winning the bet was that the person who gets a blackjack and an ace of spades in the first hand of cards (first two cards) automatically wins; hence the name ‘blackjack’, since both these cards are black.
This hand is called a true ‘blackjack’ hand. Blackjack hands are scored by their point total. The face cards (King, Queen and Jack) and the 10 card itself, all have values of 10. The ace has a value of either 1 or 11. Other cards (2 through 9) count their face value. Note that if a player gets an ace and a jack in first hand of cards, his point total becomes exactly equal to 21. This rule was introduced to increase the popularity of blackjack in casinos, and was known as a ’10-to-1′ payout bonus. Casinos around the world have introduced new rules in the game to make it more difficult to win so that people will keep trying and the business of casinos will continue to flourish.
This game is a combination of chances and intelligent decision making based on rules of mathematics. One of the winning strategies is to count the cards that have been displayed to see which ones are left in the deck; this technique is known as card counting. Card counting is based on the assumption that 10s are more beneficial for the player. The dealer deals each player two cards from the deck, including himself, but one of his cards remains face down, hidden from players. The dealer will then deal more cards to himself until his hand equals at least 17. The players then have a choice to either ‘hit’ (take another card) or ‘stand’ (pass).
A player wins if he or she has a point total greater than that of the dealer (but less than 21). So the basic strategy is to estimate the probability of the dealer holding a hand closest to or equal to 21. Basic strategy lets the player decide which action is appropriate at what time. Again, basic strategy can be changed depending on a particular casino’s rules and the number of decks used. Another technique which helps to win is known as shuffle tracking. This technique involves tracking groups of cards (in a multi-deck game) following from their shuffle and then playing and betting accordingly.