Blackjack is surely one of the most well-known casino games in the world. While perhaps not as glamorous as a high stake’s poker game, its appeal comes from the fact it is both widespread and accessible to gamers of all skill levels. At Fair Go casino, we offer a total of four different blackjack types. Each of which has slight variations on the rules and therefore the way you play.

With this article we aim to show you how to play blackjack by outlining the basics of the game. With any luck you will finish this article with a firm grasp on the fundamentals and more confidence in your playing ability. You can then take this newfound confidence to our virtual tables and try your best to rack up some cash. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

Why is blackjack so popular?

You would be hard pressed to find somebody who hasn’t heard of blackjack. Just about everyone who has ever walked into a physical casino or played casino games online has dipped their toes in the blackjack pool. The reason why it’s so popular comes down to three different things.

For one, it’s an incredibly easy game to play compared to other traditional casino games. In addition, blackjack is frequently referenced in pop culture through films and songs, which keeps it somewhat relevant in the public eye. Who can forget the scene in the smash hit “The Hangover” when Allan wins money by counting cards, right?

Lastly, while blackjack is a relatively straightforward game, there is still a small element of skill and strategy involved. This means there is essentially enough of a challenge to keep the game interesting. Without some degree of difficulty, the game would be too easy and learning how to play blackjack wouldn’t be as fun.

When was it invented?

It’s hard to trace the game of blackjack back to a single genesis although many attribute the French game of vingt-et-un (pronounced van-tay-un) as being the precursor for modern blackjack. First appearing in French casinos in the 18th century, vingt-et-un certainly shows similarities to blackjack as we know it today, such as the objective of the game being to reach 21.

Beyond this and the hand-ranking system though, it’s hard to say definitively that vingt-et-un was the first type of blackjack ever played. This is especially so when we consider that both the Spanish and the Italians also had similar card games at the same time.

Blackjack’s lineage does become clearer though from the 1800s onwards when it was introduced to America and later refined in the early to mid 1900s. Called 21 at the time, it eventually took off in Nevada and was renamed blackjack. With this name change came a host of rule changes too which still remain up until this very day.

What different types of blackjack there?

Learn all about the various types of blackjack that are played in the modern era and their main points of difference.

American blackjack

Also called classic blackjack, American blackjack is the most widely played type of blackjack in the world. How it differs from other forms of the game is that the dealer takes their hole card (the face down card) before gamers makes any playing decisions. American blackjack also uses six to eight decks whereas European blackjack only uses two.

European blackjack

European blackjack is probably the second-most popular type of blackjack that’s played in casinos. Unlike American blackjack though, the dealer isn’t allowed to get their hole card until after you as the gamer have made a decision as to how you will play your hand. You can also only split once per hand.

Suit ‘Em Up blackjack

Suit ‘Em Up blackjack follows the standard blackjack rules and is primarily played online. The only real difference between this type of blackjack and other variations is that in Suit ‘Em Up blackjack you have the added benefit of being able to win extra cash simply by matching the suit of your two starting cards.

Vegas Strip blackjack

Vegas Strip blackjack is similar to American blackjack in many ways, however, Vegas strip uses four to eight different decks as opposed to American’s six to eight. In addition, American blackjack rules stipulate that the dealer can peek if their up-card is a 10, face or ace card, while in Vegas strip peeking is only allowed on an ace.

Perfect Pairs blackjack

If you love Suit ‘Em Up blackjack, then Perfect Pairs will be right up your alley. Essentially, both games are much the same in the sense that you can win extra cash on your first two cards. How they differ is that in Perfect Pairs, you only win if the first two cards dealt are of the same value or they’re the same face card.

Blackjack basics

Now for the moment you have all been waiting for: the basics of how to play blackjack. If you want to learn how to win more money on this wildly popular and fantastically fun casino game, the next section is essential reading. Check it out now then head on over to Fair Go Casino. and put your knowledge into action.

Game details

All variations of blackjack use a standard deck of cards. The number of decks is predetermined if you’re playing in an actual casino, while online casino alternatives have the ability to use a different deck for every hand. Blackjack also sees you playing against a dealer instead of other players.

Game objective

Your aim in blackjack is to beat the dealer, however, how you are able to beat them depends on the type of blackjack you are playing. For all types, having a total that is more than the dealers will net you a win, as will not going over 21 when the dealer does. To be dealt two cards with a total of 21 is called a blackjack.

In Perfect Pairs and Suit ‘Em Up blackjack you can also win by having two cards of the same suit or same value respectively. A hand with a total of 22 or higher is considered a bust, which means you lose automatically. Normally if you and the dealer both have 21, you don’t lose or win any money and your bet is returned to you.

Card values

Blackjack is a scoring game, therefore all ranks of cards in a hand are assigned points. Ace is worth either 1 or 11 points, face cards such as king, queen or jack are worth 10 points and all other cards are equal to their rank e.g. the four of diamonds is worth 4 points. To get your score, simply add up the points of the cards in your hand. If your hand is higher than the dealers without going over 21, you’re deemed the winner.

Betting Options

Once the virtual dealer has dealt your cards and they’ve peeked (depending on the type of blackjack), you will be given the opportunity to decide how you will play your hands. The two main options include:

Hitting: when you nominate to take an additional card in order to improve your score.
Standing: when you decide not to take any more cards and hold onto your current hand.

Additional options that become available depending on which form of blackjack you’re playing include:

Splitting: this is when you split your hand to start another hand. In this case you will then have two hands that are played independently and pay off independently of each other. In order to be able to split you must hold two cards of the same rank e.g. you are dealt two kings.
Doubling down: you place an additional bet and agree to take only one more card. Only advisable when you know you can beat the dealer since you will be wagering more and consequently incurring more risk.
Surrendering: Like folding in poker. Surrendering is when you give up half your bet in order to drop out of the hand.

Betting Options

A standard hand in blackjack whether it’s played with an online casino or in a physical location is easy to follow. Nonetheless, it’s important you know exactly how the game unfolds in order to learn how to play blackjack like a pro. Here are the actions that you can expect in a standard hand of blackjack:

  1. You place your bet
  2. The dealer deals out everyone’s hands, with each hand consisting of two cards
  3. The dealer checks their hole card to see if they have blackjack (if yes then the dealer collects his bets from all players barring those who also have blackjack)
  4. Assuming the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you will then have the option to play your hand
  5. At this point you can make any allowable play, whether its hit, stand, split, double down or surrender
  6. Once yourself and all other participants have played their hand the dealer goes
  7. As per the rules a dealer must stand on 18 or higher and hit on 16 or under. They may also be required to sit/stand on a soft 17 (17 that includes an ace)
  8. Bets are settled

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