|Just where did Blackjack come from?
I'm sure that no one in the 18th century knew that this game, which was a modified version
of "Ving-et-un" would become so popular. Blackjack really began to catch fire
when it spread to America. As far as legal gambling goes, it was limited. Gambling was
legalized in Las Vegas in the early 1930s. Blackjack really hit its stride in the 1950s.
So what started it all? In 1956, a book was released called "The Optimum Strategy in
Blackjack." There was no looking back. People began to awaken to the idea that
Blackjack was a gambling game that could be beaten. More books followed, and the race of
knowledge was on. In the 1960s, the desire to beat the game reached a fever pitch when
Professor Edward O. Thorp released his masterpiece "Beat the Dealer."
Soon after, teams around the country formed up. Bright students of Blackjack got together
and tried to beat the game in Las Vegas and elsewhere. The strategy evolved from playing
the percentages to counting cards. Perhaps one of the most famous Blackjack players was
Ken Uston. He was so good that casinos were forced to blackball him. The word was out in
full force -- Blackjack can be beaten.
The game of Blackjack is very simple in nature. The object of the game is to beat the
dealer. To do so, you need to either have a hand closer to 21 than the dealer or you need
the dealer to bust. The game starts with you receiving two cards. The value of each card
is based upon its number rank. For instance, a three of clubs is worth three. Face cards
are worth 10 each, and Aces can be worth one or 11 -- you choose.
If the first two cards are an Ace and a face card or 10, then you have Blackjack and win
automatically. The bet pays off 1.5 to 1. When it's your turn, you have two main choices
to make -- stand or hit. To stand means to pass. In other words, you believe your hand is
good enough where it is. To hit is to take another card. You can take as many cards as you
like, provided that your total count is 21 or under.
Here are a couple quick tips to help you get the most out of Blackjack.
- If you have 11 and the dealer has anything other than a 10,
face card or Ace showing, double down.
- If you are dealt a pair of 8s, split them, unless the dealer
is showing a 9 or higher.
- Play calmly. Don't try to get back any losses on one hand.
- Play with as few decks as possible. Single deck games are
- Never take insurance. It's a sucker bet. If the dealer has
Blackjack, then so be it.
- If the dealer has a potential Blackjack and you were dealt
one, take even money. Don't get greedy.
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