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The popular game of Blackjack was first played in France in the 1700s where it was called vingt-et-un (twenty-one).
Over the years it has grown to be one of the most popular games of chance in the world. It is especially popular in casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and other gambling centers all around the world. The number of Blackjack tables there exceeds that of all other table games, and after slot machines, it is considered as the most popular form of recreational gambling.
Blackjack hands are scored by their point total. The hand with the highest total wins as long as it doesn't exceed 21; a hand with a higher total than 21 is said to bust. Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, and face cards (jack, queen, king) are also worth 10. An ace's value is 11 unless this would cause the player to bust, in which case it is worth 1.
The play goes as follows:
The player's options for playing his or her hand are:
- If the dealer has blackjack and the player doesn't, the player automatically loses.
- If the player has blackjack and the dealer doesn't, the player automatically wins.
- If both the player and dealer have blackjack then it's a push.
- If neither side has blackjack, then each player plays out his hand, one at a time.
- When all the players have finished the dealer plays his hand.
- Hit: Take another card.
- Stand: Take no more cards.
- Double down: Double the wager, take exactly one more card, and then stand.
- Split: Double the wager and have each card be the first card in a new hand. This option is available only when both cards have the same value. Sometimes two face cards will be considered acceptable for splitting, as each is 10 points.
- Surrender: Forfeit half the bet and give up the hand. Surrender was common during the early- and mid-20th century, but is no longer offered at most casinos.
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More information about BlackJack
- BlackJack tutorial
- BlackJack strategy
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