Blackjack is a game that is popular all around the world although you may know it by one of its alternative names. Blackjack is also known as twenty-one or pontoon although almost all casinos refer to it as blackjack. Online casinos certainly do. The rules of the game are simple and can be learnt in only a couple of minutes but mastering the game and techniques that will help you make a small profit can take many years.
Blackjack is a game of cards. Each player is dealt two cards with which you take on only the dealer, or the house. You do not compete against the other players around the table. If you beat the house hand then you win your bet regardless of whether other people have better hands than you.
The aim is to get as close to twenty-one as you possibly can without going above it, otherwise known as going bust. If you get higher than the dealer without going bust you win. The house has the advantage that if you both draw on the same hand the dealer wins.
In blackjack, the players bet against the casino rather than against each other. The values of the cards in each hand are added with 2 through 10 having face value, Ace having value 1 or 11 (player's choice), and King, Jack, and Queen cards having the value 10. If the players and the dealers have the same point, this is known as a "push", and neither player nor dealer wins the hand.
Blackjack is the best hand available in the game and consists of a picture card and an ace. This beats any other hand of twenty-one that the dealer has unless, of course, he also has a blackjack.
After initial bets are placed, the dealer deals the cards: two cards to each player and to himself. One of the dealer two cards is able to be seen, the other hidden ("hole card"). The cards of the players are dealt face up or face down, depending on the casino system. If any player has a "natural" 21, often called a "Blackjack", he is immediately paid 3:2 for his bet, unless the dealer also has a natural, which is a push. If the dealer has a natural, all players without a natural lose immediately.
If the dealer does not have a natural, then one by one the dealer gives each player the option of request for more cards ("hitting") or staying with his current cards ("standing" or "holding"). The player may continue to ask for more cards, until he has either gone over 21 ("a bust"), or he is pleased with the cards that he has. If the player busts (takes a hit that put him over 21), he immediately loses the bet.
After all the players have finished making their decisions, the dealer then reveals the hidden "hole" card and may or may not draw additional cards. The decision of whether to draw more cards is not up to the dealer; it depends only on the point total that the dealer holds. If the dealer has less than 17, he draws another card, and continues to draw more cards until reaching a value equal to or greater than 17. If the dealer busts, then all remaining players win. Bets are normally paid out at the odds of 1:1.