The card game Blackjack has its origins shrouded in a bit of a mystery. Some claim that it originated in France in the 16th and 17th centuries due to a mention the game gets in the famous novel ‘Don Quixote’. You may also have heard or Blackjack as ‘Twenty One’. This is due to the requirement for players to aim for a final hand that adds up 21, or as close to 21 as possible as they can get without going over that number.
Blackjack relies on both luck and an element of understanding probability because you can see the other players hands so you know which cards are already out of the pack. A full pack of cards is used during the game.
Blackjack is traditionally played using a semi-circular table with the dealer at the back. Players gather around the table to play against the dealer. As mentioned, the aim of the game is for players to score a total card number value of 21, or as close to this as possible. Any player who goes over 21 is declared ‘bust’.
For gaming, players place a bet before the dealer deals. The cards are dealt left to right and face up, two per player. The dealer may have one card face up and one face down to increase the unknown element of the game. Players then take turns to request more cards or stick with their existing; whichever is the better strategy to get to 21. Players can request as many additional cards as they like, one by one, on each turn. Once all players have finished they turn, the dealer turns over their remaining card and plays. If the dealer busts, all players with a hand of 21 or less will win. If the dealer has cards totalling 21 or closer to 21 than the players, dealer wins.