Why Was The Number 21 Chosen To Play At Blackjack?

Last modified: February 10, 2020

Fans of unearthing mysteries will appreciate everything there is to know about blackjack. What is blackjack? It is a popular card game in casinos today, both online and brick and mortar casinos. The game dates back to 1700. There is an ongoing debate about the exact precisions of its origins. Some say it was from the Romans, who played a similar game with wooden blocks. Others say it originated in Spain through a game called One-and-Thirty, which translates to 31. In France, the game Vingt-et-Un, which translates to 21, is thought to be the key to modern-day blackjack.

The History of Blackjack Games

Before it became the 21-card game it is today, blackjack was a game that was similar to poker. Players would have to place a bet right before each card dealt. When it came to doubling down, only the dealer was able to do so.

The name Blackjack was coined in the 1930s when it became legal to gamble in Nevada. It was initially called 21, and players loved it because it offered high odds. Before long, it started featuring in movies. Movies showed card counters who were able to beat the dealer and win the game. As such, it made many want to become experts at blackjack.

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Card Counters

Card counters gradually changed the game of blackjack, rendering it more complex. In the past, it was played with a single deck of cards. Now, most games will have at least four decks in play, making it more challenging for card counters to remember which cards have been played.

Blackjack Rules

The golden rule in blackjack to keep in mind is to get 21 points. These points are based on the cards that a player has in hand. All the cards have specific values. The number cards between 2 and 10 retain their values as they are. The Kings, Queens, and Jacks all amount to 10 points. Then the Ace has two values, either 11 or 1.  If you have fewer points, you may lose to the dealer. If you get more than 1 point, you could bust the game. The game starts with the dealer drawing cards. Each player and the dealer will be dealt two cards each. These cards are dealt face-up. The dealer will have a hold card (one which is face-down), while the other card is face-up.

Getting to Blackjack 21

There are several strategies one can use to get to 21. The easiest is to start with a high hand. The best hand one can begin with is any ten-point card and an ace. Any starting hand that has an ace within it is called a soft hand.

Once the game begins, the player needs to decide what move they are going to make on their hand with two cards. A player may choose to hit, which means asking for more cards.  It is so that they can improve their hand to get closer to 21. Another option is to stay, declining any additional cards. It can be an option if they believe the cards that they have in hand are enough to beat the dealer.

Blackjack Variations

There are more than a hundred blackjack variants when it comes to casino games. Different variations affect the house edge, as the odds are ever-changing. Amidst this massive choice, some options are more popular than others. Here are some that players can experience.

  • Classic Blackjack – This goes back to the origins of the game. Only one deck with 52 cards is used.
  • Pontoon – This variation is popular with players from Australia. It uses eight decks of cards. Five cards are generally in play, and both of the dealer’s cards are dealt face down.
  • Blackjack Surrender – This is one of the most favoured variations. It makes use of six to eight decks of cards. It enables players to surrender before losing to the dealer.

The Perfect Game of Strategy

Blackjack is the perfect game for strategic play because you can combine skill as well as luck to win the game. The dealer does not shuffle the decks of cards once the game begins. Consider that you are playing the game with two decks and want to win. If you have all eight aces as face cards with players in the game, then you know they are no longer in the decks. It can guide the moves that you choose to make but also helps to shift the advantage of the dealer.

Blackjack is a game that players of all skill levels can experience and enjoy. All it needs is a little trial with the different variations available.

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