Blackjack (21) is a card game played for money in casinos around the world. It is the most popular casino game in the USA and many other countries.
The card game is characterized by the fact that you as a player can have a lot of influence on the course of the game. Also offers blackjack the best odds of any casino game.
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Black Jack is a card game played for money in casinos.
Blackjack became popular worldwide with the proliferation of casinos and the growth of Las Vegas. It is the most played casino game in the USA.
What many do not know: The official name of the card game is "21" (English: Twenty-One). However, the name for the best card combination is predominantly used as a synonym for the card game.
A variant of today's blackjack was already played in European royal houses in the 18th century. The game Vingt-et-un (French for 21) is considered the original form of Blackjack.
In Germany, 17 and 4 was created for private game nights, which runs similarly to Blackjack, but without a fixed dealer.
Numerous mathematicians researched a winning system in the 1960s and eventually developed a method of using mathematical probability to increase the odds.
For this reason, blackjack is a special case among games of chance, because as skill and ability increase, the odds of winning change to the game's advantage.
Over time, more and more mathematicians discovered the game for themselves. Especially famous became the legendary MIT team of Havard University in Boston (Massachusetts / USA). Numerous articles and books have been written about this group of students. One of them was filmed in 2008 under the title "21" with Lawrence Fishburn and Kevin Spacey.
A warning beforehand: It is very difficult to win something in the long run at blackjack. It takes a lot of practice and experience.
Just about every website you can find on the subject of blackjack provides one-sided information and fosters false expectations of winning among readers.
Black Jack Rules Simply Explained
Blackjack may seem complicated at first glance. However, if you spend a few minutes with it, you will quickly be thrilled and realize that it is not so difficult.
A standard blackjack table has the shape of a semicircle. The dealer (croupier) sits on the even side. He handles the game operation. This includes shuffling and dealing the cards as well as paying out the winnings.
Up to seven players sit opposite each other in a semicircle. Each player has a box in which he places the bets for the next round.
Once the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player. These two cards are called the "hand". The dealer first deals one card face up so that everyone can see it. The player sitting to the dealer's left at "first base" gets a card first. Then everyone else in clockwise order.
If each player has a card, the dealer himself receives a card with the "face" up. That is why this card is called an "up card".
Then, in the same clockwise order as before, each player gets the second card to complete the hand.
The dealer receives the last card and places it face down (with the card value facing down) next to his first card. This second card of the dealer is therefore called "hole card". The literal translation for this could be "hole card" or "cave card". What is meant, however, is the fact that you cannot see what value this hole card has.
Black Jack cards are American cards with 52 hands per deck. Compared to a French deck of cards, used for example in Skat, the Black Jack cards differ in Quantity, imprint and dimension.
While only 32 cards are used in the French deck, 52 are used in the American deck, where the card values 2, 3, 4, 5 are added four times each - in the suits hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.
The so-called court cards (face cards) are also called differently. The "Jack" in the American card game is the "Jack". The "Queen" is the "Queen" and the "King" is the "King".
The Black Jack cards also have a different dimension than the French playing cards. The French cards are slightly longer and not as wide.
- French cards: Length: 83mm / Width: 51 mm
- Black Jack cards: length 80mm / width: 55 mm
The Black Jack card values correspond exactly to the number printed on them. All face cards (Jack, Queen, King) have a value of 10.
The ace has a value of either 1 or 11, whichever is more advantageous to the player.
If the player has a soft hand (with an ace) and draws another card that would overbid, the ace is automatically counted as 1.
Once all the cards have been dealt, it is the turn of the first player to the left of the dealer. He has various game options with which he can decide on winning and losing. This makes Black Jack an interactive game in which you can intervene in the action. Depending on which decision you make, you have more or less chances of winning.
ALL OPTIONS AT A GLANCE
- Stand still / Stand
- Draw card / Hit
- Double Down: Double the bet
- Split pairs between two hands / Split
- Surrender halfway through the bet / Surrender
- Insurance against blackjack of the dealer
Hit or Stand: Draw a card or stand still
After the two cards are dealt, the player can decide whether to stand with this hand or draw another card.
In Black Jack, the main objective is to have more points than the dealer with two or more cards. You are allowed to use the maximum score of 21 do not exceed. If a player has more than 21, he automatically loses his bet, no matter what the dealer has. This is called "Bust" or in German "überkaufen"
With two cards, the player can reach the maximum score of 21. This is made up of an ace (11 points) and a ten value card (10, Jack, Queen or King). If a player has this combination in his first two cards, it is called a "blackjack" or "Natural 21."
With a "Black Jack" the player wins immediately and receives a prize in the Payout ratio 3:2. This means: in addition to his bet, there is the bet times 1.5 as a profit. For example, if you have bet 10 euros and get a Black Jack, you get back the bet of 10 euros together with the winnings of 15 euros.
Double Down: Double the bet
In some situations, you can also double the bet on your hand. When you should use this option, you can find out in the Black Jack Strategy Table read up.
What many people don't know: One may also use a so-called Soft Hand double. A soft hand is any hand with an ace. The ace can either count as 11 or, if you take a third card, it can count as 1. Since there is no risk of getting "overbought", soft hands offer good opportunities to double your bet.
Split: Share couples
If you receive a pair of two cards with the same value as your starting hand, you have the option to split this pair and play two hands at the same time. To do this, you must place a second bet equal to the original bet and receive a second card for each hand.
If you split a pair of aces, you only receive one card and no longer have any decision-making power. It is then the next player's turn.
With any other split pair on either hand, the usual options: Draw card, stand, and - in most casinos - even double down.
If you get another pair after splitting a pair in either hand (or both), you can split that again. This allows you to play up to four hands at the same time. However, you also have to place another bet for each split hand.
Example for sharing couples:
The dealer deals us a pair of eights. We split this pair and place a second bet. The dealer splits the pair into two hands and we have an 8 on the left and an 8 on the right. For each 8 we now get a second card from the dealer. So, for example, on the left hand we have an 8 and a 10, which makes 18. This leaves us standing and we don't take another card.
In the right hand we have an 8 and a 3. That makes 11 and is a good way to double. So we put in another bet to double down and get a third card. That's a 10 and we have 21.
The dealer has 20, so we lose the bet on the left hand with 18, but we win the right hand with the doubled bet, making a total profit.
As a player, you can place an insurance bet to protect yourself against the loss of a dealer's blackjack.
An insurance bet is only possible if the dealer has a ten value card as an up card. So if the dealer shows a 10, a Jack (J), a Queen (Q) or a King (K), he asks the players if they want to make an insurance bet.
The player can then place another bet equal to the first bet on the semicircle in front of him that says "Insurance".
If the dealer really has a blackjack, the player wins the insurance bet at a ratio of 2:1, but loses his original bet.
So you come out plus-minus-zero and lose nothing.
Without insurance, the player would lose his bet should the dealer also have a blackjack.
However, if the dealer does not have Blackjack, the insurance bet is lost. The original bet can then be additionally lost if you score less points than the dealer in this round or overbought by more than 21 points (bust).
Surrender means "to give up". This option is not available in all casinos. Many blackjack beginners don't even know about this option or don't know when it makes sense to surrender their hand.
If you do Surrender right, it ensures that you lose less in disadvantageous situations.
Suppose the dealer has a very strong up card like Ace or 10, while you yourself have the thankless 15 or 16.
In casinos without Surrender, you have very low odds of winning under 30% in this situation.
Of course, as a math leaguer, you can hope to draw a good card and win, but single luck doesn't stand a chance in the long run and you lose a lot of money in these situations, whether you draw another card (recommended according to the blackjack strategy chart) or don't draw any more cards out of fear and are left with a weak hand like 15 or 16.
However, if surrender is allowed in the casino, you can surrender your hand and get half of the bet back. So you "only" lose 50% of the bet, instead of almost 70%, which is statistically inevitable in the long run.
Use Surrender when facing a dealer's ten-value card at 15 or 16 and save money!
If you don't know whether surrender is allowed in the casino, just say it out loud to the dealer in the situation described and draw an imaginary line under your cards with your index finger.
If the dealer doesn't know what you mean, surrender is probably not allowed. In the best case, however, you get half of your bet back, which you would otherwise lose completely in most cases.
How to count cards?
"Card counting" is the name given to a system of calculation used to forecast the probabilities of certain events.
Card counting was developed in the 1960s by mathematicians who discovered that it was possible to gain an advantage over the casino in blackjack.
Card counting is based on mathematical probability (stochastics: https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stochastik)
One looks at the sum of all cards in a fixed order that is not changed. By keeping track of the cards played, one can derive conclusions for the probability of the cards still to come.
Card counting is used to keep track of the ratio of high to low cards.
To do this, you divide the 13 card values into two groups:
- low cards: 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
- neutral cards 7, 8 and 9
- high cards: 10, J, Q, K, A
For each card played, count +1 (low cards) or -1 (high cards). Neutral cards are ignored.
The respective intermediate status is called "Running Count".
If only one deck is played, the running count will tell you what the odds are.
If the running count is positive, mostly low cards have been played, because they have the value +1.
This means that there must be even more high cards in the rest of the deck.
This is an advantage to the player as you can make better point totals with high cards and especially get a blackjack with an ace.
So by counting cards, you know what the probability is of either high or low cards coming in.
Click the button to learn how to count cards!
Where can you play blackjack?
Black Jack is a card game that is only offered in state-controlled casinos in Germany and may only be played for money there.
The internet offers many ways to play blackjack. Either with free play or in online casinos.
However, participation in the online blackjack game for real money is prohibited for German citizens.
As of May 2020, there is not a single online casino with a valid gambling license for all of Germany.
Some online casinos have a license from the state of Schleswig-Holstein, which decided against signing a federal German gambling treaty.
In 2011, the government of Schleswig Holstein awarded licenses to online casinos in the hope of higher tax revenues from the gambling levy.
In these casinos it is therefore allowed citizens from Schleswig Holstein also to play for money Blackjack.
Here a List of all gambling licenses.
Most online casinos have gambling licenses from the EU state of Malta.
Gambling fans and lobbyists of the industry therefore refer to European law, which should allow all other EU citizens to participate in online gambling as well.
In fact, almost all online casinos allow German players.
Apart from the non-existent criminal prosecution by the German Exikutive one runs in the case of profit the risk not to get his profit paid out.
In 2014, however, German Blackjack players asked to pay up in Munich courtbecause he had won a large blackjack prize of around €60,000 in an online casino. The winnings were confiscated by the state.
Black Jack Strategy Table
Blackjack strategy is a mathematical decision-making tool that shows in a simple table the best possible decision in each game situation.
Other names for this are "Basic Strategy" and "Basic Strategy Table" or "Black Jack Table„.
With the optimal blackjack strategy, you can push the house advantage of the casino (or the disadvantage of the player) to under 1%. Compared to other casino games, blackjack offers the greatest chances of winning. So it pays off to master the blackjack strategy perfectly.
Comparison of the odds of different casino games
- Black Jack 0.5 %
- Baccarat 1 %
- Craps (dice) 1.5 %
- Roulette 2.5 %