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History of Blackjack

No one knows for sure where exactly blackjack originated from, but it is suspected to have come from either, Italy, France, or Spain. France claims several early variations of the game called "Vingt-Un" and "Trente et Quarante" were invented there. "Vingt-Un" was referenced in the famous Hoyle games book, 1875, and it appears the name was later changed to Van John. The Spanish vehemently disagree however, alleging that blackjack is, in fact, an adaptation of a game called "One and Thirty". This game is extremely old, and was actually referenced in 1570, in the comical History of Rinconete and Cortadillo. And Italy too claims rights to the origin of blackjack, insisting that blackjack is a variation of either "Baccarat" or "Seven and a Half" both of which sport an indisputable likeness to blackjack.

For the most part, Blackjack consists of adding up card values, so that you can make a hand with a total card value that is as close to 21 as possible without going over. You play against the dealer. And if the dealer has blackjack it is impossible to beat. The truth is that Blackjack is not the only game that uses this concept. There are actually many games around the world that use a similar form of play. Quinze, a popular game in 18th century London had used maskes to hide the expression of the players, and like blackjack, the goal was to have a hand that added up to 155, instead of 21. "Pontoon." Was yet another version of Blackjack, played by the Australians, who used rules that differed only slightly from blackjack rules of today.

Blackjack, as we know it today, was popularized when it moved form a banking game in Europe to America around 1915. IT hit a boom during world war II, but was played more between players than with someone posing as what we know as the house today. However, in certain locations where troops settled and around military bases, some folk set themselves up as a banker and provided blackjack games to the men and women stationed in the area. There is a legendary tale of one British banker near a certain air force base that brought home over $180, 000 from playing airmen.

Since then it was adopted by the casinos and was popularized by film, eventually leading to its most recent incarnation within online casinos.

How to Play Caribbean Gold Blackjack

The blackjack table seats about 6 players. The software perfectly simulates the randomness of six or eight decks of cards. The cards are dealt from a stack of cards called the 'Shoe'. Before a player receives any cards the player must make a wager. Once this is done the players are dealt two cards face up. The dealer gets one face up, one face down. Each player in turn either stays or takes more cards to try and get closer to 21 without busting. Players who do not bust wait for the dealer's turn.

The object of blackjack is to build a hand of cards that is worth more than that of the dealer's hand. But if you go over 21 you lose.

Face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) are worth 10 points. Aces are worth 1 or 11, whichever is preferable. Other cards are represented by their number. If the dealer, or the House and the player ties, it is a push and no one wins. Ace and 10 (Blackjack) on the first two cards dealt is an automatic player win at 1.5 to 1, unless the house ties.

  • A player can stand on the first cards that are dealt to them at any time.
  • Beating the dealer without busting makes for a win.
  • If your cards total more than 21 it is called a bust and you lose. The winner is whoever has closest to a total of 21. You reach 21 by adding up the values of the cards.
  • When the players are done making their moves, the dealer turns up the Down Card. If the dealers hand equals 17 or higher, the dealer must stay. If the dealers hand equals 16 or lower the dealer must draw.
  • If the first two cards make up a hand of 21 (a 10 or a face and an Ace), you win automatically. This is called BLACKJACK. This yields a win ratio of one and one-half times your bet unless the dealer also has Blackjack. If the dealer also has blackjack it is a Push or a Tie, or a STAND-OFF, and you get your bet back.

The players that are sill remaining with a higher count than the dealer win an amount equal to their bet. If a player has a lower count than the dealer they will lose their bet. If the dealer busts, all the remaining players win. There are other betting options namely Insurance, Surrender, Double Down, Even Money and Split.

  • Insurance: side bet up to half the initial bet against the dealer having a natural 21 - allowed only when the dealer's showing card is an Ace. If the dealer has a 10 face down and makes a blackjack, insurance pays at 2-1 odds, but loses if the dealer does not.
  • Surrender: giving up your hand and lose only half the bet.
  • Early Surrender: surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack.
  • Late Surrender: the dealer first checks to see if he has blackjack. If he does, surrender is not permitted.
  • Double Down: double your initial bet following the initial two-card deal, but you can hit one card only. A good bet if the player is in a strong situation.
  • Even Money: cashing in your bet immediately at a 1:1 payout ratio when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer's showing card is an Ace.
  • Split Hand: split the initial two-card hand into two and play them separately - allowed only when the two first cards are of equal value. Use each card as the start to a separate hand and place a second bet equal to the first.
  • Hard Hand: A hand without an Ace, or with an Ace valued at 1 is said to be Hard in that it can only be given one value, unlike a Soft Hand. (You can value an Ace 1 or 11 to suit you).
  • Soft Hand: A hand that contains an Ace counted as 11.

Caribbean Gold Words of Wisdom

By Paul Briston

I love blackjack. For over 10 years it's been my game of choice and there's no sign of that changing. But even though I've been playing blackjack for so long I only started to become good at the game about five years ago. This might seem startling, especially if you are a good player who's only been playing for a couple years. The fact is that it doesn't take that long to become a good player, and all of my blackjack playing friends would come up to me and say, "Paul, you must be trying to play bad." But what I came to realize that the reason that I never won any money back during my blackjack sessions was that my sessions were too short. See, for the most part I would only stop into the casino on the way home after work. And I would usually only play for a couple hours for fear of a tongue lashing upon getting home. And my weekends were almost always spent exclusively with the wife and kids. So the result was that although I did play blackjack often, my sessions were very short. It wasn't until I had to go on a training course and ended up spending the weekends at the casino that I realized what I was doing wrong. By playing more extended sessions I was able to keep track of patterns that were consistent for that deck, it enabled me to alter my bets especially for that individual deck of cards. For the first time I ended up actually making a profit. What I've come to learn with blackjack is every game with every deck is different, and you need to play long enough to get familiar with how the deck deals in order to start giving your bets an edge.

Now that you know how to play, why not Try Blackjack now!

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