Fan of Blackjack and other 21 Games?
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Blackjack is a game that’s a beautiful of combination of luck and skill. The goal of blackjack is to make it to 21 without going over – from that basic idea, several unique games have stemmed from the classic that everyone knows and loves. Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon, Perfect Pairs, Super 21, and European Blackjack are just some of the variations of this casino favorite that bring gameplay to a whole new level. Each game has the typical goal of reaching 21 without busting, but the rules and variations vary widely. Many of these 21 games are difficult to come by, but Slots of Vegas has put together a section of our online casino devoted to collecting the best 21 games for our players.
Learn before playing Blackjack Online for Real Money
Classic blackjack has one of the lowest house edges out of all the games offered on the casino floor, which is a big reason why it’s popular around the world. In order to get the most out of this classic casino game, learning a little basic strategy is a must. Memorizing a blackjack chart doesn’t sound like fun, but the extra rewards you’ll have in your bankroll because you studied basic strategy will be more than worth the effort you put in. If you’re even a little serious about earning some serious cash while you play blackjack, take a look into the strategy involved and you’ll be thankful you did your homework faster than you can say “twenty-one.”
Play at desktop or mobile
You can play blackjack online for real money on the Slots of Vegas desktop site, the downloadable PC app, or on any mobile device including a smartphone or tablet. However, if you’re nervous about putting money down while you’re learning the ropes, Slots of Vegas offers a free instant play section where you can practice that strategy you’re studying. Open Slots of Vegas’s instant play section in one window and a blackjack strategy chart in another and you’ll be a blackjack professional in no time. Then you can be confident when you take those skills to the table and wipe the smile off the dealer’s face as you rake in the chips. Everyone has dreamt of doing that, right?
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THE HISTORY OF BLACKJACK
Step back in time to where it all began
Blackjack has a long and storied history. The popular casino game finds its roots in other cultures, where it was named Vingt-et-Un or Pontoon. Along the way, the popular card game was carried across the U.S. frontier via gambling dens all through the American South to the West. Along the way, the game developed unique variants, which eventually evolved into the most common form of 21 known today: blackjack. In order for blackjack to make the jump from brick-and-mortar to the online casino – years of legislation and technical advancement was required. Over the past 2 decades, online gambling has grown from a few online poker rooms to a multi-billion-dollar industry. Today you can play all of your favorite casino games for real money from your computer or smart device.
1600s: The Spanish 21
Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, was a famous gambler. In one of his tales, a pair of card sharks excelled at cheating in a game called veintiuna (Spanish for 21). This was the earliest mention of the popular game with no clear origin.
Cervantes wrote his short story about 2 cheating gamblers in around 1601 or 1602. Rinconete y Cortadillo, the 2 cheaters named in the story, worked the streets of Seville, cheating unlucky punters out of their coins. The Spanish baraja deck of 48 cards was used to play the game of veintiuna (21).
As the story goes, the sneaky duo would gather would-be marks to explain the game. The aces were worth 1 or 11, and the goal was to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. The cards of the punter were compared to the dealer, and whoever was closer to 21 won. By mention of the rules of the game, we can be certain that 21 was being played in early 17th century Spain.
Whether or not those cheating card sharks received justice or escaped, you’ll have to read the original tale to find out. But the popular game of 21, whether it was carried around Europe by Spanish card sharks – or spread by the local gentry – eventually made its way to France.
1800s: The French 21
The Spanish game of 21 makes its way to France, where it is called Vingt-et-Un.
The French version of 21 was originally called Vingt-Un, French for 21. It was later called Vingt-et-Un, which was first mentioned in the rules of the Petite Académie des Jeux in 1817.
Unlike the Spanish card deck, French 21 was played with a 52-card pack of ‘French-suited’ playing cards. While the symbols for the card suits were different, the aim of the game was still to score a 21 or as close to it as possible. The banquier (banker) deals the cards to the joueurs (punters), who then place their stakes.
Two cards are dealt to the banker and each punter one at a time, and if a punter gets an ace and 10 or an ace and a court card, he scores an ‘immediate 21.’ And in the case of French 21, the banker pays the lucky punter with the immediate 21 double his/her wager. Of course, if the banker also has the same value hand, both hands are nullified, and the punter keeps their bet.
1807: 21 According to Hoyle
Vingt-et-Un made its way to America, where it became known as 21.
While French-speaking gamblers from New Orleans might have still called it Vingt-et-Un, the Anglophones started calling it twenty-one, shortened to 21. In order to keep the rules stable and keep them from being lost in translation, a man named Hoyle meticulously recorded the details of many popular card games, including 21.
A more detailed explanation of the game developed, as well as some variants. Most of the common blackjack variants today are based on the same rules as the original European 21 varieties, with some minor exceptions.
In modern versions of 21, punters have different types of bets they can make before and during play, depending on the cards drawn and the rules of the table. The generous French double payments for immediate 21s were reduced to 3:2 or 6:5. Later 21 variants allowed punters to ‘split’ or ‘double down’ when certain cards appeared.
When 2 cards of the same value are dealt to a player on the opening deal, the player may split the hand to make 2 new hands, thus doubling the bet. Splitting 2 aces is a very desirable result, because the plentiful 10 value cards can bring instant 21s to both hands.
When dealt a 9, 10, or ace, a player may be offered the chance to ‘double down’ or double their bet. If they win, they are paid double. If they lose, they lose double. Doubling down is not wise when a dealer’s hand shows 10 or ace.
1930s: Las Vegas Blackjack
21 became known as blackjack due to some innovative promos in Las Vegas casinos.
When the casino scene burst onto the Nevada deserts in 1931, the small town of Las Vegas was one of the first Nevada towns to take advantage of newly-legalized gambling in the state.
The first Las Vegas casinos were more like honky-tonk roadhouses than the casinos we know and love today. They had their charms, though: sawdust on the floors, a Western theme, and plenty of card games. And of course, when gamblers brought their families to a Las Vegas Western-style ‘resort,’ they could expect pony rides for the kids and cheap T-bone steak dinners.
The majority of Las Vegas casinos were located downtown, as the Strip had not yet been developed. A few straggling cowpoke, dude-ranch-styled casinos popped up in the Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada. After some heavy investments by notorious gangsters like Bugsy Siegel and others, Paradise would later evolve into the Las Vegas Strip we know today. But in the early 1930s, all the action was in downtown Vegas.
As downtown Vegas was just gaining popularity as a gambling town, casinos sprang up right and left. Proprietors of these early gambling joints offered the usual cheap steak dinners, prizes, and promos, until some casino owners came up with a novel concept: big payouts for getting a certain rare combination of 21.
When players were dealt an ace of spades plus a black jack (jack of clubs or spades), they won a 10-to-1 payout. The hand was called ‘blackjack,’ which became wildly popular. However, the casinos had to rethink their payout strategy when too many punters began draining the casinos. Apparently, blackjacks were more common than previously thought – especially when casinos were playing with multiple decks of cards.
Casinos withdrew their 10-to-1 payouts for blackjacks in favor of more conservative 3-to-2 payouts. However, the name blackjack remained long after the promo ended. Nowadays, any instant 21 made up of any ace and any 10-value card is called blackjack, regardless of suit or card colors.
BLACKJACK PLAYER GUIDES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
An effective strategy can be the difference between winning big and going home broke. And that doesn’t just apply to online blackjack either. It’s always worth learning blackjack strategy so you’re better prepared for the different possible outcomes that can occur in a game. Check our blog for blackjack tips and strategy charts to help you lower the house edge. TIP: always split 8s and aces.
When playing any kind of casino game, check out the odds charts. Once you know the probability of each outcome, you can start to evaluate the risk better. A basic understanding of blackjack strategy will tip the odds in your favor by lowering the house edge. Seasoned blackjack players can lower the house edge from 1.5% down to a measly 0.5%, and that will stretch your bankroll 3x longer.
While blackjack relies on the luck of the draw, true blackjack strategy relies on what to do with the cards drawn. The dealer usually hits on 16 and stands on 17, so why not play it safe and do the same? Also, if the blackjack variant you are playing allows surrender, you should surrender when the dealer’s face card is a 10. Also, when the dealer shows a 5, that is the worst possible result. So double down if you can!
HOW TO PLAY
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QUICK BLACKJACK TIPS
Top Strategies for Winning Real Money Playing Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games on land or online. This is because blackjack has the lowest house edge of any casino game out there. The blackjack house edge is around 1.5%, you can increase the blackjack odds in your favor by applying careful strategies and knowing a few tricks. Check out our 5 tips on how to be a better blackjack player, and you can lower the house edge to a measly 0.5%! You don’t have to be the Rain Man and count cards into the thousands, either.
#5 – Know the table rules
Before you sit down at a blackjack table – or load one on your pc – you should check the rules of the table, plus the rules of the blackjack variant you are playing. Some variants offer the surrender option, others allow splitting, doubling down, and insurance. Also, a 3:2 payout for a blackjack is much better than a 6:5 payout. You should also acquaint yourself with the betting limits, the number of hands you can play (single to multi-hand blackjack), etc.
#4 – Use a blackjack chart
Rather than trying to memorize hundreds of complicated betting rules, take advantage of our wealth of blackjack strategy knowledge written by professional gamblers and seasoned amateurs. You can find basic strategy for each type of deal on the blackjack table. Some are easy to remember, like ‘don’t take the insurance – it’s a sucker bet.’ But it is very helpful to have a blackjack chart with the probability of each card and each combination. But the best strategy of all is to know when to hit, stand, or surrender. A blackjack chart with the basic and advanced strategies will help you as a ‘cheat sheet’ when you are playing.
#3 – Make sure you understand the odds
The good thing about playing blackjack online is the fact that you can expect some nice payouts, due to the low house edge. If you’re looking to play for big bucks, it really does pay to understand the odds of betting on each type of blackjack hand. This could involve using bets such as splitting, doubling down, or surrendering. All of these moves allow you to increase your wager when needed – or head for the hills with half your bet (surrender) when you don’t. When you play blackjack online, just save the blackjack strategy article and keep the browser tab open while you’re playing.
#2 – Manage your bankroll
There is one bit of advice you can apply to any online casino game you choose to play: make sure you’re keeping track of your bankroll at all times. This will help you establish what you can realistically afford to lose. The best way to manage your bankroll when gambling online is to never bet more than you can afford. Check our casino guide for tips on how to manage your bankroll. This means you should set daily/weekly limits, never bet with money you don’t have (credit cards), and don’t react emotionally to losses. Just cool your jets, stop playing, and come back another day. Luck changes!
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