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History of Blackjack
The exact history of blackjack is largely unknown, however, many believe it originated in France. The game was inspired by two existing games, underwent a few rule changes and emerged as “vingt-et-un” or 21.
In the early 1800s, it became popular in America. After more rule changes, players were granted an immediate 10 to 1 payout if their first two cards were a jack and ace of spades. Players rejoiced when they were dealt a “black jack” and eventually the game was renamed blackjack.
In the 1930s, Nevada legalized gambling and established rooms where people could play organized and regulated blackjack. In the years to follow, other states legalized gambling, and blackjack became increasingly popular.
Blackjack remains one of the most popular casino games with good odds for even amateur players. It’s found in nearly every casino across the United States and a featured table game at Isle Casino® Black Hawk. If you’re new to blackjack, don’t shy away from the table! Learn these basic rules for your chance to win big:
1. Blackjack is played with decks of 52 cards without jokers. Casinos use one to eight decks in a shoe. A blank, plastic card is placed at the bottom of the shoe to indicate when the cards need to be reshuffled.
2. Blackjack is played on a specifically designed table with one dealer and typically 5-7 players.
3. Aces are counted as 1 or 11 point(s), 2 to 9 according to pip value, and tens or face cards are 10 points.
4. Players compete with the dealer. Every player tries to beat the dealer by getting a higher point total without going over 21.
5. Prior to a deal, players place a bet with chips in the designated space in front of them.
6. The dealer shuffles the deck and one player cuts it with a plastic card.
7. Once all the players have placed their bets, the dealer gives each one a card face-up and then places a card face-up in front of himself or herself. Another round is dealt face-up, but this time, the dealer gives him/herself a card face-down.
8. If a player is dealt a 10 and ace (natural) and the dealer doesn’t have the same, the player is instantly rewarded one and half times their original bet. If the dealer has a natural, all bets are collected from players who don’t have the same. If the dealer and player have a natural, the player’s bet is returned.
9. All players must “stand” (not ask for another card) or “hit” (ask for another card). The purpose is to get as close to 21 without going over. The players hits until they stand or go “bust” (card total exceeds 21). If they bust, the dealer collects their bets.
10. After all the players have taken a turn, the dealer flips over the face-down card in front of him/her. If it’s 17 or more, the dealer stands. If it’s 16 or less, the dealer hits until the card total is 17 or more.
11. If the dealer busts, all players still in the game win the amount of their original bet. If the dealer stands, all players with a higher point total win and all those with a lower point total lose. If the dealer and the player have the same point total, the bet is returned to the player.
12. After all bets are settled, new cards are dealt from the shoe.
If you’re looking to make your game more interesting, consider Buffalo Blackjack. It’s dealt and played like regular blackjack with two optional bonus bets:
1. 21 Magic. The player makes an additional wager known as a “21 Magic” bet. The bet must be less than the original wager. 21 Magic is won if the player’s hand equals 21 and beats the dealer’s hand. If the player’s hand equals the dealer’s hand, this is called a “push”. If the player’s hand doesn’t equal 21, the bet is a loss. The “magic 21” wager can be $1 - $25.
2. Bust Bonus. After the players have acted on their hands, they have the option of placing an additional wager known as a “Bust Bonus”. The wager must be an even dollar amount and played only by those who have an active hand. The Bust Bonus can be any amount as long as it does not exceed the original wager. A special bonus is paid to the player when the dealer busts with three cards valued at 8 each. The Bust Bonus can be any amount as long as it does not exceed the original wager.
If you’re looking for variety, consider Double Deck Blackjack. It’s similar to the original game, but with these unique rules:
1. The game is played with two decks of cards which are reshuffled after each hand.
2. The dealer hits on a soft 17.
3. Players can split up to three times to create 4 hands.
4. Players can’t surrender cards.
5. Split aces receive only one card.
6. Split up to three times for 4 hands, however one can only receive on card on each.
7. A split ace and a 10 point card isn’t considered a blackjack.
Players win when they have a score of 21 or less, but greater than the dealer’s score or a score of 21 or less and the dealer’s score exceeds 21.
One of our most exciting options is King’s Bounty Blackjack, featured exclusively at Isle Casino Black Hawk. It’s a side bet that pays when a player’s first two cards total 20. In addition to regular blackjack:
1. Players make the King’s Bounty side bet by betting in the marked area.
2. The dealer settles King’s Bounty wagers when all players and the dealer have two starting cards.
The top payout of 1000 to 1 occurs when a player has two kings of spades and the dealer has a blackjack.
Blackjack is a simple, fun card game that requires both strategy and luck. A good rule to follow is always consider the dealer’s face up card. If it’s a 7 or higher, don’t stop drawing until the point total exceeds 16. If the dealer has a poor card (6 or less), stop drawing when the point total exceeds 11. Never take a card if there’s a chance of going bust and consider the dealer’s chance of going bust. When you’re comfortable with the basic rules, spice up your game by playing King’s Bounty, Double Deck or Buffalo Bonus Blackjack. Remember to enjoy your time at the table and get ready to win big!