Blackjack: history, rules, strategies


The story of a game that has gone through times of ups and downs, but has not lost its intellectual charm. Simple rules that allow players to increase their chances of winning blackjack. Basic strategy: mathematical combinations and an attempt to "catch your luck by the tail".

Blackjack is a card game for intellectuals, mathematicians, and those who like to try their luck. Over the years, it has experienced UPS and downs, but it has become one of the most striking examples of how attitudes to the game can change it.

They started playing blackjack in the middle of the XVIII century. Like many other gambling games, blackjack originated in France. The Americans later gave it a slightly different form, and it is in this form that we see the game in modern realities.

Game history

Game history

For two hundred years, the game of blackjack was a "spare player" in the casino. In the 1950s, the most popular entertainment in Las Vegas gambling houses was dice. It was a social game: if the dice were favorable and the player won — they threw a party, if they lost, they were sad together. Blackjack, on the other hand, separated one player from another and placed them on different sides of the barricades.

In 1956, the Quartet of mathematicians of the United States Armed forces, which entered the annals of blackjack as the Baldwin group, published an article in the journal of The American statistical Association. This article was the first to describe a mathematically correct set of actions for the game. Later, this approach became better known as the basic strategy.

Then in 1962, Ed Thorpe published Beat the Dealer — the best-selling paperback book that explained to the General public that by counting cards (tracking how many high-value cards were left in the game), players could have a statistical advantage over the casino in the face of the dealer.

 After that, smart and disciplined players became regulars of the casino. Blackjack quickly became the most popular gambling game. The initial panic of casino managers softened to wariness as they realized that not all players are as smart as they would like.

The popularity of blackjack since the 1960s is instructive: nothing in the game itself has changed. Casinos, for their part, did not try to popularize it, and there were no new strategies for one-hundred-percent winning. However, blackjack developed because players realized that you can win, though occasionally.

For decades, blackjack remained the king of the tables. The 2008 film "Twenty-one", based on real events and telling about the exploits of the MIT counting team, introduced the game to a new generation. But nothing lasts forever under the moon. At least recently, blackjack has become second fiddle and given the palm to baccarat.

However, competition with baccarat, slot machines, and other games is not the only problem with blackjack. Many casino managers, who have always been concerned about the potential of blackjack for players, have slightly deviated from the rules to make the game more profitable.

Essence of game

Essence of game

Blackjack is also known as 21. The essence of the game is simple: score 21 points or more than in the hands of the dealer, but in no case more than 21. If a player collects more than 21, it "burns". In case of a draw, the player and the dealer remain at their own.

The value of cards

The value of cards

In blackjack, the price of cards does not change during the game. The goal is to score 21 points using as few cards as possible. Cards have these price values:

Maps with numbers: price — the number on the map.
Pictures: the price — 10 points.
ACE — 1 or 11. As a rule, the price of an ACE is 11 points, but if the sum of points is higher than 21 in this calculation, then the card price becomes 1.
Thus, the blackjack with the least number of cards is an ACE and any card with a picture or a ten.

Rules of blackjack

Rules of blackjack

When playing at a table in a casino, it is important to know some basic gestures. To get a card, tap the table with your finger or scratch the table with the edge of the cards. "Enough" means putting chips on the cards (picture down). To split you must add another bet and raise cards in your hand, to double — make another bet on the corresponding field.

The rules for each gambling establishment may be slightly modified. As a rule, the dealer always stands at 17. In some casinos, he can get to the "soft 17" (ACE and 6). The quickest way to understand the subtleties comes directly at the table. The rules for insurance, splits, and doubles vary depending on the local casino rules.
All insurance, splits, and doubling rules must be read before starting the game. Do not forget that all additional rules and actions are in favor of the institution.
Counting cards. Some players "count the deck", that is, count how many aces, tens, and pictures are left in the game. If there are many more such cards in the deck, then the bet can be raised to collect a "good hand".
Basic winning strategies: always stop at hard 17 and higher, never say "enough" on soft 17, double the "soft hand" ACE + 2 or ACE + 3 against 5-6, ACE +4 ACE +5 against 4-6, ACE+7 against 3-6
The basic strategy of blackjack

In blackjack, many players follow the simplest rules to reduce the probability of losing (busting). For example, if a player already has 12 points on their hands, it is better not to risk it, since it is likely that 10 points will fall out as the most common card value. This strategy is not profitable over a long distance. This is because, using this rule, the player reduces the probability of winning by 4%.

All options have already been calculated for the player, the advantage of the gambling establishment is 0.5%. This means that, following the strategies outlined on the diagram, the probability of winning the casino client is 49.75%.

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