For longer than even the most dedicated of historians can recall, Blackjack (or twenty one as it’s also commonly known) has endured a lasting success as one of the most popular casino games around.
A great game of chance in which players attempt to beat the dealer by either getting twenty one points on the first two cards without using the dealer’s blackjack, reaching a final score greater than that of the dealer (but not going over twenty one) or by having the dealer keep drawing until his own hand goes over, Blackjack has enjoyed a new wave of popularity since it became a staple of live casinos.
If you’re thinking of playing live blackjack but haven’t yet dived right in there, you might be surprised to learn that there are actually lots of different games available to play, meaning you’ll always be able to find one that suits you, your tastes and your skill level.
Here’s just a few of the more popular blackjack games around.
This is the age old game played for centuries upon centuries by casino fans the world over.
As we’ve already discussed, the aim of the game is to get the total value of your cards closer to the magic number of twenty one than the hand of the dealer, without actually going over twenty one.
The ‘blackjack’ in question comes if your first two cards are an ace and a ten. In this case, your prize is 150% of your original stake, so if you placed a bet of one pound, you’ll get £2.50 back. If you manage to get your cards closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you get 100% of your bet, and if you go over 21, you’ve effectively gone ‘bust’ and lost the game.
Blackjack switch is a twist on the traditional game where you actually have two hands and play them both in turn, first the right hand, then the left. After this, the dealer plays his hand.
The aim of the game is essentially the same as the original blackjack game, but the means of achieving that game are different because a dealer can always hit a soft 17 and one of the most ardent rules of classic blackjack is omitted. This is the rule which states that “If the player doubles and the dealer’s first card is of value 10, and the dealer gets blackjack, the player loses only the initial bet.”
Another unique twist to playing live blackjack, the Surrender version means exactly what you might think: It gives you the opportunity to surrender your hand after you’ve been dealt your first two cards and the dealer has checked for Blackjack. If you do surrender, you lose your half of the bet and that particular game comes to an end.
Beyond that, Blackjack Surrender plays out much as the classic game.
Pontoon is the British version of the game and for many people provides an easier, more simplistic approach to playing their favorite live casino game.
The idea is still to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over, but in Pontoon, one hand with a value of 21 can be beaten by two different hands either an ace and a ten/face card together, or what is called a Five Card Trick, which is when a hand of five cards without going bust. No matter what the value of those cards, providing you don’t exceed 21, you’ve won the game.