Blackjack is one of the most common and simplest card games to play. It’s all about the observation of your cards as well as the dealer’s to determine who could take the win in a given round. These 4 hands can help you decide whether to hit, stand, or surrender.
Although mysterious, the origins of blackjack have been traced back to France. At the time, a card game was circulating called Vingt-et-Un (or 21), very similar to what we refer to as blackjack today. A similar version was played in Spain with the objective to get a total card value nearest to 31. More prominently played in Europe, once it hit the shores ofNorth America, its popularity shot through the roof!
The 20th century rolled around and blackjack became a staple favourite in casinos throughout America and beyond. The well-known gambling state of Nevada welcomed it with open arms and soon, people were coming from all over the world to try their hand at a fast-moving, big rewarding table game phenomenon.
Understand its terminology first as a guide to learning how blackjack hands work. Here is a list of the basic terms used in blackjack:
A deck of 52 playing cards is used in blackjack. Your objective is to get a higher total card value than the dealer by being the one closest to 21. Another way to win is when the dealer busts.
You have 4 choices when it comes to playing blackjack—hit, stand, double down, or surrender. Choose wisely on how to play by using yours and the dealer’s hands as the basis to whether you want to stand, or forfeit the match. Avoid getting a bust and you won’t lose what you wagered!
There are 4 ways to win in Blackjack if you’re lucky enough to land any of these hands:
For both types, an Ace is necessary to have in your hand for it to be considered a soft hand or a hard hand. The difference, though, is how the Ace is used in the hand you’re dealt with.
A soft hand holds an Ace with a numerical value of 11 without reaching a bust. This rule does not apply if there are high-ranked cards such as 10, Jack, Queen, and King. Having an Ace with a low-valued card like 3 can have a total value of 4 or 14.
On the other hand, a hard hand is when you hit for a third card and its value is 10 or higher. When this happens, the value of Ace automatically becomes 1 by default to prevent you from busting. Another way to consider it a hard hand is that it doesn’t include an Ace, instead it holds a high-valued card that reaches 16.
A stiff hand means that your starting hand has already reached a total value of a 2-digit number ranging from 12-17. It’s called a stiff hand because there is a high risk of getting a bust if you end up drawing a high-valued card.
It’s considered a bad hand when you get a total value of 15 or 16 at the beginning of the round. There is a high probability of getting a high-value card when you hit and you could go bust.
If you’re a high-roller, doubling down is the perfect way for you to earn high payouts from your hand when you play blackjack. It basically means to double the wager you placed at the beginning if you’re confident when you hit a third card.
There are rules to get a good chance at winning when you double down your cards. Your initial hand should either add up to 10 or 11 as a safe zone if you decide to hit. Take into account if the dealer’s card will be advantageous or disadvantageous to their hand before you double down.
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Words by: Clarissa Panganiban