Blackjack: Doubling Down
Simply put, blackjack is a card game that is otherwise known as twenty one. The reason why it is called so is because the player and the dealer compete against each other to reach a score of 21. Generally, a deck of 52 cards is used, although more decks may be used if there are a larger number of players.
Rules of the game
Every card in the deck has its numerical value. Kings, queens and jacks have a value of ten each. Every player is dealt two cards initially. They then tally up the value of their cards. An ace is considered to have a value of eleven (one if the sum would put you at over twenty one). The goal is to not go over twenty one, if you 'bust' that way, you lose your money. The player always plays his hand first. If the dealer 'busts', you still lose your money anyway. After determining the value of your cards, you can 'hit', or request one more card to be dealt. In fact, you can keep doing this until you reach 21. To win, you have to be closer to 21 than the dealer. If it is a tie, neither makes any money. This is how blackjack rules work.
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When you 'double down', you can double your bet, but this also means you stand to receive only one more card. So when should you double down? That depends not only on the cards you have been dealt, but also what the dealer has with him. Over years of experience, some blackjack players recommend that you double down only when the value of your cards is between 9 and 11. This too is not generic.
- You need to double down if you have 9 and your dealer shows 3, 4, 5 or 6
- If you have 10, you need to double down if your dealer shows 2 through 9
- If you have 11, double down if the dealer shows 2 through 10.
- If it is 2 or 3 and the dealer shows 5 or 6, double down
- Double down If it is 4 or 5 and the dealer shows 4, 5 or 6
- If you have a 6, double down if the dealer shows 3 through 6
- Double down if you have a 7 and the dealer shows 3 through 6
Now it is tricky if you and the dealer both get the same cards initially. Double down if you have a pair of 5s and the dealer shows 2 through 9.
So why is the game called blackjack? It is actually derived from blackjack, referring to the jack of spades or the jack of clubs, both of which are black (in cards, spades and clubs are always black, while diamonds and hearts are red). If the player held this, he could expect a payout of ten-to-one. Such was the case when the game was introduced in the United States. The bonus was introduced as a way of attracting players to the game. Though it is not offered any more, the game seems to have achieved its objective - blackjack is the most popular game in casinos today.
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