Blackjack endures as the most popular table game played in gaming establishments all over the world, largely because its basic principles are so simple, and the fact that all that is required is a simple deck of cards and a table. Its popularity also stems from the fact that each player is pitted against the banker, as well as the others playing the same game.
Blackjack is also usually a very quick game, and several hands can be played in rapid succession, which is one of the prime reasons for its enduring appeal. Of course, this means that a player can win, or lose, their stakes quite quickly. But another reason it is so popular is because, even when a player only shows the same hand as the banker, their stake is refunded, so they can carry on playing.
It is a game which is passed down through generations, as it is easy to teach the basic rules to someone with only the most basic knowledge of mathematics. However, more sophisticated players can bring a great deal of strategy and extra complexity into the game in several ways. The most common is by splitting their hand when they are dealt a pair of cards of the same value, giving them twice the chance of beating the banker. The origins of the game are credited to Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote, who was himself a gambler, and wrote fictional books based on his experiences.
The most important exponent of blackjack theory is believed to be an American professor called Edward O. Thorp, who in 1962 published the first blackjack card counting system. This studies the cards which have been dealt, and evaluates those still to come, to determine whether the player has a favourable chance of beating the dealer. However, some bricks-and-mortar casinos have outlawed these systems as they are felt to give the player an unfair advantage over the dealer.
Many players prefer to play blackjack online, because a budget can be set for the amount of money to be staked. Once those stakes are exhausted, it is easy to walk away. The evolution of the game of blackjack has led to many variations being devised, but in all cases, its beauty lies in its simplicity.
To find the best range to play blackjack online at a number of levels from beginner to advanced, make sure you find the best sites by reading casino reviews online.
By Paul Davies
Jamie Francis is an experienced author having worked in various fields including gaming for many years.