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Blackjack Part 2

So now that the basic rules have been understood lets move into some deeper knowledge of the game. Over and above simply putting money down on the table and hoping to beat the dealer there are other options in play that depend on combinations of cards that you may be dealt.
If you are dealt two of the same card then you have the option of “splitting” your hand. This means that you can separate the cards into two separate hands and play them both. In order to do this you have to put down an amount of money equal to that which you put down originally. This is an excellent play if you have two identical picture cards or two aces but beware with smaller cards it may not be such a good idea. A five on its own is a poor card against the dealer, but two together giving you a ten give you a good chance of hitting 21 or close to it.
The Double Down bet is where you decide to double your stake after the cards have been dealt. The rules for a double down can vary but most of the time the casino rules allow you to double down if you have a combined score of either ten or eleven. The catch of a double down is that you have to accept one more card and you cannot receive more than one. So if you have a score of eleven and a two comes out then you’re stuck with a score of thirteen and have to hope that the dealer busts out.
Casinos also offer “insurance” this is a bet equal to half your own ante against the dealer hitting a natural (meaning using only two cards) twenty one. This bet is only allowed when the dealer is showing an Ace and can be a useful way of covering yourself.
Other terminology includes having a “Hard hand” which is where an Ace is valued at one or a “Soft hand” where the Ace is valued as eleven.
Blackjack is a game that is simple to understand yet incredibly difficult to master.There are stories of those who have tried and some have succeeded. The Hollywood movie Twenty One is based on a real group of American students who actually managed to beat the odds in the casino. It’s the game of choice for many and it can be played for minutes or hours at a time.

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