Online Blackjack - An introduction

Early in the 1700s, casinos in France pioneered a game that soon became to be known as "vingt-et-un", the French for "twenty one". Well before the Civil War, the game had made its way to the continental US. This game is now more commonly known as blackjack, and is one of the most popular casino games, partly because of its simplicity. In Australia, the game is often called Pontoon, while the Germans have Achtzen-und-Drei (18 and 3) and Ein-und-Zwanzig (1 and 20). A few Englishmen also still insist on referring to this game as Van-John.

The goal of the player in a blackjack game, is to collect a hand of cards with a value higher than that of the dealer. The only caveat is that this hand must not exceed a total value of 21. Going over 21 on the other hand, means losing your stake. You can also still lose your stake, if you do not exceed a total of 21, but if the dealer's hand is higher than yours. Hitting 21 exactly, means that you cannot lose. A dealer matching your 21 pays you back your money. If the you beat the dealer, or he goes over 21 (bust), the pay-out on your 21 is 3-2, i.e. 3 dollars for every 2 in your original bet.

The fact that blackjack has some of the best odds in any casino, has been one of the reasons for its continued popularity over the years. Another draw, is that irrespective of whether you are playing in Las Vegas, online, or against a friend, you are always playing against one entity, the dealer. There is no competition whatsoever between the several players that might be in a single blackjack game.

The fact that there is no other competition, also means that blackjack translates itself very well to being played online. Since there are no 'human' elements you find in other games, such as bluffing, the online blackjack experience is not very different from a riverboat, or Las Vegas casino. As a result, there is a large number of online casinos offering blackjack, with games both for money or just for fun available.

That said, as with any online activity, you do need to exercise a bit of common sense before downloading and installing software from a suspicious site, or indeed handing over your credit card details to anyone online. By taking the time to familiarise yourself with a few basic rules though, you can ensure that your online blackjack experience is enjoyable, and (hopefully) profitable.

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