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Blackjack : Blackjack Variations

By Arthur Levine

Level: Jun 28th 2007
The basics of Blackjack
The aim of the blackjack game is to get as close to 21 as possible. This is the dealer’s aim as well, so whoever gets closer to 21 wins. The number cards each represent their value, the face cards are worth 10 points, and the Ace is worth either 11 or 1.

The dealer must follow some rules: if the value of his cards is 16 or less he must draw another card, if it’s 16 or more he must stand. There are different types of blackjack, most of them having the house edge higher than the regular blackjack game, even if the casinos claim they have introduced them for diversity.

Spanish 21 allows more flexibility in the game, as the player is allowed to double down any number of cards, to surrender, and to rescue. Other variants pay extra money for a 21 made with minimum 5 cards, or for a 21 that is achieved with 6-7-8, or 7-7-7. Some casinos pay the player for a 21 even if the bank also has 21, but they don’t pay 3/2 for it.

The English variation of blackjack is called Pontoon; the German one is called "Siebzehn und Vier", and the French one is called Vingt-et-un. Another popular variation is Double Exposure Blackjack, in which both the dealer’s cards are faced up, but the blackjack is played even money and the player loses in case of a tie.

Double Attack Blackjack, another popular variation, allows the player to increase his wager once he has seen the dealer’s faced up card. In both variations, the house edge is increased.

Elimination Blackjack is very popular because it is a blackjack tournament, resembling very much with the poker ones. All of these variations have the house edge increased, even if a novice player founds them more attractive than the regular blackjack game.
RELATED GAME STRATEGIES
Lesson 1: Blackjack History
Where was the game born? And who named it BlackJack?
Lesson 2: Blackjack Rules
All you need to know before getting started.
Lesson 3: Blackjack Strategy
The many strategies to get a winning edge over the casino, besides getting "Rain Man" to play for you of course!
Lesson 4: Blackjack Vocabulary
Speak like a pro. Talk the talk, the walk is up to you!
Lesson 5: Blackjack Tips
What you should keep in mind, and even a little more on strategy.

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