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Blackjack rules and strategies

廿一點.中国
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Blackjack is the most-played card gambling offered in casinos. Blackjack is a descendant of the French Vingt (et) un (german: Twenty-one and seventeen and four).

The game

The rules of blackjack are internationally almost uniform, the following description follows the rules, which is most favorable for the player, these rules apply in most German casinos, as well as in the casino of Monte Carlo and the casinos of Casinos Austria.
Blackjack - The game

Blackjack rules


General

Blackjack is played on a semi-circular table. The croupier (dealer, banker) is sitting on the straight side of the table, opposite him are the seats for up to seven players (Pointeure).

It is played with six packages of French playing cards to 52 sheets, so 312 cards - the blackjack card has bridge format and carries extra large index characters (large index) with the English names K, Q and J for the pictures.

The aim of the game is to get closer to 21 points with two or more cards than the croupier, without exceeding the value of 21 points.

The values ​​of each card


  1. Aces count one or eleven points at will. (The value of the ace is determined only when the player does not buy another card - then the croupier counts the ace as it is best for the player.)
  2. Two to ten count according to their eyes.
  3. Face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) count ten points.

Course of the game


Before the start of a game, players place their bets on the designated boxes (boxes) according to the limits set by the casino.

In a box next to the pit owner also other players may be allowed; However, co-players have no say and must accept the decisions of the pit owner. The use of the participating players may only be so high that the limit set by the casino per box is not exceeded. If the box owner has already made the maximum possible bet, no other player is allowed on this box.

When the bets have been made, the croupier starts handing out the cards. Each player and the croupier receive an open card first, after which each player - but not the croupier - receives a second open card (see Rule Variants).

Starting with the player to the left of the croupier, each participant can now demand additional cards ("hit", "card" or "carte") until he believes that he has come close enough to 21 points and does not wish for another card (" stay "," no card "or" reste "). However, anyone who exceeds 21 with his cards (bust) has overbought and loses immediately; the cards and the stake are collected by the croupier.

When all players are served, the croupier draws his second card. If he has 17 or more points, he must stop, if he has 16 or fewer points, he must draw another card ("Dealer must stand on 17 and must draw to 16").

The croupier must always count an ace with eleven points, unless he exceeds 21 in this way; only then does he count the ace with a point. Does the croupier z. For example, an ace and a six, he must rate the ace with eleven and the hand with seventeen points and may not draw another card ("dealer stand on soft 17").

If the croupier exceeds 21 points, all remaining players in the game have automatically won. Otherwise, only those players whose card value is closer to 21 points than the croupier will win.

If a player has the same number of points as the croupier, the game is a draw (stand off, push, tie, equal, en cartes), the player loses nothing, but he wins nothing.

If a player wins, he receives a profit in the amount of his bet (1: 1, even money); in the following two cases, however, increased profits are distributed.

Sevens drilling


If a player has 21 points consisting of three sevens (triple seven), he wins immediately in the ratio 3: 2, regardless of the croupier's card. The game is over for that box after the payout. (This rule is uncommon outside of Austria, but it has also become established in Germany and Switzerland that the guest in some form receives a bonus.)

BlackJack


After the sevens treble blackjack, a combination of 21 points consisting of the first two cards, so ace and ten, or ace and picture, the best result.

If a player has a blackjack, but not the croupier, the player will receive a 3: 2 win ("Black Jack pays 3 to 2"). However, if the croupier also has a blackjack, the game is a draw.

If the croupier has a blackjack, all players still in the game lose, except those who also own a blackjack; especially those players who hold 21 points in their hands. (If a player has a seven-in-three, he has already received his prize and is already out of the game.)

Insurance (insurance against blackjack)


If the croupier has an ace as the first card, then the players can insure themselves against a blackjack of the croupier by placing an appropriate bet on the insurance line. If the croupier draws a ten or a face card as a second card, he has a blackjack and the insurance is paid in a ratio of 2: 1 ("Insurance pays 2 to 1"). However, if the croupier has no blackjack, the insurance premium will be withdrawn.

If a player has a black jack and the croupier is the first card to hold an ace, the player can cash out a 1-1 win and end the game. This is the equivalent of taking out insurance, with the player placing half of his original bet on the insurance line.

The insurance against a blackjack of the croupier is basically a side bet, the bank advantage in insurance is about 1/13 = 7.692%.

Split


A player can split his hand if the first two cards are the same (for example, two sixes or jack and queen); he then plays with "split hand" with two separate bets on, where multiple sharing (resplit) is possible (in German casinos, multiple sharing in the rule is not allowed). For each split hand, another bet at the level of the original bet must be made. The player now receives any number of cards in each split hand.


Exception: If a player splits two aces, he only gets one more card for each ace. If this is another ace, a re-sharing is still possible.
In a split hand, however, the combination Ace and Ace or Ten is not considered blackjack, but 21 points as the card combination did not match the first two.

Double


A player can double his bet after receiving his first two cards (double). The value of the two cards is insignificant (double down on any two). If a player doubles, then he will still be given exactly one card.

Doubling after splitting is possible (double down on split pairs) (see rule variants).

A co-player in a box can only double, even if the box owner doubles his bet.

Bust


In many casinos, a player can bet before the card issue starts that the dealer will overbid in that round (dealer busts or short bust).

If the dealer gets 22 or more eyes and thus buys, which is a 28.16% probability - on average less than two out of seven times - then this side bet will be paid in a 5: 2 ratio, otherwise it will the bet on this bet withdrawn. The bank advantage for this bet type is 1.44%.

Rule variants


Many casinos limit the choices of players. The most common deviations from the above rules are:

  • Doubling: Doubling is only allowed if the first two cards have the value 9, 10 or 11.
  • Divide: Multiple parts are possible, but do not double in a split hand.

The type of card issuance is often different, in the US, the croupier usually gets his second card immediately after all players have received their first two cards - not just after all players have declared themselves and are served. In this case, however, the croupier's second card is dealt face down and only turned over when the last player is served. If the first card of the croupier shows an ace or a card of ten, he will check whether he has a blackjack - this procedure has the advantage for the player that in any case he is only a one-off bet on a dealer's blackjack loses and not the increased by dividing or doubling use. However, this difference is practically irrelevant, since you should only double or share as a player in a few exceptional cases, if the dealer is the first card to have an ace or a card worth ten.

Furthermore, in some - especially American - casinos, the rule is that the dealer buys with a "soft 17", this rule is less favorable to the player than the more common rule "dealer stands on soft 17".

Analysis


Looking at the rules of blackjack, at first glance you will notice a number of asymmetries that favor the player.

The advantages of the player

        
  1. If a player wins with blackjack, he wins in the ratio 3: 2; However, if the croupier wins with blackjack, he wins only in the ratio 1: 1.
  2. The player is free in deciding whether or not to ask for a card, or how to score an ace - and can make those decisions based on the value of the croupier's first card. The croupier, however, is bound to a rigid rule in his playing style.
  3. The player can double the bet with a promising hand before making a purchase, forcing the croupier to continue the game twice as much.
  4. The player can split two equal cards and possibly win with two hands against the croupier.

The advantage of the casino


These advantages are of course a - hidden - advantage of the casino opposite. If a player exceeds 21 points, he immediately loses his bet. If, in the same game, the croupier also passes the 21 points, the game is lost to the player and is not considered a draw, as he will not receive his bet back.

This inequality results in the bank advantage, which mathematically corresponds to the expected value of taking the casino per euro. In blackjack, of course, this value depends on the chosen game strategy.

Mathematical analysis


The first mathematical analysis of blackjack was published in 1956. An optimal strategy was calculated for the player on the assumption that it plays with an infinite number of packages. H. that about the probability as a next card z. For example, to draw an ace is always 1/13, regardless of how many aces and how many cards have been drawn from the sled. The results obtained are a good approximation for the real game with 312 cards.

If a player starts a round with a bet of 100 € and decides optimally in each situation in terms of the probability calculus, he increases his bet on the average to 111.67 € and loses - due to the opportunities to divide or double on average 0.53 € per game. The bank advantage is then just 0.475%, which is very low compared to other games that can be found in casinos.

For comparison, the bank advantage in the simple odds of roulette is 1.35%, in multiple opportunities 2.70%.

BlackJack strategy




Basic strategy


Does the player stick to the following? known as Basic Strategy - rules, it minimizes the bank advantage.

The strategy given here is optimal with respect to the above rules. Rule deviations also require changes to the optimal strategy.

Draw or stand


Hard hands


A hard hand is all combinations without ace and a hand with an ace, if this is counted with a point, so z. B. the
Combination A-5-7 a Hard 13.

  1. If the dealer holds an ace, 10, 9, 8 or 7, then you should buy at a Hard 16 and stop at a Hard 17.
  2. If the dealer holds a 6, 5 or 4, then you should buy at a Hard 11 but stop at a Hard 12 or higher.
  3. If the dealer holds a 3 or 2, you should buy at a Hard 12 but stop at a Hard 13 or higher.

Soft hands


A soft hand is a hand with an ace, which is rated eleven points. For example, a hand of Ace and Six can be counted as 17 points.

  1. In a soft hand with 19 or more points you should never buy.
  2. A soft 18 consisting of three or more cards should only be bought if the dealer holds a 9, 10 or ace.
  3. With a soft 17 consisting of three or more cards you should always buy.

Note: If a soft hand is made up of only two cards, it may also make sense to double it, as the following rules can be found in the following section (soft hand doubles). Doubles

Soft hand doubles


  1. A hand of A-2 (soft 13) should only be doubled to a 6, in all other cases the player should buy.
  2. A hand of A-3 (soft 14) or A-4 (soft 15) should be doubled against a 6 or 5, in all other cases the player should buy.
  3. A hand of A-5 (soft 16) should be doubled against a 6, 5 or 4, in all other cases the player should buy.
  4. A hand of A-6 (soft 17) should be doubled against a 6, 5, 4 or 3, in all other cases the player should buy.
  5. A hand of A-7 (soft 18) should be doubled against a 6, 5, 4 or 3; the player should stand still against a 2, 7 or 8 and buy for a 9, 10 or ace.
  6. With a hand of A-8, A-9 or A-10 (Black Jack) you should never double, but always stop (see above).

For a hand with two aces (soft 12) see splits.

Hard hand doubles


  1. A hard hand of 8 or fewer points should never be doubled.
  2. A hand of 9 points (no ace) consisting of two cards should only be doubled if the dealer holds a 6, 5, 4 or 3.
  3. A hand of 10 or 11 points (no ace) consisting of two cards should always be doubled, except the dealer holds 10 or A.
  4. A hard hand with 12 or more points should never be doubled.

Splits


  1. Two aces should always be shared unless the dealer has an ace - in this case, you score the hand as soft 12 and ask for another card.
  2. Two, three and seven should only be split if the dealer holds a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
  3. Two fours should only be shared if the dealer holds a 5 or 6.
  4. Five and ten should never be shared.
  5. Two sixes should only be shared if the dealer holds a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  6. Two eights should always be shared, except the dealer has 10 or ace.
  7. Two nines should always be shared, except the dealer has a 7, 10 or ace.

Insurance


It does not make sense to insure against a blackjack of the croupier or, if the croupier holds an ace as the first card, to pay off a blackjack in a ratio of 1: 1.

Bust


The side bet Bust that the croupier sells is far more disadvantageous than the actual game; It therefore does not make sense to complete this bet.

Card counting


Previously, it was common for the cards used in a game to be set aside, and in the next game, the cards from the remaining deck were pulled out of the card slide. When the pile was about three-quarters played, the discarded cards were shuffled with the rest of the talon and a new waist began.

In this way, the composition of the deck was very different in each game. Came z. B. in the first coup after mixing only a few high cards, so the probability of falling high cards in the next coup naturally larger.

The American mathematician Edward O. Thorp developed in 1961 a game system, with the help of which one gained an advantage over the casino as a player. In 1962, Thorp published a more detailed version than Book Beat the Dealer. As a player, by counting the high cards (card counting) you could see advantageous compositions of the deck of cards and risk a higher bet in these cases.

Of course, the casinos then used countermeasures:

  1. The number of used card packages has been increased, originally was played with only one package, later with four and today mostly with six packages.
  2. The deck is no longer played to the end, but it is "cut off" a quarter to a third of the pile.
  3. The choices of the player were z. T. restricted (see rule variants).

Despite these countermeasures, card counting continued to give the player the opportunity to improve his chances.


Many European casinos now use so-called shuffle stars, special card slides with built-in card blender. The cards used in a single game are put back into the sled after the coup and immediately re-mixed with the remaining cards - this way the individual blackjack coups are independent, just like the individual roulette coups. As a result, card counting is basically obsolete.

Contrary to an allegation occasionally rumored, card counting in casinos under German law (as well as in the US) is not punishable nor disorderly; However, this does not necessarily exclude that casinos impose house bans against identified card counters.

Third base


A very common misconception in blackjack is the opinion that the player who sits directly to the right of the croupier - this position on the gaming table is called third base - with his playing style can influence the outcome of the croupier, after all, one of him demanded Otherwise the croupier receives or receives the croupier the one card he no longer buys.

But since the next card is not known, the player can not benefit from this position on the table.
As a player, you are often criticized by the rest of the players for playing, which is why this place is rather avoided.

Five Card Trick


The so-called five-card trick (Five Card Trick or Five Card Charly) has been canceled earlier: A player who held five cards in hand and had not exceeded the 21 points, immediately won in the ratio of 1: 1, unless the croupier had a blackjack, in this case, the bank won - but there were also deviating rules. With this additional opportunity, you can even find a winning strategy that works without card counting.

The five-card trick is rarely seen today, though, then there are always other restrictions on the choices of the player, so that a total of a less promising for the player variant arises.

Blackjack variants

European Blackjack
– 0.39%
The game is played with two standard 52-card game
Multi-Hand Blackjack
0.63%
The game is played with 5 standard stack cards
Vegas Strip Blackjack
– 0.34%
The game is played with 4 standard 52-card deck
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
– 0.38%
The game is played with 2 decks of cards
Atlantic City Blackjack
– 0.35%
The game is played with 8 standard card stack
Spanish Blackjack
– 0.38%
The game is played with 6-8, 48 card deck "Spanish"
Super Fun 21
Super Fun 21 is played with a single deck of cards

Blackjack table

Player hand
Dealer's face-up card
Key:
S = Stand
H = Hit
Dh = Double (if not allowed, then hit)
Ds = Double (if not allowed, then stand)
SP = Split
SU = Surrender (if not allowed, then hit.)
2345678910
Hard totals (excluding pairs)
17-20SSSSSSSSSS
16SSSSSHHSUSUSU
15SSSSSHHHSUH
13-14SSSSSHHHHH
12HHSSSHHHHH
11Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
H
10
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
HH
9H
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
HHHHH
5-8HHHHHHHHHH
Soft totals

2345678910A
A,8–A,9
SSSSSSSSSS
A,7
SDs
Ds
Ds
Ds
SSHHH
A,6
HDhDh
Dh
Dh
HHHHH
A,4–A,5
HHDh
Dh
Dh
HHHHH
A,2–A,3
HHHDh
Dh
HHHHH
Pairs

2345678910A
A,A
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
10,10
SSSSSSSSSS
9,9
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
S
SP
SP
SS
8,8
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
7,7
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
H
H
H
H
6,6
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
HHHHH
5,5DhDh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
Dh
HH
4,4HHH
SP
SP
HHHHH
2,2-3,3
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
HHHH
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