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  CRB Dictionary - Blackjack:

Blackjack is a card game, and is one of the old favorites in most casinos. It is a game that combines both luck and skill, though players can choose to make random decisions or make the same decisions every time, thus turning it into a game of chance.

In blackjack, you play against the dealer. Both of you are dealt cards, and the point is to try to get the higher hand value without exceeding the “critical” value of twenty-one. The best hand is an ace and a ten, which, according to this game’s value system, gives you a total value of exactly twenty-one. Both you and the dealer start with two cards. You are allowed to see one of the dealer’s cards. Both participants may choose to hit (take additional cards) or stand (keep their hand the way it is). The skill dimension enters the game in the form of this decision.

Several strategies are available to blackjack players, one of the best-known being card counting. Actually, card counting is famous in the sense that many people have at least heard of the term. It is a technique that targets high-valued cards like tens and aces, and is strongly discouraged by many casinos because of the advantage it offers to players.


If you wish, you may locate a strategy card online and print it out. Many casinos allow you to bring this with you. However, some gamblers are embarrassed to be seen with one, and would rather use it at home when gambling online.

Card Valuation System

In blackjack, all face cards are counted as tens (as is the “regular” ten card). In addition, aces can be counted as elevens. A hand value which was obtained by counting the ace as an eleven is called “soft.” For example, an ace and a six are a “soft” seventeen. Some casinos have special rules for soft hand values. For example, they may require the dealer to stand on a soft seventeen. Other casinos have no such rule. In this sense, the dealer may have less freedom than the player.

Bonus Features

Some casinos offer a progressive jackpot to go with their blackjack game. If you are dealt a certain exact series of cards, you win the progressive jackpot. You will usually have to make a small additional bet for every new hand in order to be eligible for the jackpot. This bonus feature not only encourages gamblers to spend more money on the additional side bet, but also spurs them to spend more time at the blackjack table in hopes of being lucky enough to get the jackpot.

Blackjack Online

Blackjack in Popular Culture

Several movies have been made about or involving blackjack. Rain Man showed a savant counting through six decks, and helped to spread the (mistaken) idea that card counting is a mysterious skill that can only be used by geniuses. For something a little lighter, try the film Apassionada, which is about a professional gambler and card counter who falls in love with a widow. The catch is that the widow not only refuses to marry again, but also has a special hatred for gamblers.

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