Blackjack, or Twenty-One (as it was called in Europe before crossing the ocean) remains one of the most popular casino games to the date. After arriving to America, the game underwent certain modifications in order to adapt to the market. Apart from changing the name, an additional rule was introduced – the dealers were to show one of their cards, before the players decided on their next move. American Blackjack further evolved, breaking into two main styles – Atlantic City and Vegas Strip, the latter being the basis of the BetSoft American Blackjack release.
American Blackjack is played in accordance to Vegas Strip rules, using 4 card decks. Vegas Strip has the same objective as any other Blackjack variation – beat the house with your card hand, without busting. Here, the rule S17 applies, meaning that the dealer needs to stand on soft 17. The dealer also “peeks”, checking whether or not he has a Blackjack, but only if the upcard is an Ace and the insurance was submitted. The player can decide to double down on any hand or after splitting, which is limited to 4 hands. As for the Aces, they may only be split once, in which case 21 is not considered as Blackjack. It is also important to note that no late surrenders are allowed.
Blackjack is one of those games where understanding the rules and basic strategies can be easily used to your own advantage. The payout will of course depend on different factors that are entered in the equation when calculating the expected total. In general, standard wins have 1-1 ratio, Blackjack is paid 3-2 and insurance 2-1. Meaning that the bet of $10 will get you a $15 profit for a Blackjack hand. The house edge percentage will change in accordance to the rules and style. With Vegas Strip rules applied, the house edge is 0.48% or 99.52% RTP. Stakes range from $1 to $100 value chips.
if you are not certain when to hit or stand, a few simple rules can be applied to help you determine your next move. Dealer's card is of course a reference of what you need to do. Cards 3-6 on the dealer's side and your 11 or soft 17 hand (and lower than that) should mark a hit. With 12, 18 or more, one should stand. Player's hand summing up to 16, soft 17 or lower will again call for a hit if the dealer is showing 7-10 cards or an Ace. Same upcards will require the player to stand if his combination is 17, soft 18 or up.
Double the stake is the dealer is showing anything but an Ace card and you have 11. The same move should be played if you have 10 corresponding to any other card (except 10 or Ace), 9 corresponding to dealer's 2-8 cards or 7/8 corresponding to dealer's 3-6.
Centuries later and American blackjack did not lose any of its edge – if anything, it seems to be more popular as new tactics and ways to beat the house are being constructed. In recent years, online casinos have even started developing new game variants, and together with regular versions, the players are now introduced with Blackjack Switch, Double Attack etc. Still, the new variants did not diminish the appeal of American Blackjack as it continues to be one of the most sought online table games.