Blackjack is that wildly popular game of chance that everyone who has ever stepped foot into a casino should be fully familiar with. It’s a fairly straightforward game that doesn’t take long at all to familiarize yourself with, with even its most advanced features being easily accessible to anyone with 3 minutes to spare.
The object of blackjack, very simply, is to have the total value of your cards come as close to equaling 21 without ever going over it. Multiple players can play at once on the same table, against the same dealer, but all the action is purely between the dealer and each individual player.
What Is a Blackjack?
Blackjack isn’t just the name of the game but is also the term used to refer to what is by far the most powerful hand in the game. A blackjack is what happens when the first two cards you are dealt are an ace and any ten value card. 10-value cards are the 10 itself, as well as the Jack, Queen and King. The suit is irrelevant.
There are other ways to reach a value of 21, but it’s only in the case where the first two cards you are dealt are an ace and a ten-value card that you get a blackjack. A blackjack doesn’t just beat (almost) all other hands, if the player gets a blackjack then they immediately get 1.5x or 2x their winnings (depending on the casino). So, a $50 bet will result in the player winning $125 (their $50 back + $75) or $150 (their $50 back plus $100). If the dealer has a blackjack then they immediately clear all bets off the table. Players don’t have to pay extra, though.
Worth noting, though, is that there is something called a peek or no-peek rule. This merely defines whether the dealer can check their face-down card in cases where they have an ace or even, in some casinos, a 10-value card. In no-peek rules, the dealer either only deals their second card at the end of the round or they simply don’t check their face-down card even if they have an ace. The only difference here, is that in peek-rules blackjack, the dealer immediately reveals their hand and clears the tables straight away, whereas in no-peek rules, by only revealing their blackjack at the end of the round, they also clear off extra money bet in doubles and splits.
The big question then obviously becomes what if the player and the dealer both have a blackjack. You might think that the hand with the higher 10-value card should win, so a King and an ace should beat a 10 and an ace, but, actually, nope that’s not the case at all. Nor does it matter what the suits are of the respective hands – again, suits make zero difference in blackjack.
What happens is very simple: like every other tie in blackjack, the blackjacks basically cancel each other out, resulting in a “push” where the player simply takes back their original bet. This obviously slightly disadvantages the player as they had the potential to win 1.5x or even 2x their original bet rather than just 1x, whereas the dealer simply doesn’t have to pay out 1x the player’s bet.