Blackjack is a favorite among casino goers across the world and Ireland is no different. 

In this article we are going to look at where blackjack came from, how to play and some tips and tricks that could help you win big.

What is blackjack

Blackjack is a popular casino card game played between a player and a dealer or often on an electronic games machine.

It is a very popular card game in casinos and is loved due to its simplicity. The rules are very simple and easy to learn.

The only thing you really need to know is how to count to 21.

There is also an element of strategy that puts your risk assessment skills to the test.

History of blackjack

Blackjack is thought to have originated around the 17th. The game was originally known by many names in different countries, such as:

  • Vingt-et-Un in France
  • Twenty-One in England
  • Pontoon in Australia

Black Jack began to hit the mainstream in the 19th century in America, but became one of the most popular casino games in the mid-20th century, casinos in Las Vegas recognized the appeal of blackjack and started offering it as a staple casino game and thus making it the game it is today.

During the 1960s, a significant development in blackjack strategy occurred when mathematicians began studying the game and applying statistical analysis to devise more effective strategies. 

Thorp’s book, “Beat the Dealer,” published in 1962, introduced the concept of card counting, which allowed players to gain an advantage by keeping track of the relative proportions of high and low cards remaining in the deck.

As casinos became aware of card counting and its potential impact on the game, they implemented countermeasures such as multiple decks, shuffling machines, and stricter rules to discourage or prevent card counting.

Today, blackjack continues to be enjoyed by millions of players around the world, both in casinos and online.

How do you place blackjack

The goal of the game is to be shown cards that add up as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it, or to have a higher hand value than the dealer’s cards while still not exceeding 21.

In blackjack, each card has a point value. Number cards (2-10) are worth their face value, face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 10 points each, and the Ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which value is more advantageous to the player.

The game begins with the player and the dealer receiving two cards each. The player’s cards are dealt face-up, while one of the dealer’s cards is face-up, and the other is face-down. The player makes decisions based on the value of their hand and the visible card of the dealer.

There are 4 decisions the player can make following a card being played:

  • Hit: The player requests an additional card to be dealt with their hand.
  • Stand: The player is satisfied with their hand and chooses not to receive any more cards.
  • Double Down: The player doubles their initial bet and receives one more card, after which they must stand.
  • Split: If the player’s first two cards have the same value, they can choose to split them into two separate hands and play them independently. This requires an additional bet.

The dealer must follow a specific set of rules, usually hitting until their hand value is 17 or higher. If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, they bust, and all players who haven’t busted win. Otherwise, the player’s hand is compared to the dealer’s hand, and the one with the higher value without exceeding 21 wins.

A blackjack, also known as a natural, occurs when a player or the dealer is initially dealt an Ace and a card with a value of 10 (10, Jack, Queen, or King). A blackjack is the strongest hand in the game and usually pays out at a higher rate.

It’s important to note that different variations of blackjack may have slightly different rules and side bets, but the basic objective remains the same: to get a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.

Tips & tricks

One of the reasons that Blackjack has become so popular in casinos is due to the added element of skill. 

While still primarily based on the luck of the draw, it is up to the player to evaluate their situation and make an informed decision. 

There are 3 main strategies when it comes to blackjack:

  • Basic strategy
  • Card counting
  • Progressive betting

Basic Strategy:

The basic blackjack strategy is the fundamental strategy and can be used by almost anyone. This strategy requires logical thinking to make the optimal decision based on the cards in front of you and the dealer’s visible card. 

It is derived from mathematical calculations and takes into account the probabilities of different outcomes. 

Following the basic strategy minimizes the house advantage and gives players the best chance of winning in the long run.

Card Counting:

Card counting is a strategy used by skilled players to gain an edge over the casino.  

Commonly portrayed in movies such as “Rain man”, “The Hangover” and “21”, it is known for its complexity and requires a high level mathematical mind to execute. 

It involves the player keeping track of the relative proportion of high-value cards (10s, face cards, and Aces) to low-value cards (2-6) remaining in the deck or shoe. 

When the remaining deck has a higher proportion of high-value cards, it is favorable for the player. 

Card counters adjust their betting and playing decisions accordingly, placing large bets and making more aggressive moves when the odds are in their favor. 

It’s important to note that card counting is not illegal but is generally discouraged by casinos, and if detected, players may be asked to leave or even banned from the casino.

Progressive Betting Systems:

Progressive betting systems are based on adjusting the bet size depending on the outcome of the previous hand. 

One example is the Martingale system, where a player doubles their bet after each loss and returns to the initial bet after a win. The idea is that a win will eventually offset previous losses. 

However, progressive betting systems have limitations. They don’t change the underlying odds of the game, and they can expose players to significant losses if they encounter a series of unfavorable outcomes. 

These systems should be used with caution and with a clear understanding of the risks involved.

It’s worth noting that no strategy can guarantee consistent winnings in blackjack. The game still involves an element of luck, and the strategies mentioned above are meant to minimize the house edge and make more informed decisions, but they do not guarantee success in every hand.

Where to play blackjack in Ireland

Why not come and visit one of the 6 Premiere Casino locations in Dublin, Cork and Kerry. Premier Casino offers Blackjack around the clock on our electronic game machines. 

Visit premier casinos today and find out why we are Ireland’s favorite blackjack casino.

Gamble responsibly

Whenever gambling, make sure you are gambling within your means. 

If you think you may have a gambling addiction and feel you have lost control, Premier Casino offers a self exclusion to those who can no longer gamble within their means.

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Clondalkin, Dublin

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Kinsale, Cork

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Tralee, Kerry

Located on the town’s central Russell Street, it’s a well-established part of this busy tourism and business town.Just a short walk from the well-known Kirby’s Brogue Inn it is set up to avail of all the town’s amenities, including shops, cafes, restaurants and public parking.