Blackjack is a brilliant card comparing game that combines decision-making with luck. Your objective is simple: have a hand that’s closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. Take the dealer on, though you have to think carefully as a decision you make may result in you losing the game.
Played in land-based casinos around the world, as well as at countless online casinos, blackjack is one of the best known and most popular casino games around. Here are some facts you not have known about the game.
If you’re playing single deck blackjack, the odds of getting a natural blackjack (i.e. your first two cards add up to 21) are 4.8%. This figure slightly decreases the more decks there are, which is why many players prefer single deck blackjack over multi-deck blackjack games.
Given how popular blackjack is, it should come as no surprise that the game has its own hall of fame. Located in Barona Casino in the city of San Diego, the Blackjack Hall of Fame pays tribute to the game and many of its most prominent players.
Back when blackjack was first being played, some land-based casinos offered a special bonus. You’d receive an extra payout if your starting hand consisted of an ace of spades and any one of the two black jacks (i.e. jack of spades or jack or clubs).
Statistically speaking, you’re more likely to be dealt a hand totalling 16 than any other number. This also happens to be the game’s worst hand. If you bust on a 16, there’s a good chance the dealer will end up with a better hand. If you hit, there’s a good chance the extra card will take you over 21.
Should you decide to play multiple games of blackjack, the odds of consecutive wins decrease the more games you play. You have a 9.96% chance of winning three games in a row, while if you play seven games in a row, the chances of winning drop down to 0.46%.
If the dealer’s upturned card is an ace, there’s roughly a 1/3 chance (31% to be exact) that the dealer’s other card will be worth 10, thus giving the dealer a win. This may make you think twice about whether you want to place the insurance side bet.
In a typical blackjack game, you have a 44% chance of winning, while for the dealer it’s 48%. This leaves an 8% chance that the game will result in a tie.
Like many other casino games, blackjack has quite an extensive history. The game’s believed to have originated in the early 17th century. A short story by Miguel de Cervantes - best known as the author of Don Quixote - mentions a game that’s remarkably similar to blackjack.
The world record for the longest continuous blackjack dealing session stands at an incredible 51 hours and 33 minutes. The record was set by Stephen de Raffaele at the Oracle Casino in Qawra, Malta. The record-breaking dealing session took place from 24-27 August 2001. The record is over 18 years old and is yet to be beaten.
Speaking of world records, another blackjack-related record was set in 2012 with the construction of the world’s largest functioning blackjack table. The huge gaming table was built at Viejas Casino in Southern California to celebrate the casino’s 21st birthday. It was approximately 120 times that size of a standard blackjack table, or 2,226 square feet and even had properly scaled chips and cards used.