Classic blackjack is the name by which both brick-and-mortar and online casinos refer to the most traditional version of the card game 21. It is by far the most popular variation, and the one most widely known, and even players who have never enjoyed the game themselves will easily be able to recognise it thanks to how often it is represented in various films; television shows; and books.
While there are a number of variations on offer for the game as well, the rules for blackjack remain similar for most, and players who can handle themselves on a traditional blackjack table are thus able to enjoy the different versions available with ease.
Standard Decks for Playing Classic Blackjack
Classic blackjack games are enjoyed with a standard-sized deck of playing cards. In most cases the games make use of multiple decks, but this is not always the case, and the range of these extends from one up to as many as eight, with the most common variants include two-deck; four-deck; five-deck; and six-deck games.
When all the rules governing the game remain the same, the increase in the amount of decks being used increases the house-edge, since players are less able to make their game-decisions based on the cards that they have already seen. Players should bear in mind, however, that this is not always the case, and, in games where the other rules have been adjusted or modified, single-deck games may not necessarily offer the player a better edge than those making use of extra cards.
During live games at land-based casinos, the classic blackjack table will usually have between one and seven players taking part at any given time, but when play is being conducted by means of the World Wide Web players can choose. They are able to select multi-player games, or make use of a totally private table if they wish to.
How Classic Blackjack Play Unfolds
When classic blackjack play begins, two cards will be dealt to the player, and two cards to the dealer. One of the dealer’s card is placed facedown, one facing up. The hand of cards that either matches or has a total closest to 21 without exceeding this amount is the winning one.
After the initial two-card deal the player may request extra cards, a process known as hitting, and the player may also choose not to receive any additional cards, meaning he or she will stand. Classic blackjack strategy for the most part revolves around players learning exactly when to hit or stand; although a working knowledge and exploration of the other aspects of play are necessary in order for bankroll boosts to occur.
Various casinos will have different rules which will dictate when the dealer stands or hits, but the most general one is use is that he or she will hit on what is known as a soft 16, and stand on a hand known as a soft 17. The terms soft and hard refer to whether or not the hand is made up with an ace.