Blackjack Fun Facts You Never Knew

Blackjack is one of the easiest and most popular table games available at any casino or gambling site. The aim of the game is to make 21 through actions such as hit, stand, split and double down, or at the very least to get as close to it as possible and beat the dealer. Read on to learn more about it.

An Introduction to Blackjack

The rules of blackjack are very easy to understand, but despite their simplicity, it is still a thrilling game. Players who have never played the game before are able to enjoy the excitement the game has to offer right from the very beginning. Whether you play in a land-based casino or at an online gambling site, the basic rules stay the same.

How to Play Blackjack

In order to win at blackjack, you will need to build a hand as close to 21 as possible. The dealer will also build a hand of cards with the aim of reaching 21. If any hand exceeds 21, either yours or the dealers, it goes bust. That means it is automatically out of contention for the round and has lost. Thus, so long as your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s is, you will win.

The aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand. If you have a hand of 14 but the dealer goes bust, you’ve won the round. Likewise, hitting 18 compared to a dealer’s 17 will also win the round.

What Each Card is Worth

In order to know how to reach 21, you’ll need to know how to build up a hand. Blackjack uses all the cards in a deck. The numbered cards are worth their face values. The picture cards – King, Queen and Jack – are all worth 10. As for the Ace, it is a special card that can be worth either 1 or 11.

Therefore, in order to hold blackjack, you’ll need to have a 10 value card in a hand with an Ace. Blackjack is the strongest hand in the game and will beat all other hands in almost every variation of the game.

A Round of Blackjack

Next up, we break down what a standard round of blackjack consists of. First, you’ll have to put down some chips as your stake for the round. Once this is complete, the next step is for the dealer to deal you two face-up cards. Every player at the table will receive two face-up cards whilst the dealer will reveal a face-up card for themselves. In some variations, the dealer will have a face-down card whilst in other variations they will only have the one face-up card to begin with.  

Once this stage is complete, the next step is where you get to influence the game. You will have the choice to take one of the following actions.


Hitting will see the dealer deal another card to your hand. If you do not go bust, you can always hit again.


Standing means that you do not want any additional cards dealt to the hand and the two cards are left untouched.

Double Down

Doubling Down means that you will receive only 1 more card to your hand but with a doubled bet on. That means you could potentially make an even bigger win from the hand.


Splitting is only an option is the two cards you have are identical. If they are, you split your hand into two hands where both of the cards will receive at least 1 more card to give you a bigger chance of winning.

Insurance Bet

Placing an Insurance bet can only occur if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. It costs half of your initial bet and pays at 2:1. Therefore, if the dealer does have blackjack, you won’t lose money on the hand.


Surrendering means that you forfeit the hand but still claim back half of your bet. Not all versions of the game offer surrender, but it can be a very useful tool.


In most blackjack games, a winning hand pays at 1:1 while blackjack typically pays out 3:2. If both the dealer and you have the same hand, it is called a push and you receive your stake back.

Dealer Rules

There are many variations of blackjack, but one rule tends to remain the same for most of the games. The dealer cannot just play freely to try to beat the player but must follow some strict steps.

In most cases, the dealer will hit on a 16 and stand on a 17. Thus, if the dealer has 17, he will be unable to take another card, even if your hand is worth 18.

History of Blackjack

There are many theories about where blackjack originated, with the oldest known variation being played by the Romans. The belief is that the Romans would paint numbers on wooden blocks and use them as playing cards.

Another theory, which is probably a little bit more factual, is that the game originated in French casinos around 1700. The suggestion is that the card game was played during the reign of King Louis XV in the French Royal Court. Of course, being in France, the game was called “vingt-et-un” meaning “twenty-one”.

The House Edge

One of the best things about blackjack is that the house has such a low advantage. Typically, the house edge in blackjack is less than 1%, which is remarkable. In comparison, slots tend to have an RTP (return to player) of 95%, which means the house edge is usually around 5%.

The house edge is the percentage of money that you are expected to lose over the course of a long period. It is not a fixed amount and can of course be off, it is just an average. A house edge of 0.5-1% means it is potentially a very profitable game to play, even in the long run.

The Dealer’s Longest Run

The Guinness World Record book has recorded the longest time a game of blackjack lasted for at 51 hours and 33 minutes in August 2001. The dealer, Stephen De Raffaele, was the croupier of the game for the whole time and had his picture taken and put into the book. His achievement took place in Malta and he still holds the record today.

The Worst Hand and Strongest Card

According to statistics, being dealt a hand of 16 is the worst possible hand you can receive. Once receiving the hand, most players find it very difficult to take a decision of what to do next. The best thing they can hope for is to land a 5, which happens to be the strongest card in the game. The statistics show that it affects the deck the most, taking the house edge down by 0.64%, more than any other card. Finally, statistics show that you have 4.8% chance of landing a blackjack before any card is dealt.

Blackjack in Popular Culture

Blackjack has featured in numerous films. One of the more popular films to feature blackjack is Rain Man and another is 21. The latter is actually loosely based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team who perfected card counting and headed to Vegas.

Dealer Busts Almost Every Third Hand

Contrary to what you may believe, statistics show that the dealer is likely to bust 29.1% of the time. That means that just under a third of all hands will see the dealer go bust.

Closing Remarks

Although this is only a short summary of what blackjack is all about, there’s not that much more to it. The online game is very easy to understand and ultimately you just have to try to beat the dealer. If you want the full casino-like experience whilst playing at home, we recommend trying out live dealer blackjack. This will allow you to see the whites of the dealer’s eyes whilst they’re dealing your cards.  

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