- Simple Blackjack Rules
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Table Of Contents
- American Blackjack is a variant of the classic game of Blackjack
- It has better odds than European Blackjack
A Blackjack (Ace and a card whose value is 10) beats all other combination of cards. If the final sum is higher than the sum of the dealer, the player gets a play-off of 1:1 of his initial stake. If the players combination is Blackjack, the play-off is 3:2 of the initial stake. If the sum of the dealer is higher, the player loses his bet.
Blackjack, respectably being the most popular card game at Casinos, has plenty of variants for you to choose from.
- ♠️ How to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack Card Game? What Are the Blackjack Rules? Don't Miss This Blackjack Card Game Guide - Read More!
- Blackjack tables are not created equal, in that not all payouts are the same and not all rules are the same. In some versions, the dealer must hit on a soft 17. This rule is bad for you. On a soft 17 where the dealer gets an A-6 hand, he can keep on drawing until he beats your hand.
Whether you play online or visit the brick-and-mortar Casinos, you’ll come across American Blackjack tables.
How does American Blackjack differ from other variants? Is it worth your time and money? Find out once and for all in this article.
Know all about American Blackjack but looking for free/real money American Blackjack games to play?Head to this online Casino and play at 5+ different American Blackjack tables!
Before we start…
Let’s get one thing straight. Many online Casinos don't call American Blackjack tables 'American Blackjack'.
But you can find American Blackjack tables by other names, for example, Atlantic City Blackjack or Vegas Strip / Vegas Downtown / Vegas Single Hand Blackjack.
The biggest difference between American Blackjack rules and other variants is how the cards are dealt for the dealer. And all of the mentioned games are dealt the same way as American Blackjack is.
American Blackjack vs European Blackjack
In European Blackjack, the dealer gets only one card and the second one comes only after the players make their moves.
In American Blackjack, the dealer gets both cards right away: one card face up and one (hole card) face down.
Let’s be honest now.
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It seems like a minor thing to consider in the game of Blackjack. You may not even notice the dealing unless you really pay attention to it.
But it makes a difference in the house edge and the rules.
American Blackjack House Edge
Many things affect the Blackjack odds. It starts with the number of decks used, blackjack (a combination of + , or aka a natural) payouts, specific rules of when the dealer stands, and more.
The card dealing also makes a difference.
When the dealer gets an Ace or 10-value card as a face-up card, they can peek at their second card to see if it makes a natural (a two-card hand of 21 points in value).
If it does, unless you have a natural blackjack, too, you lose your wager before you decide whether to hit or stand on your dealt cards.
If it doesn’t, the game goes on as usual.
However, when it comes to the European Blackjack table, the dealer wouldn’t have a card to peek at.
So, you would make your move, perhaps double down and increase your wager, just to end up losing anyway against the dealer’s natural.
This small difference - option to avoid increasing wager in case of the dealer having a natural - counts for the 0.05 percent lower house edge in American Blackjack games.
While the house edge still depends on other factors, American Blackjack tables therefore usually have only 0.31-0.35 percent edge.
How to Play American Blackjack
One thing that doesn’t change much among Blackjack games is the basic rules.
No matter which variant of Blackjack you play, your goal is to beat the dealer. You can do so by having a higher-in-value hand while not going over 21.
You start American Blackjack game by making your bets. Like with most table games, they usually start at $1.
Both you and the dealer get two cards each.
You see your hand and its value. Also, one of the dealer’s cards. Based on this information you need to make your move:
|Hit||To ask for one more card. The total bet stays the same|
|Stand||To play with the current hand without asking for more cards. The total bet stays the same|
|Double Down||To ask for one more but last card. The total bet is doubled|
|Split||To split cards of the same value into two hands. The total bet is doubled|
|Take Insurance||In case the dealer has an Ace, to place a side bet which is won if the dealer has a natural. The total bet is increased by 0.5 of the original wager|
|Surrender||To give up before seeing how the game plays out. The total bet is reduced by 0.5 of the original wager|
Unless you surrender, after you make your last move, you see the dealer’s hole card. Then the dealer plays out their hand.
There are three outcomes of the game:
|Your hand beats the dealer’s||You win and get the payout|
|The dealer’s hand beats yours||You lose your wager|
|Both you and the dealer has the same value hand||It's a push. In this case, you may get your wager back or lose it nevertheless (specific tables may have different rules regarding the push)|
American Blackjack Payouts
There are three types of Blackjack payouts: a natural win payout, other wins payouts, and insurance payout.
The same ones are available at American Blackjack tables, too:
- a natural (blackjack) pays 3 to 2
- insurance pays 2 to 1
- beating the dealer other way pays 1 to 1
How to Win at American Blackjack
I've written it many times before and I’ll write it many times again: following the basic strategy is the best way to play Blackjack.
American Blackjack is no exception.
Whether you play American or European Blackjack, you see your cards and you see the dealer’s face-up card.
It’s enough to base your moves according to the basic strategy. Read more about the basic strategy here or download a pdf of printable basic strategy chart here.
Another thing that increases your chances of winning at Blackjack is card counting.
It’s a lot easier to learn than it sounds and you can use this card counting guide to do it like a pro.
However, card counters may find different Blackjack variants more convenient.
In American Blackjack online, the dealer uses up to eight decks of cards at the same time. In European Blackjack often only two while you can find Classic Blackjack games where only one deck of cards is used.
With fewer decks, it's easier to count cards. Especially when you’re a beginner.
American Blackjack Games Online
Now that you know how to play American Blackjack and how to beat the dealer at the game, are you ready to play?
If so, online Casinos are heaven for American Blackjack players. What online casino takes skrill.
As mentioned before, don’t look for games called exactly American Blackjack.
The developers tend to give Blackjack games various names but you’ll be able to recognize Blackjack that follows American Blackjack rules from the very beginning.
Read the info section of the game or place your first bet to see how the cards are dealt.
At many online Casinos (e.g. here) you can do it completely for free.
Simple Blackjack Rules
Of course, when you play for free you can’t win real money. But it’s a great way to practice online Blackjack basic strategy or the art of card counting.
Once you’re ready to play for real money (and win real money, obviously), top up your Casino account and place real money wagers.
After all, Blackjack is the best game you can play for real money. And once you’ll start playing American Blackjack, it won’t be long until you see why.
Spoiler alert: It has everything to do with Blackjack odds.
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|Born||August 14, 1932 (age 87)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Fields||Probability theory, Linear operators|
|Institutions||UC Irvine, New Mexico State University, MIT|
|Thesis||Compact Linear Operators in Normed Spaces(1958)|
|Doctoral advisor||Angus E. Taylor|
Edward Oakley Thorp (born August 14, 1932) is an American mathematics professor, author, hedge fund manager, and blackjack researcher. He pioneered the modern applications of probability theory, including the harnessing of very small correlations for reliable financial gain.
Thorp is the author of Beat the Dealer, which mathematically proved that the house advantage in blackjack could be overcome by card counting. He also developed and applied effective hedge fund techniques in the financial markets, and collaborated with Claude Shannon in creating the first wearable computer.
Thorp received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1958, and worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1959 to 1961. He was a professor of mathematics from 1961 to 1965 at New Mexico State University, and then joined the University of California, Irvine where he was a professor of mathematics from 1965 to 1977 and a professor of mathematics and finance from 1977 to 1982.
- 1Computer-aided research in blackjack
Computer-aided research in blackjack
Thorp used the IBM 704 as a research tool in order to investigate the probabilities of winning while developing his blackjack game theory, which was based on the Kelly criterion, which he learned about from the 1956 paper by Kelly. He learned Fortran in order to program the equations needed for his theoretical research model on the probabilities of winning at blackjack. Thorp analyzed the game of blackjack to a great extent this way, while devising card-counting schemes with the aid of the IBM 704 in order to improve his odds, especially near the end of a card deck that is not being reshuffled after every deal.
Applied research in Reno, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas
Thorp decided to test his theory in practice in Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas.Thorp started his applied research using $10,000, with Manny Kimmel, a wealthy professional gambler and former bookmaker, providing the venture capital. First they visited Reno and Lake Tahoe establishments where they tested Thorp's theory at the local blackjack tables. The experimental results proved successful and his theory was verified since he won $11,000 in a single weekend. Casinos now shuffle well before the end of the deck as a countermeasure to his methods. During his Las Vegas casino visits Thorp frequently used disguises such as wraparound glasses and false beards. In addition to the blackjack activities, Thorp had assembled a baccarat team which was also winning.
Blackjack Beat The Dealer
News quickly spread throughout the gambling community, which was eager for new methods of winning, while Thorp became an instant celebrity among blackjack aficionados. Due to the great demand generated about disseminating his research results to a wider gambling audience, he wrote the book Beat the Dealer in 1966, widely considered the original card counting manual,which sold over 700,000 copies, a huge number for a specialty title which earned it a place in the New York Times bestseller list, much to the chagrin of Kimmel whose identity was thinly disguised in the book as Mr. X.
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Thorp's blackjack research is one of the very few examples where results from such research reached the public directly, completely bypassing the usual academic peer review process cycle. He has also stated that he considered the whole experiment an academic exercise.
In addition, Thorp, while a professor of mathematics at MIT, met Claude Shannon, and took him and his wife Betty Shannon as partners on weekend forays to Las Vegas to play roulette and blackjack, at which Thorp was very successful.His team's roulette play was the first instance of using a wearable computer in a casino — something which is now illegal, as of May 30, 1985, when the Nevada devices law came into effect as an emergency measure targeting blackjack and roulette devices. The wearable computer was co-developed with Claude Shannon between 1960–61. Thefinal operating version of the device was tested in Shannon’s home lab at his basement in June 1961. His achievements have led him to become an inaugural member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
He also devised the 'Thorp count', a method for calculating the likelihood of winning in certain endgame positions in backgammon.
Since the late 1960s, Thorp has used his knowledge of probability and statistics in the stock market by discovering and exploiting a number of pricing anomalies in the securities markets, and he has made a significant fortune. Thorp's first hedge fund was Princeton/Newport Partners. He is currently the President of Edward O. Thorp & Associates, based in Newport Beach, California. In May 1998, Thorp reported that his personal investments yielded an annualized 20 percent rate of return averaged over 28.5 years.
- (Autobiography) Edward O. Thorp, A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market, 2017. 
- Edward O. Thorp, Elementary Probability, 1977, ISBN0-88275-389-4
- Edward Thorp, Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One, ISBN0-394-70310-3
- Edward O. Thorp, Sheen T. Kassouf, Beat the Market: A Scientific Stock Market System, 1967, ISBN0-394-42439-5 (online pdf, retrieved 22 Nov 2017)
- Edward O. Thorp, The Mathematics of Gambling, 1984, ISBN0-89746-019-7 (online version part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)
- Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street by William Poundstone
- The Kelly Capital Growth Investment Criterion: Theory and Practice (World Scientific Handbook in Financial Economic Series), ISBN978-9814293495, February 10, 2011 by Leonard C. MacLean (Editor), Edward O. Thorp (Editor), William T. Ziemba (Editor)
Beat The Dealer Blackjack Rules Free
- ^Peter A. Griffin (1979) The Theory of Blackjack, Huntington Press, ISBN978-0929712130
- ^ abcEdward O. Thorp. 'The Invention of the First Wearable Computer'(PDF). Edward O. Thorp & Associates. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- ^'Founding professor of math donates personal, professional papers to UCI Libraries'. UCI News. UC Irvine. June 12, 2018.
- ^Understanding Fortune’s Formula by Edward O. Thorp Copyright 2007 Quote: 'My 1962 book Beat the Dealer explained the detailed theory and practice. The “optimal” way to bet in favorable situations was an important feature.In Beat the Dealer I called this, naturally enough, “The Kelly gambling system,” since I learned about it from the 1956 paper by John L. Kelly.'
- ^ abTHE KELLY CRITERION IN BLACKJACK, SPORTS BETTING, AND THE STOCK MARKET by Edward O. Thorp Paper presented at: The 10th International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking Montreal, June 1997
- ^ abcdeDiscovery channel documentary series: Breaking Vegas, Episode: 'Professor Blackjack' with interviews by Ed and Vivian Thorp
- ^The Tech (MIT) 'Thorpe, 704 Beat Blackjack' Vol. 81 No. I Cambridge, Mass., Friday, February 10, 1961
- ^ ab'American Scientist online: Bettor Math, article and book review by Elwyn Berlekamp'. Archived from the original on April 23, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2006.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- ^ abcdIt's Bye! Bye! Blackjack Edward Thorp, the pensive professor above, is shaking the gambling world with a system for beating a great card game. He published it a year ago, and now the proof is in: it works David E. Scherman January 13, 1964 pp. 1–3 from SI Vault (beta)(CNN) Quotes: 'The unlikely trio was soon on its way to Reno and Lake Tahoe, where Thorp's horn-rimmed glasses, dark hair and fresh, scrubbed face hardly struck terror into the pit bosses. (p. 1)', 'But Edward Thorp and his computer are not done with Nevada yet. The classiest gambling game of all—just ask James Bond—is that enticing thing called baccarat, or chemin de fer. Its rules prevent a fast shuffle, and there is very little opportunity for hanky-panky. Thorp has now come up with a system to beat it, and the system seems to work. He has a baccarat team, and it is over $5,000 ahead. It has also been spotted and barred from play in two casinos. Could it be bye-bye to baccarat, too? (p. 1)' and 'But disguises frequently work. Thorp himself now uses a combination of wraparound glasses and a beard to change his appearance on successive Las Vegas visits. (p. 3)'
- ^Breaking Vegas “Professor Blackjack.”Archived December 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Biography channel Rated: TVPG Running Time: 60 Minutes Quote: 'In 1961, lifelong gambler Manny Kimmel, a 'connected' New York businessman, read an article by MIT math professor Ed Thorp claiming that anyone could make a fortune at blackjack by using math theory to count cards. The mob-connected sharpie offered the young professor a deal: he would put up the money, if Thorp would put his theory to action and card-count their way to millions. From Thorp's initial research to the partnership's explosive effect on the blackjack landscape, this episode boasts fascinating facts about the game's history, colorful interviews (including with Thorp), and archival footage that evokes the timeless allure and excitement of the thriving casinos in the early `60s. '
- ^'Blackjack Hero profile'. Blackjackhero.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- ^A favorable strategy for twenty-one. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 47 (1961), 110-112
- ^ ab'Poundstone, William: 'Fortune's Formula : The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street''. Amazon.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- ^Anthony Curtis. 'Las Vegas Advisor on Ed Thorp'. Lasvegasadvisor.com. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- ^Chuck Bower (January 23, 1997). 'Cube Handling in Races: Thorpe count'. bkgm.com. Backgammon Galore. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- ^'Thorp's market activities'. Webhome.idirect.com. Archived from the original on October 31, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
- Patterson, Scott D., The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It, Crown Business, 352 pages, 2010. ISBN0-307-45337-5 via Patterson and Thorp interview on Fresh Air, February 1, 2010, including excerpt 'Chapter 2: The Godfather: Ed Thorp'
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- Edward O. Thorp at the Mathematics Genealogy Project