Blackjack is the American variant of a globally popular banking game known as Twenty-One, whose relatives include Pontoon and Vingt-et-Un. It is a comparing card game between several players and a dealer, where each player in turn competes against the dealer, but players do not play against each other, it is played with one or more decks of 52 cards, is the most played casino banking game in the world. The objective of the game is to beat the dealer in one of the following ways: Get 21 points on the player's first two cards, without a dealer blackjack. Players are each dealt two cards, face up or down depending on the casino and the table at which you sit. In the U. S. the dealer is dealt two cards one up and one down. In most other countries, the dealer receives one card face up; the value of cards two through ten is their pip value. Face cards are all worth ten. Aces can be worth eleven. A hand's value is the sum of the card values. Players are allowed to draw additional cards to improve their hands.
A hand with an ace valued as 11 is called "soft", meaning that the hand will not bust by taking an additional card. Otherwise, the hand is "hard". Once all the players have completed their hands, it is the dealer’s turn; the dealer hand will not be completed if all players have either received blackjacks. The dealer reveals the hidden card and must hit until the cards total 17 or more points. Players win by not busting and having a total higher than the dealer, or not busting and having the dealer bust, or getting a blackjack without the dealer getting a blackjack. If the player and dealer have the same total, this is called a "push", the player does not win or lose money on that hand. Otherwise, the dealer wins. Blackjack has many rule variations. Since the 1960s, blackjack has been a high-profile target of advantage players card counters, who track the profile of cards that have been dealt and adapt their wagers and playing strategies accordingly. Blackjack has inspired other casino games, including pontoon.
Blackjack's precursor was a game of unknown origin. The first written reference is found in a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, most famous for writing Don Quixote. Cervantes was a gambler, the main characters of his tale "Rinconete y Cortadillo", from Novelas Ejemplares, are a couple of cheats working in Seville, they are proficient at cheating at veintiuna, state that the object of the game is to reach 21 points without going over and that the ace values 1 or 11. The game is played with the Spanish baraja deck; this short story was written between 1601 and 1602, implying that ventiuna was played in Castile since the beginning of the 17th century or earlier. References to this game are found in France and Spain; when twenty-one was introduced in the United States, gambling houses offered bonus payouts to stimulate players' interest. One such bonus was a ten-to-one payout if the player's hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack; this hand was called a "blackjack", the name stuck to the game though the ten-to-one bonus was soon withdrawn.
In the modern game, a blackjack refers to any hand of an ace plus a ten or face card regardless of suits or colors. The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September 1956. Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott published a paper titled The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack in the Journal of the American Statistical Association; this paper would become the foundation of all future sound efforts to beat the game of blackjack. Ed Thorp would use Baldwin’s hand calculations to verify the basic strategy and publish his famous book Beat the Dealer. At a casino blackjack table, the dealer faces five to seven playing positions from behind a semicircular table. Between one and eight standard 52-card decks are shuffled together. At the beginning of each round, up to three players can place their bets in the "betting box" at each position in play; that is, there could be up to three players at each position at a table in jurisdictions that allow back betting.
The player whose bet is at the front of the betting box is deemed to have control over the position, the dealer will consult the controlling player for playing decisions regarding the hand. Any player is allowed to control or bet in as many boxes as desired at a single table, but it is prohibited for an individual to play on more than one table at a time or to place multiple bets within a single box. In many U. S. casinos, players are limited to playing two or three positions at a table and only one person is allowed to bet on each position. The dealer deals cards from his/her left to his/her far right; each box is dealt an initial hand of two cards visible to the people playing on it, to any other players. The dealer's hand receives its first card face up, in "hole card" games receives its second card face down, which the dealer peeks at but does not reveal unless it makes the dealer's hand
Pontoon (card game)
Pontoon is a name shared by two distinct card games, both relatives of blackjack and, like the latter, descendants of Twenty-One. For those in Australia and Singapore, pontoon is a card game similar to match play 21 or Spanish 21, while in the UK, a game of pontoon holds closer to the traditional Twenty-One rules, but can be distinguished by the verbal usage of the terms "twist" and "stick"; the Malaysian version of pontoon is played in Australian, Malaysian and Singaporean casinos. Using multiple customized decks of cards. In the Treasury Casino, Brisbane, it is known as Treasury 21. In Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast, it is known as Jupiters 21, in the Reef Casino, Cairns, it is known as Paradise Pontoon, in Tasmania, it is known as Federal Pontoon; the British variant of Twenty-One called pontoon is played in the UK and Commonwealth with single 52-card decks. British pontoon uses "stick" and "buy" and a different set of rules; the rules for buying in pontoon include allowing the player to buy on any hand of 2 to 4 cards, allowing the player to twist after he buys.
The remainder of this article refers to the Malaysian version of pontoon. Pontoon is the British or domestic version of Twenty-One, Vingt-Un, a French gambling game popular at the court of Louis XV and much favoured by Napoleon at St. Helena. In the twentieth century it became the most popular game of the armed forces of English-speaking nations. Pontoon, unlike casino Blackjack, has no official rules and varies from school to school, its name may be a corruption of the name of the similar French game. Pontoon is an arithmetical game played on a table with the same layout as blackjack. In each deal, the player's aim is to receive cards totalling more in face value than the banker's, but not exceeding 21, otherwise he is "bust" and loses. A 21 consisting of an ace and a card worth 10 is a pontoon, pays extra. A player's 21 or pontoon always beats pontoon. Like Spanish 21, it is played from either a 4-deck continuous shuffling machine; the shoe games use six or eight Spanish decks, which are regular 52-card decks, minus the ten-spot cards.
Cards Two to Nine count 2 to 9 courts 10 each, Aces 1 or 11, depending on what is better for the hand. Pontoon has similar rules with some notable differences, listed below. Just like in Australian and European blackjack, the dealer has no hole card; this means that the players do not know whether or not the dealer has a natural until the end of the round, when the dealer draws his second card. Therefore, it is possible to draw to "21" and win against a dealer natural, player advantageous and not possible in either Spanish 21 or blackjack; because the dealer has no hole card, it is possible to double and/or split and lose multiple bets to a dealer natural. All casinos, except for Adelaide Casino, offer either OBBO to compensate. An Ace in a pre-double hand is always counted as 1, rather than 1 or 11. For example, if the player doubles on soft 18, he/she is doubling on 8; this rule makes doubling on soft hands inadvisable. Players are not allowed to draw on split Aces, which means that if the player splits Aces, he/she is given one card only on each Ace.
Compared with Spanish 21, which allows splitting to four hands, there are limitations on how many hands players are allowed to split to. Casinos in Queensland and New South Wales do not permit resplitting. In most venues, players cannot resplit aces, apart from Burswood Casino and Casino de Genting, where it is allowed to resplit once. Players can only surrender against a dealer face card. If the dealer ends up with a natural, the player will still lose the entire bet; this is why surrendering is a less valuable play in Pontoon than in Spanish 21. In Adelaide Casino and Casino de Genting, Malaysia, it is allowed to double only on two-card hands. Elsewhere, players can double on any number of cards, called "not last chance" doubling; the dealer always hits on soft 17, abbreviated as H17. Pontoon has the same super bonus payouts are Spanish 21, with the exception of Casino de Genting, which has a super bonus payout of RM1,000 on bets of RM10 to RM99, RM5,000 on bets of RM100 or above. Despite the player disadvantage of rules 2–9, on average, the house edges for Pontoon are lower than for Spanish 21, because rule 1 is so profoundly player advantageous.
The rule differences mean that there are several significant strategy differences between Spanish 21 and Pontoon. BB+1: After removing from the table all busted bets, all winnings and original bets from hands totaling 21, all original bets from forfeited hands, the player loses just one bet if he has multiple split hands in the one box. OBBO: After removing from the table all busted bets, all winnings and original bets from hands totaling 21, all original bets from forfeited hands, the player loses just one bet from each split hand remaining. If he has not split, he loses just one bet. In summary, BB+1 is a loss of one bet per box, OBBO is a loss of one bet per hand, given that busted bets and original bets from forfeits and winning hands have been removed from the table. BB+1 is the more common of the two rules; because pontoon has an element of pl
Ken Uston was an American blackjack player and author, credited with popularizing the concept of team play at blackjack. During the early to mid-1970s he gained widespread notoriety for perfecting techniques to do team card counting in numerous casinos worldwide, earning millions of dollars from the casinos, with some bets as high as $12,000 on a single hand, he was banned from casinos around the world, would adopt various costumes in order to conceal his identity and still be able to play. He filed a high-profile lawsuit against these casinos, received a ruling from the New Jersey courts that absent a valid New Jersey Casino Commission regulation excluding card counters, casinos could not ban someone for counting cards at blackjack. In response, many casinos changed their systems, increasing the number of decks in games, or changing rules to increase the house edge. In the early 1980s, Uston authored several popular books on video games and personal computers, he was the subject of a 1981 segment on 60 Minutes, in 2005, he was the subject of the History Channel documentary, "The Blackjack Man".
Uston was born Kenneth Senzo Usui in New York City, the oldest of three children born to Elsie Lubitz, a native of Austria, Senzo Usui, a Japanese immigrant and businessman. At the age of 16, Uston was accepted to and henceforth began attending Yale University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Shortly after graduating from Yale, he went on to earn an MBA from Harvard University, he became district manager of the Southern New England Telephone Co. a senior management consultant with Cresap, McCormick & Paget in San Francisco, where he relocated with his wife and two daughters. After several years in consulting, he became corporate planning manager for American Cement in Los Angeles before returning to San Francisco where he became a Senior Vice-President at the Pacific Stock Exchange. On weekends, beginning in his years at Cresap, he read Thorp's Beat the Dealer and began to spend time in the casinos, becoming what the Cleveland Plain Dealer called "a genius card-counter". Uston was a talented musician, proficient on the bass as well as the piano.
He was asked to play in several San Francisco jazz clubs. In a 1983 Blackjack Forum interview, Uston related that he became fascinated by blackjack and its inherent strategies after meeting professional gambler Al Francesco in a poker game. Francesco had launched the first "big player" type of blackjack card counting team, he recruited Uston to be one of his main team players, their system was that members of the team would play at different tables around a casino, counting cards. When a count became positive, they would flag the "big player" member of the team who would come in and place large bets; this technique would prevent the increased bet spread from being noticed by the pit bosses. On his first five-day run, the team won $44,100, of which Uston's share was $2,100. After two months of being a counter, Uston was promoted to "Big Player". Although Al Francesco and other team members have recounted in subsequent Blackjack Forum interviews that Uston made little money for their team, Uston co-authored with Roger Rapoport a book entitled The Big Player in which he shared credit for many of his card-counting successes with his fellow team members, including noted Blackjack master-strategist Bill Erb.
Soon after the publication of Uston's book, it is reported that Al Francesco's team found itself barred from playing in Las Vegas. In 1978, the year legal gambling began in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Uston moved to the area and formed a profitable blackjack team of his own; as with most other casinos around the globe, Uston was soon barred from playing at those locations within Atlantic City as well. After he was barred in January 1979 by Resorts International, he filed a lawsuit, claiming that casinos did not have the right to bar skilled players. In Uston v. Resorts International Hotel Inc. 445 A.2d 370, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Atlantic City casinos did not have the authority to decide whether card counters could be barred absent a valid New Jersey Casino Commission regulation excluding card counters. To date, New Jersey casinos—by statute—are not allowed to bar them. In response to Uston's legal victory, Atlantic City casinos began adding decks, moving up shuffle points, taking other measures to decrease a skilled player's potential advantage.
After his numerous casino barrings—now on his own and without a team—Uston adopted a wide variety of physical disguises in order to continue to play blackjack. He was known for his aggressive approach along with his flamboyant playing style. In an article in Blackjack Forum, Arnold Snyder describes playing with Ken Uston at Circus Circus Las Vegas near the end of Uston's life, he states that Uston was disguised as a worker from Hoover Dam and got away with spreading his bets from table minimum to table maximum on a single-deck game. Since this took place at a time when card counting was well understood by casino executives and managers, since the primary clue by which casinos detect card counting is a card counter's "bet spread" pattern, most card counters would consider Uston a genius of disguise, and/or "card counting camouflage". After The Big Player, Uston went on to write Million Dollar Blackjack; this book includes details about professional gamblers' techniques for gaining an advantage at the game.
Uston authored a companion piece, Ken Uston on Blackjack. In an interview published in Video Games, Uston revealed he got hooked on the games Pong and Breakout. In 1979 Space Invaders became his video game o
Card counting is a casino card game strategy used in the blackjack family of casino games to determine whether the next hand is to give a probable advantage to the player or to the dealer. Card counters are a class of advantage players, who attempt to decrease the inherent casino house edge by keeping a running tally of all high and low valued cards seen by the player. Card counting allows players to bet more with less risk when the count gives an advantage as well as minimize losses during an unfavorable count. Card counting provides the ability to alter playing decisions based on the composition of remaining cards. Card counting referred to as card reading refers to obtaining a sufficient count on the number and high-card location of cards in trick-taking games such as contract bridge or spades to optimize the winning of tricks; the most common variations of card counting in blackjack are based on statistical evidence that high cards benefit the player more than the dealer, while the low cards, help the dealer while hurting the player.
Higher concentration of high cards benefit the player in the following ways. 1) It increases the player's chances of hitting a natural Blackjack, which pays out 3:2. 2) Also, when the shoe has a high concentration of 10s, players have a better chance of winning when doubling on a 9, 10, or 11, by drawing a high card, thus making a high hand. 3) Furthermore, it makes splitting higher cards more profitable, since it increases the probability of being dealt a 10 or Ace to one of those split cards, thus making a strong hand. 4) On the other hand, Low cards benefit the dealer, since according to blackjack rules the dealer must hit stiff hands while the player has the option to hit or stand. Thus a dealer holding will bust every time if the next card drawn is a 10, making this card essential to track when card counting. 5)Finally, a high enough concentration of 10's can make the insurance bet more profitable, since it increases the probability of having a 10 underneath that Ace. Contrary to the popular myth, card counters do not need unusual mental abilities to count cards, because they are not tracking and memorizing specific cards.
Instead, card counters assign a point score to each card they see that estimates the value of that card, they track the sum of these values – a process called keeping a "running count." The myth that counters keep track of every card was portrayed in the 1988 film Rain Man, in which the savant character Raymond Babbitt counts through six decks with ease and a casino employee erroneously comments that it is impossible to count six decks. Basic card counting assigns a negative, or zero value to each card value available; when a card of that value is dealt, the count is adjusted by that card's counting value. Low cards increase the count as they increase the percentage of high cards in the remaining set of cards, while high cards decrease it for the opposite reason. For instance, the Hi-Lo system subtracts one for each dealt 10, Queen, King or Ace, adds one for any value 2-6. Values 7-9 therefore do not affect the count; the goal of a card counting system is to assign point values that correlate to a card's Effect of Removal.
The EOR is the actual effect of removing a given card from play, the resulting impact on the house advantage. The player may gauge the effect of removal for all cards dealt, assess the current house advantage of a game based on the remaining cards; as larger ratios between point values are used to create better correlation to actual EOR with the goal of increasing the efficiency of a system, such systems use more different numbers and are broken into classes depending on such as level 1, level 2, level 3, so on, with regard to the ratio between the highest and lowest assigned point values. The High-Low system is considered a level-one count, because the running count never increases or decreases by more than a single, predetermined value. A multilevel count, such as Zen Count, Wong Halves or Hi-Opt II, makes finer distinctions between card values to gain greater play accuracy. Rather than all cards having a value of +1, 0, or −1, an advanced count might include card ranks that are counted as +2 and −2, or +0.5 and -0.5.
Advanced players might additionally maintain a side count of specific cards, such as a side count Aces, to deal with situations where the best count for betting accuracy differs from the best count for playing accuracy. Many side count techniques exist including special-purpose counts used when attacking games with nonstandard profitable-play options such as an over/under side bet; the disadvantage of higher-level counts is that keeping track of more information can detract from the ability to play and accurately. A card-counter might earn more money by playing a simple count quickly—more hands per hour played—than by playing a complex count slowly; the following table illustrates a few ranking systems for card counting. Many others exist; the KO Strategy was first introduced in 1992 as the "All Sevens" count in The Book of British Blackjack. The primary goal of a card counting system is to assign point values to each card that correlate to the card's "effect of removal" or EOR, thus enabling the player to gauge the house advantage based on the composition of cards still to be dealt.
Larger ratios between point values can better
Blackjack Hall of Fame
The Blackjack Hall of Fame honors the greatest blackjack experts and professional players in history. It was launched in 2002, its physical premises are in San Diego, California; the Blackjack Hall of Fame is housed in San Diego, California. The Barona Casino awards to each inductee a permanent lifetime comp for full room and beverage, in exchange for each member’s agreement never to play on Barona’s tables. In winter 2002, a diverse selection of 21 blackjack experts and professional players were nominated for membership in the Blackjack Hall of Fame; the public was allowed to vote for about a month through the Internet. The final voting was completed at the January 2003 Blackjack Ball, an event open only to selected professional blackjack players and experts and hosted by blackjack author Max Rubin, whereby the first 7 members were inducted; the following year, at the 2004 Blackjack Ball, 2 more inductees were added, again with primary voting done by professional gamblers at the Ball. Nomination of candidates, after 2006, has become the permanent responsibility of the members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame themselves whilst the vote on the candidates that have been nominated is conducted by the invitees to the Blackjack Ball.
The Hall of Famers inducted 2 more members per year through 2006, agreed to drop to only 1 person per year. However, in late 2007, 4 new members, were inducted in the Hall of Fame "as a group"; the current members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame are the following: Al Francesco, 2002, one of the founders of the concept of blackjack teams. Peter Griffin, 2002, theoretical pioneer and author of The Theory of Blackjack. Arnold Snyder, 2002, former professional player and editor of Blackjack Forum. Edward O. Thorp, 2002, author of the 1960s classic Beat the Dealer Ken Uston, 2002, professional player and author who popularized the concept of team play playing in disguise and suing the Atlantic City casinos for the rights of card counters. Stanford Wong, 2002, author and popularizer of the strategy known as "Wonging". Tommy Hyland, 2002, manager of one of the longest-running blackjack teams. Max Rubin, 2004, expert and author, known for media reporting about gambling events, optimizing casino comps. Keith Taft, 2004, inventor who manufactured hidden computerized devices to aid advantage play.
Julian Braun, 2005, pioneering author who used computers to analyze blackjack statistics. Lawrence Revere, 2005, author of Playing Blackjack as a Business and blackjack teacher James Grosjean, 2006, computer analyst and professional player, author of the classic Beyond Counting, who sued casinos and the Griffin Agency. John Chang, 2007, former manager of the MIT Blackjack Team. Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott, 2008, collectively known as "The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen" who, while serving in the U. S. Army in the 1950s, discovered and published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association the first accurate basic strategy for Blackjack, using only desk calculators. Richard W. Munchkin, 2009, blackjack and backgammon expert, film director and producer. Darryl Purpose, 2010, former professional advantage player and performing songwriter. Zeljko Ranogajec, 2011, professional gambler from Australia, former blackjack professional player. Ian Andersen, 2012, expert and author Robert Nersesian, 2014, Las Vegas lawyer specializing in lawsuits by players against casinos.
Don Schlesinger, 2015, researcher, editor of numerous blackjack books, long-time Blackjack player. Bill Benter, 2016, blackjack team manager and horse-racing expert. One of the highest earning gamblers in history. Don Johnson, 2017, beat the Atlantic City casinos for over $15 million. Wally Simmons, 2018, blackjack and horse handicapping pro. Rob Reitzen, 2019
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is a resort city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States, known for its casinos and beaches. In 2010, the city had a population of 39,558, it was incorporated on May 1854, from portions of Egg Harbor Township and Galloway Township. It borders Absecon, Pleasantville, Ventnor City, Egg Harbor Township, the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic City inspired the U. S. version of the board game Monopoly the street names. Since 1921, Atlantic City has been the home of the Miss America pageant. In 1976, New Jersey voters legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City; the first casino opened two years later. Because of its location in South Jersey, hugging the Atlantic Ocean between marshlands and islands, Atlantic City was viewed by developers as prime real estate and a potential resort town. In 1853, the first commercial hotel, the Belloe House, was built at the intersection of Massachusetts and Atlantic Avenues; the city was incorporated in 1854, the same year in which the Camden and Atlantic Railroad train service began.
Built on the edge of the bay, this served as the direct link of this remote parcel of land with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That same year, construction of the Absecon Lighthouse, designed by George Meade of the Corps of Topographical Engineers, was approved, with work initiated the next year. By 1874 500,000 passengers a year were coming to Atlantic City by rail. In Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, Corruption of Atlantic City, "Atlantic City's Godfather" Nelson Johnson describes the inspiration of Dr. Jonathan Pitney to develop Atlantic City as a health resort, his efforts to convince the municipal authorities that a railroad to the beach would be beneficial, his successful alliance with Samuel Richards to achieve that goal, the actual building of the railroad, the experience of the first 600 riders, who "were chosen by Samuel Richards and Jonathan Pitney": After arriving in Atlantic City, a second train brought the visitors to the door of the resort's first public lodging, the United States Hotel.
The hotel was owned by the railroad. It was a sprawling, four-story structure built to house 2,000 guests, it opened while it was still under construction, with only one wing standing, that wasn't completed. By year's end, when it was constructed, the United States Hotel was not only the first hotel in Atlantic City but the largest in the nation, its rooms totaled more than 600, its grounds covered some 14 acres. The first boardwalk was built in 1870 along a portion of the beach in an effort to help hotel owners keep sand out of their lobbies. Businesses were restricted and the boardwalk was removed each year at the end of the peak season; because of its effectiveness and popularity, the boardwalk was expanded in length and width, modified several times in subsequent years. The historic length of the boardwalk, before the destructive 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane, was about 7 miles and it extended from Atlantic City to Longport, through Ventnor and Margate; the first road connecting the city to the mainland at Pleasantville was completed in 1870 and charged a 30-cent toll.
Albany Avenue was the first road to the mainland available without a toll. By 1878, because of the growing popularity of the city, one railroad line could no longer keep up with demand. Soon, the Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway was constructed to transport tourists to Atlantic City. At this point massive hotels like The United States and Surf House, as well as smaller rooming houses, had sprung up all over town; the United States Hotel took up a full city block between Atlantic, Pacific and Maryland Avenues. These hotels were not only impressive in size, but featured the most updated amenities, were considered quite luxurious for their time. In the early part of the 20th century, Atlantic City went through a radical building boom. Many of the modest boarding houses that dotted the boardwalk were replaced with large hotels. Two of the city's most distinctive hotels were the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel and the Traymore Hotel. In 1903, Josiah White III bought a parcel of land near Ohio Avenue and the boardwalk and built the Queen Anne style Marlborough House.
The hotel was a success and, in 1905–06, he chose to expand the hotel and bought another parcel of land adjacent to his Marlborough House. In an effort to make his new hotel a source of conversation, White hired the architectural firm of Price and McLanahan; the firm made use of reinforced concrete, a new building material invented by Jean-Louis Lambot in 1848. The hotel's Spanish and Moorish themes, capped off with its signature dome and chimneys, represented a step forward from other hotels that had a classically designed influence. White merged the two hotels into the Marlborough-Blenheim. Bally's Atlantic City was constructed at this location; the Traymore Hotel was located at the corner of the boardwalk. Begun in 1879 as a small boarding house, the hotel grew through a series of uncoordinated expansions. By 1914, the hotel's owner, Daniel White, taking a hint from the Marlborough-Blenheim, commissioned the firm of Price and McLanahan to build an bigger hotel. Rising 16 stories, the tan brick and gold-capped hotel would become one of the city's best-known landmarks.
The hotel made use of ocean-facing hotel rooms by jutting its wings farther from the main portion of the hotel along Pacific Avenue. One by one, additional large hotels were constructed along the boardwalk, including the Brighton, Shelburne, Ritz Carlton, Madison House, the Breakers. The
Super Fun 21
Super Fun 21 is a variation of blackjack. The game is played using a standard 52 card deck. Aces can be counted as either a one or eleven depending on which value would best benefit the player's hand. All the face cards in the deck each count as ten; the remaining cards are taken at face value. The player must first place a bet and is dealt two cards face up; the dealer is dealt two cards as well. The player has the option to either "hit", or "stand"; the player's hand must beat the dealer's by coming closer to 21 without "busting". A winning hand with a total of 21 is called natural; the game differs from traditional blackjack because the player automatically wins if his hand has six cards or more with a total of 20. This rule applies if the dealer has a total of 21. Other advantages to Super Fun 21 include being able to split a hand up to four times, a player's blackjack supersedes a dealer's blackjack, a player may "double down" at any point no matter how many cards he has been dealt, the player automatically doubles their money with a hand consisting of five cards or more that total 21.
The other major difference between Super Fun 21 and traditional blackjack is that a blackjack only pays 6 to 5 instead of the traditional 3 to 2 payout. This more than makes up for the edge the casino is giving with the liberal rules variations above. Super Fun 21 was protected by U. S. Patent number 5,979,897 issued in 1999 to Howard F. Grossman, a well-known Las Vegas gaming consultant, assigned to Tech Art Management, Inc. Special Side Bet. Player can place a "side bet" on getting a blackjack in a designated suit only in the first round of a newly shuffled deck or decks; the payout is 300:1. Some casinos allow player to designate suit or suits for this special side bet. Due to the high house edge on this side bet, it is not popular and most land based and on line casinos excluded this from their games. Not to be confused with a similar blackjack variation called Fun 21. Wizard of Odds John Grochowski's strategy Encyclopedia of Casino Twenty-One