Blackjack, also known as 21, is one of the most popular casino games in traditional casinos as well as online. The card game is widely believed to have its roots in France, where a game called "Vingt-et-Un" (French for twenty-one) was popular in the 18th century. Opinions differ as to whether this actually was the original version of the modern-day game, blackjack, but what is certain is that a version of the game came to the shores of the United States, after spreading through Europe, at the beginning of the last century. After gamblers greeted the game with a lukewarm reception, the casinos played around with the rules and the payouts, emphasizing the hand that is now known as blackjack, i.e., a picture card and an Ace. From there on in, the game was known as blackjack and the rest, as they say is history.
Always popular in land-based casinos, blackjack really took off when the Internet revitalized the entire worldwide gambling sector, as the 20th century morphed into the 21st. Blackjack is perfect for the Internet, where it can be played quickly and with none of the distractions that are the downside of brick-and-mortar casinos. Blackjack is a favourite among online gamblers because it is not simply a game of chance (like slots). Rather, blackjack combines skill and luck (like poker), making it attractive to anyone who has the determination to follow a strategy. The game has fascinated mathematicians for decades, and, once computers took over, an easy-to-learn blackjack basic strategy became accessible to everyone.
Every good virtual casino will offer blackjack to its members. The leading casinos, like William Hill online blackjack features a number of blackjack variants to keep fans of the game on their toes. The basic premise of blackjack is that the players go up against the dealer (and not against each other) and they vie to have the hand with a value that is closest to 21 without going over. The Ace can be worth 1 or 11, the picture cards are valued at 10, and the other cards carry their face value. The dealer's moves are pre-ordained, depending on what cards are showing, but the player can «hit» (get another card) or «stay» (stop getting more cards) based on a gut feeling or, more wisely, on the strategy that gives him or her a good chance of winning fairly regularly. The object is not to «bust» - go over 21 - because that means losing the bet.
The basics of blackjack carry through to all the interesting newfangled games that are offered by the many online casinos, including blackjack 21+3, which can be found on William Hill VEGAS. In this game, along with the usual side bets, like Insurance and Doubling Down, a player can make a bet on a three-card hand that pays off in rank similar to poker: Flush (3 cards of the same suit); Straight (3 cards in a row; 3 of a kind; etc. Variations like 21+3 help to modernize the classic game of blackjack and make it the perfect pastime for the 21st-century fan.