Twenty-one in the box against the house

Simple for anyone no matter how bad your school English, the Americans stayed true to the KISS principle in blackjack. Originally from the south and named blackjack from a winning hand, the French original was named vingt et un, or twenty-one. From there it migrated to the United States in the early nineteenth century, where they rechristened it blackjack. Blackjack came back with its new name to the casinos of “old Europe” in the seventies.

You play blackjack with six decks of fifty-two cards. Players – at least seven – lay their bets using chips in a separate field each (box). The croupier, or dealer in blackjack, deals the cards from what’s referred to a shoe. The dealer also has a card. The goal is to reach twenty-one points, or as close to twenty-one as possible. Go over twenty-one and you’re bust – out of the game, you don’t even wait for another card from the dealer. Otherwise, it’s the house’s turn – the dealer has to draw another card at sixteen points or less.

Hit and split, bust and break
At seventeen points, the house has to stop and cannot draw another card. The player draws cards and tries to gradually reach twenty-one. Hit – and you are dealt another card. Stay means you don’t want another card. More than seven box owners can bet against the house at blackjack – other guests only bet money on the box of a seated player, and only the player can decide whether to hit or stay.

In the American era of blackjack, whoever had the jack of spades (hence the name blackjack) and ace of spades first – a score of 21 – won a bonus known as ten-to-one payout; today, the cards’ suits don’t matter – the card value counts. An ace scores 1 or 11 points (depending on the player’s preference), king and other royals score 10, all the others score at face value; the old American 10-1 payout no longer applies, but the blackjack hand – an ace and a royal or ten – wins one and a half times the stake (3:2) if the bank does not have twenty-one, or you have what we refer to as standoff or push, and nobody wins – the stakes stay on the table.

Six tables
Minimum bet: €5
Maximum bet: €1000
Opening times: 5:00 PM to 1:30 AM; Friday and Saturday until 2:30 AM

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