Which translates to "21." But it exploded as a popular casino game after Edward O.
Thorp outlined his Basic Strategy for winning in blackjack in his 1963 bestselling book, "Beat the Dealer." Which, by the way, is the ultimate objective of the game.
Thanks in large part to Thorp, blackjack has become not just a means of entertainment but a way to quite possibly make a living as well.
Blackjack is a deceptively simple game played with one, two, four, six, or eight decks of cards.
The cards were traditionally shuffled by the dealer, but most casinos now use continuous shuffling machines.
In single- and double-deck games the dealer holds the cards and deals them out.
In multi-deck games, the cards are dealt out of a tray-like box that is called a shoe.
Some casinos feature a shoe that shuffles as well as holds the cards.
The play is the same for both handheld and facedown games.
The objective is always to beat the dealer, which means getting to—or as close as possible to—a total point score of 21.
If your cards total higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21, you win.
If your hand goes over 21, you "bust" and lose your bet. It's an interesting feature not only of blackjack but of all casino games that the house—or casino— always has the advantage.