A casino gambling game, played with one or more decks of playing cards. Between one and six (sometimes seven) players compete individually against a dealer who represents the House. The goal of each player is to create a hand worth more than the dealer's, but no more than 21.

Players sit along one side of a table, facing the dealer on the other side. Each has an area to place a bet and a place for their "cards". There are other features like the "insurance" area. Hint: Never take insurance at Blackjack, kiddies1.

Each player is dealt two (2) cards. The dealer is also dealt two cards, one face up, and the other face down. The cards are added to a total. All face cards count 10. The Ace cards count 1 or 11 at the player's option. The object is to come as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Starting with the player on the dealer's extreme left, each player may another card, or pass. If the cards add up to more than 21, the player is bust and loses immediately. The player may continue taking cards until he or she wishes to stop, or busts.

Each player in turn takes cards, the dealer going last. The dealer must stop as soon as the House hand totals 17 or more.

After the dealer finishes, everyone still in the game compares their hand to the dealer's. If the dealer busts they all win. Otherwise the players with a higher score win an amount equal to their bet - unless they have Blackjack. This is a two card hand totalling 21 - and Ace and a ten, jack, queen or king. a true "black jack" need not be present. this hand pays 3:2.

There are many special plays that increase the player's chances. There are tables which indicate which plays to make under all circumstances. And there are buxom and/or leggy ladies in skimpy outfits bringing free drinks. To deal with all these hazards, see one of many excellent books on the topic, and good luck to you!

1. It's a sucker bet, you win 33% of the time. For real insurance, consult the expert or see The Ballad of Dan.


So, I'm in Vegas back in '82. I'm at a blackjack table winnin’ enough money to pay my bill and maybe have a crack at that "big wheel," if you know what I mean. My fingernails are long 'cause I'm into finger picking at the time.

I'm at this one table where this little white girl is lookin' at me out of one eye. There's a Jewish grandma on one side yellin', "Gimme some caads, goddammit!" There's a Texas cowboy on the other side goin', "Hey, sweetie, hit me like you ain't never hit nobody before!"

I'm minding my own business, winning a lot of money. But, the little cracker girl dealing is gettin' upset at me; she's gonna get called on the carpet 'cause I'm whoopin' her ass. Plus, I can tell she don't like my Southern accent one bit.

I order a new drink. (Hell, you can't get drunk on those drinks; that's why they're free.) Gin and tonic. She deals. I do what I been doin' since I got here. I flip the down card up with my thumbnail. All of a sudden, she's in a down-home, get your ass off my porch, rage.

"Quit doing that!"

"Quit doin' what?"

"Quit using your fingernails to look at the cards."

"Why?"

"You're marking the cards."

I took the back of my hand and knocked that gin and tonic all over her and her damn deck. "I guess they're all marked now, ain't they?"

Ever been thrown out of a casino by two big guys named Vito?

I would like to add to Lord Brawl's most excellent writeup of what is in my opinion, they best casino game out there. (With poker a close second, but that must be with 5 people around a table at someones house, with strict rules enforced)

When cards are played in blackjack, they are discarded until the deck runs out. Then the dead pile is reshuffled, cut, and dealt from as usual.

In Blackjack, when you have two identical cards, you may split them into two seperate hands. This is done by physically splitting the cards, and matching your initial bet. You then play each hand against the dealer as you would any other hand. It is not advisable to split hands which would total above 17, unless you have been counting cards, and know what is in the deck.

Double Down is when you match your initial bet, declare double down, and the dealer deals you another card face down. This is then the hand that you play with. Some casinos restrict when you can double down, like to hands totalling 10 or 11 only, or after a split. The less restrictions the better. Doubling down on something like 14 or 15 is generally a good bet if you can have an idea that you aren't going to bust. Unless you get a 2 or and ace you are going to beat the dealers stop point.
Blackjack is one of the main staples in most casinos. The casino loves the Blackjack tables almost as much as they love the Slot Machines - and for very much the same reason. Blackjack is a major source of revenue for the casino.

Contrary to popular belief, Blackjack is not one of the best games to play in a casino. While the game is simple in concept, and easy to learn, the knowlege needed to be a good Blackjack player is almost frightening in scope and complexity. The house edge varies depending on the skill of the player - from just under 1% for masters of the game (Not counting card counting tricks, which become increasingly less useful as the casinos employ methods to thwart this practice), to 10% for the average player, to over 20% for particularly bad players. And yet, almost every single player who sits down at that table is convinced he knows everything there is to know about the game.

The house preys on this illusion. Limited player knowledge is power, and money in the bank, to them. However, the house will happily educate you - to a limited degree - as an attempt to keep you from learning too much. When they control the information, they determine how much you can learn about the game. They want players to rely on fallible memory to remember when to double down, or split, or surrender. "Never surrender," says the House. Optimum strategy says there ARE times when it's wise to surrender - if the house allows it, which most don't. The methods that the House teaches will ensure a house edge of around 10%, which is well above the edge of many other games the house offers. Don't look to the dealer for help, though. Many of them are gambling addicts themselves, and don't know proper strategy. The only interest they have in you is whether you'll tip when you win.

This is a song by Ween, from the album God Ween Satan: The Oneness.

Where to begin? This song begins with strange haunting lurking pounding bass noise of Jaws fame. Then weird voices begin to take turns saying "black jack" and "big black betty," and they say different warped versions of this over top of each other, in low voices, getting louder and louder until they are hysterically screaming. When one of them says "indian black betty," he bursts into very loud hysterical laughter which lasts about a minute, and is followed by fake two-voiced crying. Just when you think the song is over, it starts up again for a second, then finally ends. Ween has a habit of doing this with their song endings.

This is a rather creepy song to listen to, but your brain starts spinning in a sort of dismayed "what the fuck??" way when the laughter starts and then the crying. When it starts back up again after you thought it was over, you are likely to either laugh hysterically yourself or shoot your stereo.

This song is © 1990 by Ween, Twin/Tone records.

Next song on this album: Squelch the Weasel

compiled overview of the 45ton Blackjack 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:



General Motors' original contract called for the production of "a medium BattleMech with insurgency suppression and fire-support capabilities." The result was the Blackjack, a 45-ton 'Mech armed with lasers and autocannons.

The production model differed from early prototypes in replacing the twin, arm-mounted GM Flashpoint flamers with heavier but more reliable Whirlwind-L autocannons. This also required replacing the original Vox 225 power plant with the lighter GM 180, which reduced the Blackjack's speed and endurance. Whitworth jump jets were added to increase the 'Mech's mobility.

Because the Blackjack fulfilled all its production requirements and was a good medium 'Mech, GM was not prepared for the negative reaction it received. Despite a complete lack of evidence to support any criticisms of the 'Mech, the Blackjack was rejected by both the Star League and its MechWarriors, and so production was canceled after only a few years.

The Blackjack's main function was to suppress and/or destroy non-'Mech insurgent forces that began to appear as the Star League's authority was eroding. The 'Mech fulfilled its secondary role of fire-support with only moderate success, as its twin light autocannons were barely effective at blasting away armor from 'Mechs. The medium lasers, when used en masse by an entire lance or company of Blackjacks, proved quite effective.

Despite its poor reception, records of the Blackjack's performance show it to have been a reliable 'Mech. Its greatest weakness was extremely fragile joints, a fragility shared by the autocannon linkage on GM's other major 'Mech, the Marauder.

The Blackjack's only true drawback was the bad press it received, which claimed that the entire project was a boondoggle because the 'Mech's basic design was flawed and unstable. Critics claimed that the 'Mech's narrow footpads made it susceptible to falling and reduced its mobility, or that the StarGard II armor was brittle and tended to fall off. Though none of these claims were ever substantiated, the rumors were enough to throw the Blackjack into disfavor.

Used effectively but only sparingly by the Star League, the Blackjack continues in use among the Successor States. It functions generally as fire-support or faces off against infantry and small armored vehicles. Houses Liao and Davion have most of the Blackjacks now in existence, but use them only rarely. The Blackjack can hold its own against comparable 'Mechs and is fully capable of winning in one-on-one combat.

In fact, the myth of the Blackjack's inferiority received a blow in 3022 when the infamous Kurita Tai-i Mercer Ravannion attempted to use his own brand of "horde" tactics against an under-strength Davion garrison on the ice world of Xhosha VII. Ravannion theorized that 'Mech warfare could be carried out by swarms of ultra-light Stingers and Wasps that would attack and overwhelm heavier, but numerically inferior, defending 'Mechs. Ravannion's attempts to prove his theories were uniformly disastrous, but he remained supremely confident in the basic soundness of his concept. The tiny garrison on Xhosha was one of many opposing forces to suffer for his arrogance.

The Xhosha defense consisted of two companies of the Draconis March Militia, equipped mostly with Locusts and Blackjacks. When swarms of Stingers and Wasps burst from their DropShips in what Ravannion hoped was an irresistible wave, they caught the Militia by surprise. Freezing temperatures affected the performance of 'Mech equipment on both sides, particularly the defenders' Locusts.

In the end, Cadet Michael Ubodo's "out-moded and inferior" but heavier Blackjacks took the brunt of the fierce Kurita attack on the icy Plain of Swords. Driven by his obsession, Ravannion threw his 'Mechs into battle without regard for men or materiel.

Ubodo, a recent NAIS Training Cadre graduate breveted to command of the Xhosha garrison, was beset on all sides by the light, swift Kurita 'Mechs. Remaining calm, he took advantage of every terrain feature on the windswept plain and met each Kurita thrust with a counter-thrust from his outnumbered Blackjacks. He personally led the counterattack that broke the back of Ravannion's assault.

Ravannion withdrew his forces in disorder and returned home to "further refine" his theories. He was killed a year later in a fight with McKinnon's Raiders on Fallon II.

Hanse Davion personally decorated young Ubodo. The sight of the much-maligned Blackjack standing in line for Davion honors alongside Marauders and Crusaders has forced some critics to reconsider their opinion of the 'Mech.



Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.
Blackjack is the name of one of the oldest chewing gums around. Blackjack's distinguishing feature is that it continues to be the only chewing gum flavored with black licorice. This may not seem too unusual to, say, Scandinavians, who have a lot of licorice around, but I've yet to find anyone else here in Arizona who likes powerful black licorice.

I saw some Blackjack in a store once and I bought it, just to try it out. It was awesome. I assumed they had it at all grocery stores. Unfortunately, they don't, so I should have stocked up while I had the chance. When in doubt, stock up. My girlfriend ignored that advice when we were in Finland and now she doesn't have any Salmiakki to show her friends.

There is a Seinfeld episode where Blackjack makes a cameo appearance. I don't know the number, but it's the one where his girlfriend is forcing him to guess her name. While she's in the restroom, he starts going through her purse to find her driver's licence, and unearths a pack of Blackjack. "Blackjack?" He winces. Who chews Blackjack anyways?

A blackjack is a deadly weapon.

It consists of a thick leather tube, less than a foot in length, with a cylindrical lead slug in each end and a stiff spring in the middle. In a typical blackjack, the diameter of the slugs is greater than the diameter of the spring. In the past, before metal springs were available, multiple flexible slivers of springy wood were used to create the spring action.

To use it, grip one end and smack the other end against an opponent. The force that a blackjack generates will crush bones. A strike to the head will likely result in a killing blow.

A sap is sometimes confused with a blackjack, however it is not a deadly weapon. It's a narrow leather bag filled with fine lead shot that is gripped in the fist and extends out to one side where it can add a considerable amount of extra force to a punch. The loose nature of the shot prevents it from shattering bone.

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