Blackjack is a type of card game, and is traditionally associated with betting and gambling. It is also known colloquially as Twenty-One. In North America during the early twentieth-century time period that Red Dead Redemption is set in, blackjack is a serious parlor game that can sometimes result in violent disputes and death.
Marston is required to wager on these games, and can not cheat at this game with use of the Elegant Suit.
Keep in mind that to "win" at Blackjack for the 100% trophy, you simply need to leave the table with more chips than you began with. Even winning just one chip more than what you started with counts.
Blackjack can also be won by having "Five Card Charlie" when you have a total of five cards of any value without busting.
Real World Gameplay
The goal of the game is for a player to attain any number of cards that is closest to the value of 21, without going over or "bust". Face cards are assigned a value of 10, while the numeric cards are assigned a value on their respective numbers. Aces are unique and can be chosen to represent a value of either 11 or 1. In combination with a face card, an ace achieves a card total of 21 or a Blackjack.
Players are initially dealt two cards by the dealer, who also is dealt a hand. Traditionally, one of these two cards is placed face down on the table to obscure the value to other players, only the individual who holds the hand knows the true value. Players will play their hands against the dealer, and not each other. Players will then take turns choose to either "hit" (take a new card from the dealer) or "stand". If a player hits and exceeds 21, they are said to have "busted", and lose their wager to the dealer and must wait until the next game. A player "stands" or "holds" when they decide they hold a better hand than the dealer, and do not wish to risk a bust.
All cards are revealed when all players and the dealer have chosen to hold, or have busted. Players with a hand closer to 21 than the hand of the dealer win the wager. Dealers traditionally play systematically and will hit unless their cards equal a value of 17, at which time they are obligated to hold.
As with real life Blackjack there are some simple guidelines for winning:
On any hand 17 or higher, except an Ace and 6
When you have between 12-16 AND the Dealer has a 6 or lower. The dealer has a better chance of busting
When you have less than 12
When you have an Ace and a 6 or less
When you have 12-16 AND the dealer has a 7 or higher. You might bust, but your odds are better by hitting than standing with less than 17.
Double Down - Doubles your bet, but you only get one card
When you have 11 AND the dealer does NOT have an Ace
When you have 10 AND the dealer has 9 or less (except Ace)
When you have 9 AND the dealer has a 6
Split - Makes 2 hands out of one, with the split cards being the first card of each hand
Always: Aces and Eights
Never: Fours, Fives, and Faces/10
Others: When the dealer has a 4-6
- It is not possible to count cards effectively in RDR, since the game engine deals every hand from a fresh 52-card deck.
All games require a 'buy-in' payment to buy your initial chips before you can play.
- Thieves' Landing - $40 = 400 chips
- Rathskeller Fork - $20 = 200 chips
- Chuparosa - $30 = 300 chips
- Blackwater - $50 = 500 chips
If winning three times the 'buy-in' amount, the player automatically leaves the table and drops a catchphrase like "I will leave while the winning is good."
- Sometimes the other players will either be invisible or floating 2 feet away from the table and the dealer is invisible making the game unplayable (this is more common in Blackwater).
Playing all of the gambling games, including Blackjack contributes toward acquisition of the following Achievement/Trophy:
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.