Blackjack is one of the most common games in both online and land-based casinos. Both the blackjack online and land-based game involve counting cards to gain an edge over the casino. Since its inception in land-based casinos in the early 1960s, the game has had several changes and variants, but the core rules remain the same. This article teaches you how to play blackjack by taking you through the basic rules and strategies that will increase your chances of hitting the blackjack and winning some good cash.
Like other land-based and online casino games, blackjack requires a great deal of concentration, patience and persistence. You also need to learn basic strategies of hitting, standing, splitting pairs and doubling down.
Blackjack can be played on one or several standard 52 deck cards with each of the cards assigned a point value. However, cards 10 and 2 are worth their face value. Kings, Jacks, and Queens are worth a 10. On the other hand, Aces are worth either 11 or 1, depending on the hand that is playing. The objective of the player is to get a total of 21 from the combination of the cards by drawing more cards than the dealer.
The best total that you can get is a two-card total of 21, which is also called the blackjack. Hitting the blackjack earns you cash at a rate of 3:2 for every $1 wagered. For example, if you wagered $10, you get $15 instead of the usual $10 in even money winnings.
However, if the dealer also has two cards totalling to 21, there are hand pushes or ties, you get back your bet amount. However, if the 21 draw is more than two cards, you still win the blackjack and get the 3:2 payout.
Blackjack is played in an arc-shaped table where up to seven persons can play together. A notice on the minimum and the maximum bet amount is shown at the corner of the table using a rectangular placard. The placard may also spell out other rules such as the split and doubling rules of the game.
Most blackjack variations use between two and eight card decks. When the dealer shuffles the cards, they are placed in a shoe (which is a receptacle). This is the location from which the dealer slides one card at a time.
How to Play Blackjack for Beginners
Here a few terminologies to help you get started with blackjack playing strategy.
This involves taking another card with the hope of getting closer to a total of 21. If you hit and the sum exceeds 21, you are said to have burst. In such a case, you lose your bet.
Standing is the action of remaining with the cards you have on your hand and not taking additional cards. This is a calculated blackjack strategy as the dealer may have a better hand than you or hit to get a better hand.
Hitting and standing are two of the most basic moves that you need to master. Other blackjack tips are built on these two actions.
Splitting is the action of taking two cards from a hand and starting two hands with the card. This is only possible when the cards have a similar rank. When you split, you have to place an additional bet on the second hand. Both hands are played and paid independently.
Doubling down involves placing an additional bet and agreeing with other players to take one more card.
Surrendering is the act of giving up half the bet amount to drop out of the hand just like folding in poker. Different variants of blackjack have varying rules on surrender. Some variants like Las Vegas blackjack do not allow surrender. On the other hand, some casinos only allow early surrender (before the dealer checks the hole card to determine if he has hit a blackjack) or late surrender (after the dealer has checked the hole card for blackjack).
The second option is the most common. However, if the dealer has a blackjack, all players lose the possibility of surrender and lose their bet to the dealer. However, if the dealer finds that he has a blackjack and one other player has a blackjack, it is called a tie.
Hard and Soft Hands
A hard hand is a hand without any Aces in it. The Ace, in this case, counts as 1 and not 11. On the other hand, a soft card is a hand where the Ace either has a value of 1 or 11.