It’s no secret that blackjack is a popular casino game. Many gamblers love to play this table card game because, unlike other casino games, it requires skill in addition to luck.
The game of blackjack is exciting and engaging. Even beginner players tend to enjoy playing for hours non-stop. When you master the basics of the game, it can become quite addictive.
Blackjack also has a term called 21. To win, you must make the value of the cards in your hand as close to 21 as possible without going over 21. You can also win if you get a score higher than the dealer’s hand.
While it might be easy to count to 21, even the best blackjack player might not have good odds in a particular game. And sometimes, a novice player may win against experts because the odds were in his/her favor.
So, the game of blackjack involves having the best odds and making use of them together with your strategies to give yourself the best chance of winning. It requires tricks, calculation, strategy, risks, luck, and chance.
If you have never played the game before, then you will need a complete beginner’s guide on how to play blackjack.
How To Play Blackjack
To play, blackjack needs at least one standard deck of cards. A deck of cards has 52 different cards divided into four suits. The four suits – Hearts, Diamonds, Spades, and Clubs – have 13 cards each.
However, many casinos have started to use multiple decks of cards. This is to eliminate the additional advantage that some players get due to card counting. Also, using multiple decks gives the dealer more chance of winning.
Therefore the rules and strategy that we will be discussing will focus on blackjack games that are played with multiple decks of cards.
Blackjack card values
Before going into the basics of how to play blackjack, the first thing to know is the cards and their points. Once you know the points that each card has, you will be able to know what to do when you are dealt the cards.
Another thing to know is that in blackjack, you are not playing against other players. Instead, you are playing against the house. So, you are trying to add up the cards in your hand to 21, but no more than. Also, you can make sure that the total of the cards in your hand is more than that of the dealer.
In blackjack, the ace is the card with the highest point in the deck. It can be worth 1 or 11 points depending on the total of the other cards in the player’s hand. If the total of the other cards in the hand is between 11 and 21, an ace is worth 1 point. But, if the other total of the other cards is less than 11, then the ace is worth 11 points.
When you have an ace in your hand, that hand is known as a “soft hand”. A hand without an ace is a “hard hand”.
The king, queen, and jack are called face cards. They are worth 10 points each. While the numeric cards 2 – 9 are worth their values.
How To Play Blackjack step by Step
The objective of a game of blackjack is quite easy to understand. However, there are still a couple of rules that you must take note of before you start playing blackjack for real money. To be able to properly understand them, it is better that you start by playing for fun.
Before you start playing, you have to change your money to chips. You cannot use cash to place bets in casinos. In most casinos, white chips denote $1, red denotes $5, green denotes $25, black $100, purple $500, and orange $1000. For players to know the correct amount, it is usually put on each chip. So, you can buy the chips worth the amount that you want to spend.
Let’s take a look at 5 steps with which you can get started as a beginner.
Step One: Join a blackjack table
The first thing for you to do is to join a table. The blackjack table has a half-moon shape and the dealer sits on one side of the table while the players sit on the other side.
Before the dealer can give you cards, then you must place a bet. This bet is known as the buy-in. Immediately all the players place their bets, then the dealers deal everyone with two cards face up. The dealer also gets two cards, but one is face down while the other is face up.
Step Two: Decide the action you are going to take
Look at how you can use the cards in your hand to get close to 21 without going bust. Also, consider the face-up card of the dealer. You can make use of your blackjack strategy or make use of the blackjack strategy table.
The dealer will ask each player what action they want to carry out. The action you can decide to take includes:
Hit: If you choose to hit, then you ask the dealer to give you another card. Before you hit, you must consider the value of the cards in your hands. So, you must make sure that you will not go bust, or you are willing to risk it so that the dealer does not have a better hand.
Stand: When you stand, you tell the dealer not to deal you more cards. You should do this when the value of the card in your hand is already high, usually over 17. Some players also stand when they are confident that the dealer’s card cannot beat theirs.
Double Down:You can do this when you are satisfied with the value of your hand. To double down, you must double the initial bet, and the dealer with give you another face-up card. But you have to stand afterward.
Split: If the first two cards that the dealer dealt are of the same value, then you can choose to split the cards and get two hands. Then you must place another bet equal to your first bet. This bet is for the new hand, and the dealer will deal cards for both hands.
Surrender: If you do not like the two cards that the dealer deals you with, then you can surrender. This option is only available in some casinos. You have the choice to surrender, but you will lose half of the original bet.
Step Three: Confirm the value of your hand
If you hit, then your hand value will change. However, remember that you can only remain in the game if the value of your hand is 21 or less than 21.
Step Four: The dealer reveals the facedown card
Once all the players at the table have decided whether to hit or stand, the dealer will reveal their second card, facedown.
Step Five: Find out the winner
If the value of your hand is closer to 21 than that of the dealer, then you win the game. But, if the dealer has a hand value of 21 or closer to 21 than any of the players, then the dealer is the winner.
Once you win, the dealer will give you your payout amount. This payout depends on the type of bet that you decided to place.
Effective Blackjack Principles for Beginners
In blackjack, there are 340 different hand configurations, and you could be holding any one of them. Out of these, 100 have clear “next actions,” while for the remaining 240 hands, your strategies would determine your next move.
Professional blackjack players work for years to develop their strategies. As a beginner, there are a couple of principles that you can follow to reduce the house edge and win more often.
Hit on Ace and 6, Stand on Ace and 7: Generally, it is advisable to hit when you have a hand of Ace and 6. Since you already have 17, taking another card can help improve your hand. Remember that the Ace will become 1 point instead of you crossing 21.
On the other hand, you should stand when you have Ace and 7. The total of the hand is 18, and there is a high probability of going bust on the next card.
Split pairs of aces or 8s: If you have two aces, then you have a hand worth 12. However, you can split the hand and get two chances of getting a blackjack score.
Also, if you draw two eights, then the hand is worth 16. This is one of the most difficult hands. It is too low to stand, but it is also quite high to draw another hand. It is advisable to split so that you have two hands with eights.
Do not always surrender: Surrender allows you to give up if you don’t like your hand, so you can keep half of your bet. This option is rarely offered, even though it is not usually worth it. You can use it when you have a hard 16 and the dealer has a 9, 10, or Ace.
Double down when you have the chance: When you double down, you get the chance to double your bet. However, you must stand after drawing one more card. The aim is to double when you have a good hand that cannot go bust and the dealer has a bad hand.
Insurance is not worth it: Some players like the insurance option. But it is not a good bet as it increases the house edge when you consider the winning. It is better to avoid it.
Stand at 17: You do not always have to aim for 21. Mathematically, 17 is your best bet. So, if you have a hand worth 17, then you should stand. Although you will not win every hand, there is a high chance of going bust if you draw another card. It is just safer to stand at 17.
How To Improve Your Chances of Winning in Blackjack
Apart from the basic rules of blackjack, you need to have a blackjack strategy to win consistently. This will assist you in knowing whether you should hit, stand, or double down.
If you are looking to win consistently in blackjack, there are some tips that you can follow to give you a better chance of winning.
Always bet only on what you can afford to lose. Before you sit at the blackjack table, you should have a budget and always make sure you stick to the budget. Don’t bet large because you just lost and you want to win by all means.
Ensure you have a strategy. As a beginner, you can follow our basic blackjack strategy. Use that strategy to guide the actions that you take.
Do not bet recklessly with your bankroll. When playing, it is important to always bet responsibly. Do not place large bets and always have a budget.
Stick to your strategy at all times. There might be periods when the cards are not in your favor. During these periods, you might want to stop following your strategy and depend on just luck. However, in blackjack, you can only win consistently when you have a strategy.
Playing Blackjack Online
Whether you are playing online or in a land-based casino, the rules of blackjack remain the same. As online casinos continue to become more popular, more people are beginning to play blackjack online. You can play online to build your bankroll, master new strategies, or have fun.
The gaming experience when playing online is a bit different because of the human element that is absent. However, many online casinos now have Live Dealer Blackjack tables where you can play with a real dealer.
Do you think Blackjack is a game of luck or skill?
Like all casino games, blackjack involves a bit of luck because the cards are random and you cannot control the card you get. This means that you have to depend on your skills and strategy to increase your odds of winning.
There is luck involved, but whether you win or not depends more on the skill you have. So, whether you want to start playing online or physically, the basics, rules, and tips that we have discussed above will help you to become a professional blackjack player.
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