Are you new to the game of blackjack or looking to brush up on your knowledge? If the answer is yes, then you are at the right place. So what is blackjack? Sometimes referred to as “21”, this is one of the most popular casino table games available live or online.
With some of the best odds to give you a chance to beat the house and win big, blackjack rules are also fun and easy to learn.
This article will break down the rules and strategy of the game into simple and easy-to-follow steps that will guide you to playing like a pro in no time.
Blackjack Cards and Hands Value
In a blackjack game, the number cards 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10 are all played at face value.
Kings, queens, and jacks are worth 10.
An ace will have a value of either 1 or 11, depending on whether it will give the player or dealer a score over 21.
There are 34 possible hands that you can draw in the first round of the game. However, the best hand is the blackjack.
This is a starting total of 21 that can be achieved by an ace and a ten, king, queen, or jack. This hand can not be beaten unless the dealer has a similar hand, which results in a tie.
The second best hand is a hard 20. This is two value ten cards.
The game of Blackjack for real money is played in more than 20 variations. The most popular include:
This variation calls for players to place their bet on two hands at the same time. The two bets need to match the posted minimum bet for you to get dealt in the hand.
You can switch the cards between the two hands or keep them as the dealer dealt them. Double down is permitted before and after splitting. You can also re-split aces.
Where a dealer makes a 22, then all hands that are still alive are pushed. A switched blackjack is only a 21.
European Blackjack is played with one significant difference from the traditional game. The dealer only receives a hole card after the player has acted.
This rule affects the player’s ability to double down 11 against a 10 as well as splitting 8’s.
Free Bet Blackjack
This variation allows players free double downs on cards 9,10, and 11. You can also split for free any pair score that does not equal 20.
Players can double down after the free split. However, the dealer can push any live hand if 22 is made. This is in exchange for the friendly rules.
How to Play Blackjack
The target of a player in a game of Blackjack is to get a hand as close to 21 as possible. In reality, the game’s objective is for you to beat the hand of the dealer without going over 21.
Let us take a look at the game’s rules and a step-by-step unfolding at a typical blackjack table.
What are the rules of Blackjack?
Blackjack online is played at a table of between 2 to 7 players, using one to eight 52-card decks. The cards numbered 2-10 carry their face value, with the King, queen, and jack scoring 10 points. The Ace can be treated as either a 1 or 11.
- Players start by placing their bets in their betting positions before being dealt two cards face-up. These cards are placed in front of their respective boxes. The dealer receives one card face-up and another card face-down.
- Players are allowed to draw more cards, starting to the left of the dealer. If a player calls out a hit, they are given an extra card. Players are not given an extra card if they stand.
- Players can hit as many times as they want so long as they do not exceed a total of 21. When you exceed a total of 21, you are said to have a bust and thus immediately lose the bet.
The dealer takes their turn only after the player has acted by either taking a stand or has busted. At this stage, the rules allow a player to take either a hit again or stand.
Players who did not bust win the game if the hand of the dealer exceeds 21. You receive your bet back and a matching amount drawn from the dealer’s bank.
Where the dealer reaches a valid hand, a comparison is made between the totals in the player’s hands and the dealer.
The player wins if the score is higher than that of the dealer. A tie sees the player get back the original bet placed. Otherwise, the player loses their bet.
A Blackjack is a perfect hand that combines an ace with a 10, King, Queen, or jack.
Steps On How To Play at Blackjack Online For Beginners
- Identify a table and choose a variation that you want to play
- Place your bet
- Select deal once you have placed your bet
- Look at the cards that have been dealt to you and to the dealer
- Using the basic strategy, your experience, or gut feeling, make your next move
- Stand to close out your turn
- Wait for the dealer to play out their hand
- Collect your winnings and leave or play another round by repeating the process
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Unlike any other casino game, Blackjack is a game of player decisions that influence the outcome of the hand, whether you win or lose at the table.
However, many players still find it challenging to make these critical play decisions. Luckily, there is a mathematically proven strategy that can help you towards winning.
Here is an illustration of a blackjack strategy card:
The blackjack guide outlines how you should read what you have been dealt with compared to the hand of the dealer to get favorable odds during play.
In all casino games, blackjack included, the house usually has the advantage, which is how they turn a profit. However, blackjack has one of the lowest house edges, making it a great game to learn and play.
The basic strategy gives you a house edge of around 0.05 percent during play compared to 2.5 percent or more for an unskilled player who does not adopt the strategy.
Because of this reason, it is only wise for you to play with the basic strategy each time.
Extra Online Blackjack Strategies
Blackjack strategy is, in other words, the way of acting after you get the first two cards. Let’s look closer at each of the possible options so you can choose the best blackjack strategy every time. As these things can be hard to remember for the first time, you can write them down to the special blackjack cheat sheet and use it while you play.
Here are the blackjack tips concerning cards splitting.
- Don’t split 4s or 5s;
- Split 8s and Aces;
- Split 2s and 3s only when the dealer has from 4 to 7;
- Split 6s when the dealer has from 3 to 6;
- Split 7s when the dealer has from 2 to 7;
- Always split two 9s except for the cases when the dealer has 7.
Insurance can be used in offline casinos when the player has a chance to count cards (we will talk about it in a minute). Obviously, counting cards is impossible while playing blackjack in an online casino and that’s why it is recommended not to use insurance wager at all. You can’t predict whether the dealer gets blackjack or not but can lose a lot of money on insurance, especially if you are playing for a long time.
Surrendering is for the cowards, isn’t it? We don’t recommend using the surrender strategy even though it can save you a half of your bet. Losing half of the bet will take a lot of money from you in the long run and you will lose a chance to get a winning hand. Remember, even if the situation looks like no chance for success, it can always turn in your favor within seconds. Blackjack is the game of skill, not the game of chance so you can always win (or not lose, at least), if you know the blackjack rules and strategies.
Doubling down strategy
Here are the tips concerning doubling down meaning doubling your bet in exchange for getting one more card.
- Always double down if you have hard 9, 10, or 11 (this is why knowing about hard and soft hands is important);
- Always double down if you have 11 except for the cases when the dealer has an Ace;
- Always double down if you have 10 except for the cases when the dealer has an Ace or 10;
- Double down if you have 9 and the dealer has from 3 to 6.
Card counting strategy
This is the strategy that can be used in an offline casino to increase chances to win but is useless in online gambling so we will only slightly touch it without getting into detail. Card counting is used to determine whether the next hand will be winning or losing using mathematics and the good memory to remember which cards have already been played and which are going to come. Card counting is illegal in most online casinos Canada but if you do it unnoticeable, you can get more winnings (or get thrown out of the casino).
Now you have an understanding of basic blackjack rules and strategies and can start your journey to the amazing world of blackjack. We wish you good luck and winning hands and hope this article was helpful and easy to understand.
It is crucial for you as a player to understand the type of jargon used while playing live blackjack. Here are some:
- Hit. A “hit” is when a player wants the dealer to give them another card.
- Stand. This is when the player stops asking for more cards.
- Double Down. This is a strategic move used by players, but only after the first two cards have been dealt. After seeing your hand, you double down by placing another bet that is equal to the original one. You subsequently draw an additional card.
- Split. To split is to separate cards of equal value dealt in any hand and play each one in separate hands instead. However, this can be done on only the first two cards that have been dealt. A player has the option to split his hands up to four times.
- Insurance. This is a side bet offered to a player if the dealer has an Ace face up. It is insurance for the player against the chance that the hand of the dealer is a blackjack. It provides a secondary bet for a player to guess whether the dealer has a blackjack. If you are correct, then you could win double your bet.
- Hard Hand. A hard hand is when an Ace is counted as a “1”.
- House Edge. This refers to the probable advantage that the casino or the house has in a particular game.
- Hole Card. This is the first card of the dealer, which is put face down.
Blackjack Dealer Rules
When playing as a dealer, the rules of the game are significantly different. These rules are meant to protect the house advantage in the long term and ensure the dealer conducts a mistake-free and straightforward game every time.
Thanks to the dealer rules, the house will profit over the long run regardless of how many players try to beat it.
The more the players who do not abide by the rules of play, the more the house wins. Dealers use the same rules to reveal the card dealt face-down and determine their next move.
- The dealer will always draw another card from the deck if the card total is lower than 16. He will continue to draw cards until the house hand is at least 17 points or goes bust, over 21.
- The dealer will stand if he has no Ace and is 17 points off the deal. This is even when a 21 player has a higher total.
Both land and online blackjack casinos require a dealer to take at least one more card to have a soft hand of 17 points, even when this soft hand includes an Ace and other combined cards with a total value of six points.
Unlike other casino games, blackjack is one of the few games in casinos where the player’s luck does not determine the outcome. Everything is based on the style of play and the strategy employed by the player. It is, therefore, beneficial to learn how to play blackjack to increase your chances of winning.
Players with experience, the ability to count cards, and good memory have an added advantage in this game. Therefore, the only sure way to master the skills needed to succeed in this exciting casino game is to play again and again.
How to play blackjack for beginners?
- Each card has a value or points total. The objective of the game is to get closer to 21 than the dealer but without going over. Numeric cards carry face values while the Jack, Queen, and King are worth 10 points. Play your hand by adding the two cards face-up in front of your bet.
What does double down mean in blackjack?
- This is the chance for a player to increase their initial bet value by up to 100 percent before the dealer gives out another card. You must, however, stand after taking one more card.
How much is an ace worth in blackjack?
- An Ace will have a value of 11 points unless it gives the dealer or a player a score over 21 points, in which case, a value of 1 point is applicable.
How much is a queen in blackjack?
- The queen card has a value of 10 points. When you lay a queen, it must be covered by another card. This can be any card.
How do you increase the chances of winning blackjack?
- The first step is to learn the rules of the game. Follow that up by learning the blackjack basic strategy. It would also help to avoid making the insurance wager.