One of the most widely played casino games around is Blackjack. It’s hugely popular and is simple enough for most people to pick up and play. So here are some of the basics you need to know in order to get started. This is our guide: Blackjack for Beginners.
The purpose of Blackjack is to score as near to 21 or as near as possible to the value of 21 without going over. The dealer acts as the house and if you beat the dealer’s total you win the hand. A standard deck of cards is used to play with each card from numbers 2 to 10 each given a point value. The Kings, Queens and Jacks are all worth 10 points, whilst the Aces may be used as either a 1 or an 11 and can be selected as either using your judgment.
The dealer will deal out two cards to each participating player face up. In the most popular variants like European Blackjack, he will also draw himself two cards but will only place one face up for other players to see (this will vary for different variants, but don’t worry about that just yet). The total value of the cards in front of you should determine your next move. You may HIT STAND or SPLIT. If you hit you will be dealt an additional card that will increase your existing total. This could put you closer to 21, or give you an amount over 21 in which case you would BUST and the dealer will subsequently collect your cards. You can continue to HIT until you choose to STAND, which simply means to stop and the play moves next to the player.
If you happen to be dealt two of the same valued cards you can opt to SPLIT your hand. This requires you to place a second bet of the same value as your first and you can then treat both cards as two separate draws. The house will deal you further cards for both hands and you continue as above. There may also be the option to DOUBLE DOWN which involves you doubling your bet for you to receive just one more card. When you have a strong start, this is a way of increasing your bet and hopefully your payoff.
The best hand to be drawn straight off the deck is of course BLACKJACK. This requires you to have a 10, or a 10 value card (King, Queen or Jack), along with an Ace. This is a natural BLACKJACK hand and can only be tied by the dealer when he/she also draws BLACKJACK. A win from a BLACKJACK hand will land you a 3-to-2 payout based on your original stake in most variants of blackjack. If the single face up card that the dealer draws for himself is an Ace you will also have the option to buy INSURANCE. The insurance can protect you from the dealer potentially turning over BLACKJACK with his remaining card. The cost for this is half the value of your original bet and it will pay 2-1 on the occurrence that the dealer does in fact have BLACKJACK.
Once all the players have taken their turn the dealer will reveal his second card. If the dealer has scored 17 or more they must STAND and any players who have beaten that particular score win. If the dealer has scored 16 or less then he/she must continue to draw cards from the deck until they have reached a score of 17 or over. If they BUST, with a score of over 21, all other players still in the game win. If a player ties with the dealer it is referred to as a PUSH and this player will simply receive his/her bet back. Look for our blackjack strategy cards on the site. They’ll help you play to a perfect strategy.
Simple, right? The best way to really get your head around the games, is to play our free blackjack games- there’s no risk, just go ahead and build up your skills. When you are comfortable with the rules of a particular variant, you can then start to bet for real in the secure knowledge that you are less likely to make a silly mistake.