What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a casino ‘table game’, meaning it is a game played against the casino or the dealer instead of other players. Typically, these games are also played on a table instead of mechanical devices or machines. Now, when do you know, What blackjack really is? it’s time to focus on How to play Blackjack: Ultimate Guide for Beginners in this article.
Blackjack can be played with a maximum of 8 decks each consisting of 52 playing cards. The goal of the game is for the 2 cards you have been dealt to add up to 21 or less. To win, you must beat the dealer, or the person appointed by the casino to give out cards. This happens only if your cards add up to more than the dealer’s cards without going over 21. This is also the reason why the Blackjack is alternatively called Twenty-One or Vingt-un which is French for 21.
Important terms to know
Here are some important terms under How to play Blackjack: Ultimate Guide for Beginners article that you must know before starting to play blackjack.
- Advantage or Edge: The statistical probability that one side has of winning. This is shown in the percentage of the bet that they are likely to take in every game. Normally the house or casino always has the advantage. The house has a bigger advantage in most casino games, however, Blackjack is one game where the house edge is significantly low. Moreover, advantage players who can count cards or are pros can erase the house edge, which is why such tactics are usually forbidden to be used in certain casinos.
- Bet: The amount of money the player puts down for one round. If they win, this bet is given back with additional winnings or taken away if they lose.
- Hit: This is when the player asks for more cards after the first two cards have been laid down by the dealer.
- Blackjack: If the player’s or the dealer’s first two cards add up to exactly 21, Blackjack is announced and they automatically win.
- Bust: If the cards of the player or the dealer add up to more than 21, it is considered a bust, and they automatically lose that round.
- Hand: It usually means the round that is being played. However, it can also mean the number of cards a player has in front of them, or in their hands.
- Insurance: This is a side bet offered to players when the card of the dealer that is placed face-up is an Ace card. This is as insurance against the possibility that the dealer might hit a blackjack and thus win the round.
- Stand: This is when the player signals that he does not need or want any more cards for the remainder of the hand.
Rules on How to play Blackjack?
- Since the goal of Blackjack is to add up your cards to 21, each card has a certain numerical value. Numbered cards from 2 to 10 are taken at face value, meaning each card is valued at the number printed on it. The remaining cards that include Joker, Queen, and King, irrespective of suites, are valued at 10 points. The last card, Ace, has an interesting rule. This card is valued at both 1 and 11.
- The chosen value of the ace card depends on what is needed. So if the player were to get a king and an ace card, that could be seen as both 11 in total or 21 in total. Since the value of Ace being 11 would make the player win, it will be taken as such.
- At first, only two cards are handed out to each player. The cards are faced up, meaning the values can be seen by all. For the dealer, one card faces up while the other is laid face down and is revealed only after everyone has finished deciding how many cards they want.
- Once the dealer’s cards are revealed, depending on casino rules, they might be obligated to add an extra card when their total is below 17. If it is above that, they cannot take any extra cards. The exact number varies from casino to casino, so always glance at their rulebook before playing.
- Every blackjack table has its own minimum bet. The least you can bet on a hand differs from casino to casino. It also varies significantly on whether you are playing online or offline.
Tips and general practice
- Online and offline Blackjack can vary significantly in experience. The house edge and some rules can be very different, so always make sure to check those out before you start playing regularly.
- Insurance is not always as lucrative as it sounds, and can have you losing more money in the process. The chance of a Blackjack with the dealer is not as high as most would believe. This means that the money given for insurance is lost most of the time, making even your wins useless overall.
- There are many variants that masquerade as an alternative version of Blackjack but are simply games with higher house edges, or more complex gameplay, making any strategies null and void. Always read up the rules before you start playing a new game.
- Each casino or even each table might differ in rules and gameplay. Before playing, look up the basic rules that the main casino follows, and you will be less likely to get into hot water.
- Side bets added to Blackjack hands usually have a higher house advantage than the main game and are a ploy for players to spend more money in ways that give them a large cut of your spending. This means you can lose more with them. If you must get into side bets, do so after you know which side bet has the lowest house edge.
Blackjack is a remarkable game that is favored by many due to its low house edge. You can count on practically every other casino game to give the casino an upper hand, and a larger cut of your money. With Blackjack, it is theoretically possible to walk away with it all. Though it takes highly skilled players to do so, the low house edge and the involvement of skills make it lucrative enough for players since they don’t always have to depend on the moods of lady luck to win a big hand.