Blackjack, or Twenty-one as it is known in European countries, originates from either France or Spain in the early 1600s, according to folklore.
In fact, this blackjack guide found that the history and origin of Blackjack are a matter of serious debate among many researchers. But, enough history. You’re here to learn how to play blackjack. This exciting card game revolves around beating the dealer, by either drawing cards that give exactly the number 21 on face value, or at least, beats the dealer’s cards in value by the end.
It may be conventional wisdom, and not one that is easy to follow, however, it’s always wise to know as much as one can about a game before beginning to play it. Blackjack certainly isn’t an exception.
We might not know how this game that we know and love was born, but we do know that it has become immensely popular, and is often considered to be one of the best online gambling games. There are many different types of Blackjack in the world today, ranging from video versions to live online casino versions and the ever classic table version.
However, that’s not all. Those are merely different platforms to play it upon. There are also different blackjack rules and variants – over 20 variations of the original, in fact. These include styles called Switch blackjack, free bet blackjack, Spanish 21, Vegas, and Pontoon.
Rest assured, however, that only a limited amount of the varieties are available online, and an even more limited variety at any given site. Therefore, this how to play blackjack article will be having a closer look at the blackjack rules and how to play it – but just the classic version without any twists. If you’d like to learn more about Blackjack, feel free to read the rest of our blackjack articles.
Despite what many seem to think, Blackjack isn’t really a game of luck or chance. Blackjack consists largely of mathematical probability, statistics, and a vast amount of skill. This blackjack guide will attempt to tell you all that you need to know about Blackjack – this includes, but isn’t limited to, the blackjack rules, the values of cards in Blackjack, and hints to help you win.
It is often the case that people wish to stumble into a game of Blackjack, and walk away with a pot of gold. As with most gambling games, however, luck is not enough. After you’ve read this article about the basics of playing Blackjack, we recommend that you read some of our other articles that go into details about blackjack card values, the blackjack house cut, and many other things as well.
Getting into a new game, especially a card game or table game, usually raises a lot of questions. Questions like,’ How much is an Ace worth?’ and ‘What are the blackjack card values?’ Rest assured, your questions will be answered.
Blackjack starts with the player being dealt two cards (either both face-up or face down, depending on the blackjack rules of the casino). The dealer deals either one card face up, or two, with one face up and one face down, again depending on the casino. One set of international cards used to be in play, but since introducing countermeasures against card counting, today often more than one deck plays simultaneously.
The cards are dealt to each player, which can be a total of up to seven players at one table, and the dealer in turn. The first player then starts by deciding whether to’ hit’ (take another card) or ‘stand’ (finish his turn with the cards in their hands).
The aim of the game is to reach the number 21 by adding up the numbers shown on the cards in their hand. If 21 is reached, which is ideal, before the dealer then the player in question wins. If the player has more than 21 on any turn, then it’s considered a ‘bust,’ and they lose the game.
There are many different strategies and blackjack rules of play to bear in mind when you start playing Blackjack (as with most gambling table games). Also, depending on which variety you play, and at which casino, the blackjack rules may differ. So, be sure to familiarise yourself with the blackjack rules of the blackjack game that you are playing.
An important point to note is that the dealer has to ‘stand’ if he reaches a hard 17, which means he may no longer keep taking cards. If everyone at the table has either reached 21 or has lost by going bust, then he no longer plays. If the dealer, however, hits a soft 17, meaning one of the cards is an ace, he has the right to continue.
A player can either double, which means he doubles his bet and takes one more card or split on his first hand or first hand of a split. Splitting is putting the two cards apart and taking one more card for each new pile. This also causes the bet to double as there are now two new hands played.
If a ‘push’ is created by both the dealer and the player having the same total on their respective hands, then neither party wins, and the player’s chips are returned to him.
Many strategies exist to help players maximize their winnings in Blackjack, and some refer to either a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ hand. This boils down to whether the player has an ace in his hand or not. As an ace counts as both 1 or 11, this makes it a soft card. It has the ability to be two numbers.
Every other card in the deck is a ‘hard’ number as it cannot change in any way except as face value.
When a player has a soft hand, they can use different strategies against the dealer to increase the probability of a win. Always hitting on a soft 17 or less or standing on a soft 19, is two amongst many known game plans. Casinos themselves have similar ideas for their dealers to ensure they win against the players at the table.
Along with betting and hitting, the possibility to ‘surrender’ is also available and often advised if the player has a hard 15 or 16 against a dealer’s 9, 10 or A. The idea being that it would be improbable to draw a low enough card for the player not to bust. Still, the dealer could easily draw one or more cards to beat the 15 or 16.
Splitting is yet another option to bear in mind. When you have two cards of equal value, you can split your hand and place an additional bet. This gives you two hands of similar value. If you use this skill wisely, it can contribute much to your blackjack game.
There are, of course, some blackjack rules for splitting. Typically, you can only split twice, to give you a total of three hands. You can’t resplit an ace after you have already split it, and a split ace only receives one card. You can split 10 cards that aren’t identical. Additionally, you can hit and double down on the hands that you have split.
Again though, the general blackjack rules don’t always apply. As well as reading blackjack guides, do your own research for the variety you are playing. Check out our blackjack split and blackjack hit or stand guides for more in-depth info.
History has shown that some players have the ability to either count cards or shuffle-track. Both are legal in Blackjack but frowned upon by casinos, and often, the player is asked to leave the table. Counting cards involves counting how many of each card number plays from the shoe since the beginning of the game.
When only one set of cards was used, this was a particularly beneficial skill, but it is much harder when multiple sets are in play. Knowing which cards are left to either double down and increase the bet, can multiply winnings, especially toward the end of the set.
Shuffle-tracking is noticing the pattern of which groups of cards appear when they’re shuffled and are in play. Once that pattern arises more than once, the player looks out for similar cards to be able to double down and bet higher again.
If a push hand deals, which reflects the same total on both the dealer and player’s hand, then the bet is returned. If a player’s normal hand without Blackjack wins, then it’s usually a 1:1 payout, and each bet is returned double. So $10 will return $20 – the original wager plus the winnings.
Doubling down doubles the return – the initial $10 plus a second bet of $10 will return $40. Blackjack pays out on a 3:2 return, so $10 will produce a $25 win.
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Blackjack, 21, Pontoon, whatever you know it as Blackjack is a game with a long and fascinating history – shrouded in mystery as it may be.
From the European continent, it traveled to America to take a new name. Later, it rose in popularity, and over 20 different varieties are available today.
Blackjack is an exciting card game with a primary method of play that’s easy to understand and easy to start and win with. When you begin, it isn’t always easy to understand how to play blackjack, so a blackjack guide that explains the blackjack rules can be very helpful to you.
Blackjack rules state that a player needs to hit or achieve as close to a total of 21 on the face value of his cards and, in all cases, needs to have a better hand than the dealer.
As simple as the blackjack rules can seem, there are many different strategies in place that allow a more favorable outcome, such as doubling down or splitting the cards depending on their total and whether the player holds an ace.
These bets can become even more complicated as the more advanced players take note of the dealer’s hand before they consider their own stakes. If a dealer holds a soft hand, i.e., an ace, then all blackjack rules change, and the player’s game plan must adapt accordingly.
By approaching the game with a few of these basic strategies in mind, as in knowing when to double down or split the cards, the player can increase their chances of winning exponentially.
However, always remember to research the variety of Blackjack that you are playing and make sure that you understand the blackjack rules. Not every strategy is allowed in every blackjack variety, and some casinos may frown upon things which others are quite happy with, Know what you are getting into before you play. It’s also worth checking for live casino promotions and online casino sign up bonus before you get started.
We hope that you have found this blackjack guide, which taught you the blackjack rules and how to play Blackjack, informative and helpful. As you venture into the world of Blackjack, and other casino card games, may the odds ever be in your favor.
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Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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