Blackjack games is a casino card game where players try to get hands close to or at 21 points, without going over. To win the round, players must have a better hand than the dealer without busting. The way it is played is simple, but blackjack games are based on strategy, luck, taking risks, and the odds. This makes blackjack one of the most popular casino games around the globe.
Basics of Playing Blackjack
Each round of blackjack begins with an initial bet placed by the player. During any round of blackjack there can be one to many players trying to beat the dealer. This means they each play individually against the dealer, regardless of what the other players hands are, and some may win while other lose during the same round. We will provide easy to follow and understand examples, where there will only be one player against the dealer.
The cards are dealt from a Shoe, where there will be between 1 and 8 decks of cards; a deck contains 52 cards. During the start of the round, after the player has made their initial bet, the dealer will give the player two cards face up, and will take two cards for themselves, leaving one card face down.
Each one of the cards in a blackjack game is worth a different number of points. Numbered card – those between 2 and 10 – are worth the exact number of points as their face value. For example, a five of clubs is worth five points. Face cards – jack, queen, and king – are worth ten points each.
Aces are the exception, as they can be worth one point or eleven points. Aces are worth eleven points when the total hand value is 21 points or less, and when the hand value goes over 21 points, it reduces its value to one point. Hands where the Ace is worth eleven points are called “Soft Hands”, and when the Ace is worth one point, they are called “Hard Hands”. Soft hands have the advantage that if they receive another card, they will not go over 21 points, since the Ace will simply revert to being worth one point.
Blackjacks And Insurance
When a player has one card of value of ten points and an Ace, that is called a blackjack or 21. When this occurs, they will win the round automatically with the payout odds for a blackjack.
However, the dealer can also have a blackjack. If the dealer is showing a ten card, they will check to see if they have a blackjack, and two scenarios will play out: 1) if they have a blackjack, the round will end automatically or 2) if they do not have a blackjack, the round will continue as usual. If the player and the dealer both have blackjacks, the player will push and simply receive their initial bet back.
In the event that the dealer is showing an Ace, the dealer will ask each player if they wish to get “Insurance”. Insurance is when the player places half of a bet, and if the dealer does have a blackjack, the player will get back their initial bet, but lose the half-bet they placed earlier. If the player does not place an insurance bet, and the dealer has a blackjack, the player will lose their entire bet. Insurance is a what-if bet, and you will need to weigh the chances of the dealer actually having a blackjack or not.
Hitting And Standing In Blackjack Games
When the player nor the dealer have a blackjack, the player now has several decisions they can make regarding their hand. When making these decisions, the player needs to be aware of his hand and two card, as well as the dealer’s exposed card.
If the player is satisfied with his hand and/or doesn’t want to risk taking another card, he will choose to “Stay”. This option will end their turn and leaves their hand with whatever score they currently have.
On the other hand, the player can choose to “Hit”. If the player hits, the dealer will give them an additional card. One of two possibilities can occur, if the card makes the players hand go above 21, the player will “Bust” and lose automatically. The other possibility is that they get a card that gets them closer to or at 21 points; if it is still below 21 points, the player can choose to Hit or Stand.
The Dealer’s Turn
After all the players have had their turn, the dealer will reveal their second card. During the dealer’s turn, they can try to improve their hand, based on the set rules of the table. In all cases, the dealer will Hit when they have a hand value at or below 16 points, and will stand on hands at or more than 17 points. The dealer will continue hitting until they have reached 17 or more, or have busted.
If the dealer busts, all of the players that are still in the game will automatically win even money on their bets. If the dealer stands, the player’s hands will be compared to the dealer’s hand. If the dealer’s hand is higher, the player will lose all bets. However, if the player’s hand is higher, the player will win even money on all their bets. On the event that the player and the dealer end in a tie, the bets will push; push is when everyone gets their original bet back.
Example Hand #1
The player is dealt a 6/3, a hand of 9 points. The dealer is showing a J. The player decides to hit and receives a 9, making his hand valued at 18 points. The player now decides to stand.
The dealer then reveals his card, it is a 5. The dealer’s hand is J/5, equalling 15 points. The blackjack rules state that he must hit with 15, so they take a card. They get a 7, bringing his hand to 22 points. As the dealer’s hand has gone over 21, the dealer busts, and the player receives even money on his bet.
Splitting And Doubling Down
Players have an additional two options they can choose to make during certain situations. The first situation is when a player has a hand with two cards of the same value. The player with a hand of 8/8 can choose to Split. This is where the player will split each one of the cards in order to make two separate hands. In order to do this, the player will need to signal the dealer they want to split, and then place an additional bet, equal to their initial bet, and then the dealer will give the player one card for each hand. This will give the player twice the chances of winning. If during the splitting round the player receives another 8, the player can split the new 8/8 hand again; by placing another bet. It is possible that one of these hands will lose, while the other hand will win; it is just a risk the player will have to take.
The other choice a player can make is to Double Down. By doubling down, the player will receive only one additional card, which they will stand on, and will get stuck with whatever hand they are dealt. In order to do this, the player must place another bet of the same amount as their initial bet. This will allow players to wager more money when the odds of getting a great hand are higher, as well as a higher risk of getting a bad hand they could have simply continued hitting on.
Example Hand #2
This following example covers a very possible situation when playing blackjack games. Read carefully, as it could apply to situations you will encounter when playing at any online casino.
The player starts with a 8/8 hand (16 points). It is not a very good hand to take a hit on, nor would it be a good hand to beat a 17 or higher dealer hand. The dealer is showing a 10, so they check to see if they have a blackjack, which they do not, so the round will continue.
The player can choose to Hit, Stand, or Split his hand, and decides to split, so they place an additional bet and the dealer gives the player two cards for each hand:
- 8 / Jack (18 points): The player decides to stand.
- 8 / 3 (11 points): The player decides to Hit, and is dealt a 9, totalling 20 points, and stands.
The dealer then proceeds to turn over his second card, revealing a 8, making his hand 18 points. The player will push for his first hand, but will win his second hand. Overall, the player made a profit from his split.
Online Blackjack Rules
Blackjack Rules – There are many general rules that you can easily find when playing at offline and online casinos. We have the basic rules that you are more likely to encounter when playing blackjack games.
Now that you know how to play blackjack you can learn the basic blackjack strategy that you can use to play better and possibly win more!