How To Play Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the simplest card games and this is one of the reasons why it is so popular across the world. Many people learn the basics and principles of blackjack at an early age in order to improve their counting skills but it is only after people reach legal gambling age that the true merit and importance of blackjack comes to light.

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Knowing how to play blackjack is an important skill and while it is a very simple game to play, learning the best way to play can take some time. It is fair to say that blackjack is an easy game to play but a difficult game to master.

How To Play Blackjack

The simplest thing to remember when playing blackjack is that you are looking to get as close to 21 without going over. If you get 21 in two cards, with an Ace and face card, this is referred to as “Blackjack”.

Learn the house rules

When learning how to play blackjack, it is important to pay attention to the house rules as this can affect how you will play. Some casinos have a policy of “standing” when the dealer hits 17 or greater. Others will take a “hit” when they receive a soft 17, which consists of a 6 and an ace. Typically, it is better for the player when the dealer stands on soft 17 as we don’t want to give the dealer a free card to get to 21.

Learn the card’s value

While this should be relatively straightforward, it is worthwhile making sure you know what every card is worth. The number cards represent the value displayed on the card. All of the face cards carry a value of 10. The ace card can be either an 11 or 1. The card is considered to be an 11 unless this number will place you over 21, if this is the case, an Ace counts as 1.

Know the order of play

When playing blackjack, the player is at a slight disadvantage compared to the house because the player has to play first. This means that if the player “busts”, which means getting a score over 21, your money is automatically lost with the casino taking your cash. It doesn’t matter if the dealer then proceeds to go bust with their hand; you still lose your cash.

Learn the vocabulary

There is some basic vocabulary used in blackjack which is not too difficult to understand but you need to grasp the meaning of it quickly to make the most of your time.

The term “hit” means to take another card while “stand” means that you will stick with the cards you hold and do nothing else. You will find that some casinos offer insurance when playing blackjack. This becomes available when a dealer holds an ace in their first card and if you take out insurance and the dealer then goes on to make blackjack, the insurance bet will be paid out at 2-1. It is advisable to never take insurance unless you are card counting, but even then insurance is widely regarded as a losing bet.

If you “double down”, you will double the level of bet and you will receive just the one additional card with no more cards available to you. If you “split”, you will make two separate hands from your initial hand. You can only split if both of your cards are of the same value. If you win after split, you will receive double the money. If one hand wins after splitting, a player will break even. If a player splits and then loses both hands, double the amount of money is lost.