How to Play Blackjack: Tips & Strategies
Blackjack is a popular casino game that has been around for many years. The game has been available at online casinos for more than two decades during which many additional variants have been created, some with different blackjack rules.
However, the standard Blackjack variation remains the same and provides multiple reward opportunities for players to enjoy. The game is easy to learn and play, but to achieve winnings, you would require a set of rules or apply a strategy to get the best results. The game itself includes only a few rules that need to be remembered to ensure you get the best possible results with each round.
These rules are there to ensure the house edge remains in place while also giving players the opportunity to take advantage of the rewards included.
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The Basic Rules of Blackjack
Most variations of the game are played with multiple decks of 52 cards. This means all the regular cards are included, but jokers have been removed. The reason more than one deck is used is to eliminate the possibility of card counting.
The objective in Blackjack is to simply obtain a higher hand total than the dealer, but without exceeding a total value of 21. This is considered a bust and the player would lose. There are no minimum requirements to the player hand, but the dealer will need to draw another card on any value below 17. You will find some casino table state that the dealer hits on soft 17 while others state that the dealer stands on 17.
The strongest possible hand in Blackjack is 21 with a face card and an Ace. With most variations, a Blackjack from the player and dealer will result in a push (no one wins or loses), but there are also variations that state the dealer will win or the player will win. However, these rules usually apply to non-standard game rules.
Finally, the last basic rules you need to consider is when you are allowed to double down and split. With online games, this is very easy as they present the game rules within the game under the information tab. Some games limit players to only being able to split certain cards and double-down on certain cards.
Player Betting Options:
Mainly, there are only 4 options presented to players. These include hit, stand, double-down, and split. Once you understand what these options mean, you’ll have a much better understanding of how strategies work and how the game is played at land-based casinos and online casinos.
Hit: Hit is used to receive another card from the dealer. Should you see that your hand value to too low, hit will give you another card to increase the hand total.
Stand: Should you have already reached a high enough total and do not require more cards, you can use Stand to finalise the hand. The dealer will then show his cards or move on to the next player. Once you’ve selected stand, no further moves can be made.
Split: Split is one of the options that need to be reviewed when joining a table. Basically, this option lets you divide 2 cards of the same value, which would double your bet value and give you the ability to win twice within a single round. For example, a hand with two 10’s can be split and will receive another card each. The hit and stand options will be available for both hands, meaning they are played separately. Re-split is not a common option with standard game rules.
Double-down: Double-down is the only option you have to increase your bet after the cards have been dealt. This option is popular with hand values that consist of 11 or below. Once requested, you would need to double your bet, and the dealer will present only one more card. This option also results in an automatic stand, meaning once this option has been used, no further moves are allowed. Some variations of Blackjack will allow you to double down more than once.
How the Game is Played
Once you’ve placed your bet, the dealer will present 2 face-up cards to you and 1 face-up and 1 face-down card for the house. The dealer will then offer the options mentioned above to you, which you can choose from to increase your hand total with hit, double-down, split, or stand. Once all the players have completed their choices, the dealer will flip the house cards and add additional cards until a value of 17 or above is achieved. If the dealer exceeds 21, all players that have not exceeded 21 will win even money. However, if the dealer has a higher value than your hand, but still below 21, you will lose.