Blackjack is a casino based card game that is played with packs of 52 cards. Blackjack is often referred to as 21, which is also the best “score” achievable in the game. Most casinos provide multiple variants of Blackjack that including single deck and multiple deck games and use up to 8 regular decks. This ensures the game remains fair for all players and provides accurate results. Blackjack is easy to play, provides multiple game elements, and the rules are very similar across all variants. Online casinos include additional game options that are offered both for virtual gaming as well as for live dealer games.
Understanding Blackjack rules is easy, but critical in increasing your ability to be profitable. Once you are familiar with the basic rules there are strategies which tell you when to hit and when to stand, and by learning and following these you cut the house edge to a bare minimum. Some also utilize classic casino strategies such as Martingale or Labouchere, but these should just be played for fun and should not be regarded as winning strategies in the long run. Below, we look at all the different aspects involved in Blackjack while also giving some tips and information about the different strategies that have proven to be effective.
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Blackjack consists only of a few rules that give players a layout of how the game works. Since there are only a few rules, there is little worry for getting lost in the game.
|1 – 9||Cards 1 – 9 hold their face value.|
|J, Q, K||Jack, Queen, and King all hold a value of 10|
|Ace||An Ace is the only card with two optional values as it can be used as a 1 or an 11|
There are different rules for each variation of Blackjack, but the standard game is the easiest to understand and get used to. After all, the other available variations are based on this game but have slightly modified rules. So depending on how you like to play, or the style of game you like to play, the bottom line is that little will change. In the regular game and most other variants, you’ll find 4 betting options are available. In online casino games, these options appear only when available, meaning if the rules do not allow these features to be used at the time, they will not be given as an option in the first place.
In Game Options
|Hit||To hit means another card is added to your hand to increase the total. Players can hit multiple times until a sufficient amount has been reached (players choice). Should the value exceed 21, the player will lose.|
|Stand||To stand means you are satisfied with the hand total shown. If you stand, the dealer cannot come back to you to add more cards or provide any other options. Players can stand on any value below 21.|
|Double down||Double down can usually only occur with a hand total of 9, 10 or 11. This means any hand total with a lower value than 9 or a higher value than 11 can’t participate in the double down feature. If this option is selected, the player needs to double their current bet and only 1 additional card will be added to your hand. Once double down is selected, no further moves available, meaning you can’t hit, split, or anything else the game offers. However, there are some variations that allow double down twice, meaning you would have to double the bet twice, but if the first card is very low, you can take another.|
|Split||Splitting is a very popular option among Blackjack players. This gives the players the option to divide 2 cards of the same value. The cards need to consist of the same value, such as 2/2, J/J, A/A, etc. Players can request splitting at any time with a combination if this type, which will require an equal bet to the first bet. Splitting can only take place before hitting, meaning only the first 2 cards of your hand can be used. Once split, the dealer adds another card to each split hand, making it 2 hands in total. The wager value also needs to be doubled.|
|Insurance||Insurance is only offered when the dealer has a face-up card consisting of an Ace. Some variation will require a different instance amount and payout, but in most cases, it pays 2:1. The insurance is an optional side bet, which covers you in case the dealer has 21. Once this has been offered to all players, the dealer will check for Blackjack and either end the round by paying those who have selected the option or go on with the game, meaning Blackjack (21) is not present with the dealer’s hand in which case players will lose their insurance bet.|
|Dealer rules||The dealer won’t have all the options you have, but has the ability to hit. The game will state on the table that the dealer needs to hit on a soft 17 or that the dealer must stand on any 17. This means any value below 17 required the dealer to draw another card, which is one of the main additions that tilt the odds in the player’s hand. As you can imagine, a hand total of 16 that receives another card would most likely end in a bust, which rewards all players that have not busted.|
How to play Blackjack
The objective is simple and easy to understand. Players need to try and beat the dealer by getting a hand closer to 21 without going over 21. However, the tricky part comes in as the dealer will require a hand of at least 17 to play, and players only get to see one of the dealer cards until all players at the table have completed their play.
The game begins by providing all players with 2 cards. The cards presented are dealt face up, and the dealer cards will consist of 1 face up and 1 face down. However, there are variations such as Double Exposure that will reveal the value of both dealer cards.
The dealer will begin by offering options to players first with the options mentioned above. Once you’ve reached an efficient amount in your hand, you can stand, and the dealer will move onto the next hand or player at the table.
Once all players have been offered the features available, the dealer will reveal his other card and add additional cards if needed. Once the dealer gets to at least 17, the hands will be compared. Those who have a lower value than the dealer will lose their bets and those who have a greater value will receive winnings. Should the dealer’s hand have exceeded 21, it would be a bust, and all other players who have not exceeded 21 will automatically win, no matter what their hand value is.
Players can take advantage of a number of great rewards when it comes to Blackjack. Should you beat the dealer, the game will payout 1 to 1, meaning a bet consisting of $10.00, will present $10.00 in winnings as well. Most of the games provide huge limits, which are usually a lot higher online than with land-based casinos. Should you have an Ace and any card with a 10 value (10 or face card), you will receive 3:2 for a Blackjack win.
The most pragmatic approach to Blackjack is to learn when you should hit and when you should stand, based on the cards you are dealt and the dealer up-card. This is called optimal Blackjack strategy and reduces the house edge significantly. You can find charts with different instructions depending on what type of blackjack you play, but it is a good idea to learn the chart for the most common forms of Blackjack in the beginning. The charts to all the different types of blackjack are just a quick Google search away.
Progressive betting strategies can be used with roulette, craps as well as Blackjack as it provides even money winnings. Progressive systems tend to require a high account balance but are easier to keep track of and win big. It is important to note that progressive strategies do not reduce the casino’s edge.
This system simply tells you to double up with each hand you’ve lost. Start with a low bet as values can increase drastically as multiple losing hands in a row are not uncommon in Blackjack. Ensure at least 8 progressive hands are covered in your account balance before using this system. To work it out, you would need to take the value of your starting bet and double it up 8 times at least. For example, if the starting bet is $1, your progressive bet would be $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128. This doesn’t mean a minimum account balance of $128 is needed as you would need to cover the bet values of all the wager amounts. This means adding the values together, which would be $255.
The Labouchere system is similar to the progressive system, but bet values do not increase as drastically. Simply create a row of numbers that represent units. One unit is the minimum bet value used (set by the player). Most players start off small and use a row of 5 numbers. Keep in mind, for this strategy to work, you would have to play all the numbers. Once you have 5 numbers (34212), add the first and last together and apply those many units to your bet. In this case, it would be 5 units. If the bet loses, add the amount of units to the end of your row (342125). The next bet would once again be the first and last number together, which is 8 units. Only when you win can you cross-off (eliminate) the numbers used. For example, if the last hand won, you cross-off the first and last numbers.
In direct opposition to the Martingale, but still on the progressive side of betting, the Paroli strategy tells players to double up their hand when they’ve won. So, it would go: $2, $4, $8, $16 and so on. If, on the other hand, they lose a round, then the Paroli system tells players to start the next round back at the bottom with their original bet. The sequence would be as follows: $2 – $4 – $8 – $16 – LOSS – $2 – $4 and so on. The reason why this betting system is so popular is because it can still help you win big, but also acts as a safety net for big losses. That’s because the money you’ll have lost will largely be casino money, and not your own.