This wonderful piece of article is solely dedicated to beginners and of course, the pros if they’ve forgotten some Blackjack tricks and tips. We’ll be discussing some facts, how to play, and tips and tricks on Blackjack. So, feast your cards and eyes on this exclusive guide to Blackjack. And, before you set out to get your hands dirty on deck, you’ve got to know the lay of the land, so to speak, on how the game is really played. More specifically the basic blackjack rules, the objective of the gameplay, and a few protocols to follow pursuit like any other game when you’re on deck.
So, shall we start with some history? The Blackjack was originally called a “21” card game, then went on to be called “blackjack,” in history. We don’t really understand the transition as long as we play the game right. The pioneers who invented this game had originally planned a different strategy, but it changed over time. There’s nothing to hide really — but blackjack is different from other casino games cause it’s easily exploited by casinos that thrive on built-in advantage over players. This article will help you beat the house and win the deck, of course!
The Rules — On a journey to expertise
Beginners take note and pros fact check — here’s a basic layout of the Blackjack, and please don’t be overwhelmed by the description. Hope you find this article useful as much as we had fun writing it for you!
So, here begins the lay of rules — Blackjack is played with one or more standard 52-card decks, with each denomination assigned to a point value.
- The cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value.
- Kings, queens, and jacks are each worth 10.
- Aces may be used as either 1 or 11.
Pointer: Blackjack pays 3-2, that is, a two-card 21 on a $5 bet which will win $7.50 instead of the usual 5 dollar bet. And also, money payoff on other winning hands. However, if the dealer also has a two-card 21, the hand pushes, or ties, and you just get your original bet back. But if the dealer goes on to draw 21 in three or more cards, your blackjack is still a winner with its 3-2 payoff.
- Most games today use four, six, or eight decks.
- After being shuffled, the cards are placed in a receptacle called a shoe, from which the dealer can slide out one card at a time.
- Single or double-deck games, most common in Nevada, but also popular in Mississippi and some other markets, maybe dealt from the dealer’s hand.
Remember: The object for the player is to draw cards of total or closer to 21, without going over more than the dealer’s cards. The best total of all is a two-card 21, or a blackjack.
How to play Blackjack — An important criteria
Once the rules are cleared off the air, it’s time for you to take charge of the deck. Players try to understand the gameplay and don’t rush in for the win — observe a pro, lose a few matches, and get on with it.
The Game Play — The game is usually played at an arc-shaped table that accommodates up to seven players on the outside and for the dealer on the inside. At one corner of the table is a rectangular placard that tells the minimum and maximum bets at that table, as well as giving variations in common rules.
For example, the sign might say, “Blackjack $5 to $2,000. Split any pair three times. Double on any two cards.”
- That means the minimum bet at this table is $5 and the maximum is $2,000.
- Pairs may be split according to the rules described below, and if more matching cards are dealt, the pairs may be split up to three times for a total of four hands.
- The player may double the original bet (double down) and receive just one more card on any two-card total.
Some important feed:
- Play begins when you place a bet by stacking a chip or chips in the betting square on the table directly in front of you.
- After all the bets have been placed, each player and the dealer are given two cards.
- In a shoe game, all player cards are dealt face-up, and the players are not permitted to touch their cards.
- In a single or double-deck game dealt from the hand, cards are dealt face down and players may pick them up with one hand. Either way, one of the dealer’s cards is turned face-up so the players can see it.
Once the cards have been dealt, players decide in turn how to play out their hands. After all the players have finished, the dealer plays according to set rules —
- The dealer must draw more cards to any total of 16 or less and must stand on any total of 17 or more. In some casinos, the dealer will also draw to “soft” 17 —a 17 including an ace or aces that could also be counted as a 7.
- The most common soft 17 is ace-6, but several other totals, such as ace-3-3 or ace-4-2, on up to ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace in a multiple deck game, are soft 17s.
Beginners, please pay close attention and pros juggle your memory!
Hit: If you hit, you take another card or cards in hopes of getting closer to 21.
- If the player’s total exceeds 21 after hitting, the player is said to “bust” and loses the bet.
- In shoe games, the player signals a hit by pointing to his cards or scratching or waving toward himself. In facedown games, the player signals a hit by scratching the table with the cards.
- Verbal calls to hit are not accepted — signals are used for the benefit of the security cameras above the table, so a taped record is on hand to settle any potential disputes.
Stand: If you stand, you elect to draw no more cards in hopes that the current total will beat the dealer.
- Signal a stand by holding a flattened palm over your cards in a face-up game or by sliding your cards under your bet in a facedown game.
Double down: You may elect to double your original bet and receive only one more card regardless of its denomination.
- Some casinos restrict doubling down to hands in which your first two cards total 10 or 11.
- Others allow you to double on any two cards.
- Double down by taking a chip or chips equal to the amount of your original bet and placing them next to your bet.
- In a facedown game, at this point, you also need to turn your original two cards face-up.
Split: If your first two cards are of the same denomination, you may elect to make a second bet equal to your first and split the pair, using each card as the first card in a separate hand.
- For example, if you are dealt two 8s, you may slide a second bet equal to the first to your betting box. The dealer will separate the 8s, then put a second card on the first 8. You play that hand out in normal fashion until you either stand or bust; then the dealer puts a second card on the second 8, and you play that handout.
Insurance: If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, you may take “insurance,” which essentially is a bet that the dealer has a 10-value card down to complete a blackjack.
- Insurance, which may be taken for half the original bet, pays 2-1 if the dealer has a blackjack.
- The net effect is that if you win the insurance bet and lose the hand, you come out even.
- For example, the player has 18 with a $10 bet down. The dealer has an ace up. The player takes a $5 insurance bet. If the dealer has blackjack, the player loses the $10 bet on the hand but wins $10 with the 2-1 payoff on the $5 insurance bet.
Key Pointer: Many dealers will advise players to take insurance if the player has a blackjack. This can be done by simply calling out, “Even money” — because if the dealer does have blackjack, the player gets a payoff equal to the player’s bet instead of the 3-2 normally paid on blackjack.
These are the steps involved: Player bets $10 and draws a blackjack. The dealer has an ace up. The player makes a $5 insurance bet. The dealer has a blackjack. The player’s blackjack ties the dealer’s, so no money changes hands on the original bet. But the $5 insurance bet wins $10 on the 2-1 payoff — the same as if the original $10 bet had won an even-money payoff.
Sometimes, some dealers who suggest this play are giving bad advice. Insurance would be an even bet if the dealer showing an ace completed a blackjack one-third which is 33.3% of the time. But only 30.8% of cards have 10 values.
- Taking insurance is a bad percentage play, no matter what the player total unless the player is a card counter who knows that an unusually large concentration of 10-value cards remains to be played.
Tips and Ticks — Beat the House like a pro
But first, the players need to understand the concept of variations in Blackjack. Not all blackjack games are strategized to be equal. Some variations in the rules are good for the player, and some are bad.
The shifts in the house edge may look small, but they make large differences in a game in which the total house edge is less than 1% against a basic strategy player. Here are some common variations and their effect on the house advantage, and how you can beat them to it —
Double downs after splitting pairs permitted: A very good rule for the player, it cuts the house advantage by 0.13%. In areas where several casinos are within a reasonable distance, the player should choose games in which doubling after splits is allowed.
Re-splitting of aces permitted: At most casinos, the player who splits aces receives only one more card on each ace.
- But if the player receives another ace, some casinos allow the resulting pair to be re-split.
- This option cuts the house edge by 0.03%.
- It is rare to find a game that goes even further by allowing the player to draw more than one card to a split ace, an option that cuts the house edge by 0.14%.
Early surrender: When the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, the dealer checks to see if the down-card is a 10 to complete a blackjack before proceeding with play.
- If the house allows the player to surrender half the original bet instead of playing the hand before the dealer checks for blackjack, that is early surrender.
- A great rule for the player, and one that is rarely found, early surrender cuts the house edge by 0.624%.
- Surrender can easily be misused by beginners who haven’t mastered basic strategy.
Late surrender: Found more often than early surrender, but still not commonplace, late surrender allows the player to give up half the bet rather than playing the hand after the dealer checks for blackjack.
- This decreases the house edge by 0.07% in a multiple-deck game, 0.02% in a single-deck game.
Double-downs limited to hard 11 and hard 10: Some casinos do not allow the player to double on totals of less than 10 or on soft hands. The net is a 0.28% increase in the house edge.
Dealer hits soft 17: If instead of standing on all 17s, the dealer hits hands including an ace or aces that can be totalled as either 7 or 17, the house edge is increased by 0.2%.
Blackjack pays 6-5: Common on single-deck games on the Las Vegas Strip, this game is a bankroll breaker for players.
- For example, a two-card 21 pays only $6 for a $5 bet instead of the usual $7.50, which adds 1.4% to the house–more than the usual house edge against the basic strategy of seasoned players in nearly all games with the normal 3-2 return.
Looking for online casinos that provide Blackjack? Here’s a list below, and also make sure to check our reviews on online betting —
Now that rules and tricks are out of the way, how about you get your hands on the deck and show the house who’s the boss! Check for more articles on etiquette and strategy of blackjack to have an upper hand before you lay the land, if so to speak!