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Blackjack is one of the most popular and extremely exciting casino games that have kept a great number of players engaged with enthusiasm for decades. As this amazing casino game requires little experience, both novices and professional players can get the most out of it as well as bag their buck with benefits and lucrative rewards. However, an aspiring gambler will always find out valuable tips on how to play blackjack in order to boost his chance of winning against the casino. To be precise, taking lessons on the games and applying blackjack strategies to his method of playing, instead of resting on the laurels, are what he focuses on. If you are excited about the idea of being an unbeatable player on this table game, keep reading this article to grab golden tips to master blackjack at the get-go and win big.
Quick Glance at Blackjack
Blackjack or Vingt-et-Un is a comparing card game amongst one or many gamblers and the casino dealer. The principle of this game is quite simple: win against the dealer. In order to win the game, players will have to exceed the dealer’s total of card values. The highest total in the game that any player wishes to get is 21 or, in other words, “blackjack” or “natural.”
As its French name states, this table game is derived from France. Having been around for more than four centuries, blackjack has proven itself an essential seasoning for any gamblers’ taste and preferences with time, especially for card lovers. It used to be illegal, prohibited, and only sneakily played behind the locked door, used to be the means of livelihood for the poor and the source of entertainment for the upper-class and nobles. At the moment, blackjack is more accessible than ever. Blackjack enthusiasts at any corner of the world can be in for a treat at the massive brick-and-mortar casinos and online casino sites. Or, in other words, they can choose between playing their table game of preference on the table and right on their touch screen.
More interestingly, there are many variants and variations of blackjack nowadays, which will present a challenging quiz for thrill-seekers to deal with. There are two popular types of blackjack widely played: single deck and multi-deck blackjack. These two types come with specific pros and cons, along with strategies attached. You can find out how to play single deck blackjack and how to play multi-deck blackjack right here.
Blackjack’s Basic Rules
Blackjack is considered an easy and simple casino game for anyone to play. However, it is necessary for gambling enthusiasts to learn how to play it before blowing their money into this thrilling game.
Before getting insights into the basic rules of blackjack, let’s take a closer look at the table of this game. The blackjack table is a semi-circular table which can be divided into two imaginary parts. One part is for as many as seven players, and another is for the dealer. On the players’ curved side, there are chips, a betting spot, beverages, etc. On the dealer’s side, it is visible to see a dealing shoe with playing cards, discard tray, and chip trays.
Not until the bets are placed does the blackjack game start. Each player is dealt 2 cards, which are all turned up, while the dealer’s cards include a face-up and a face-down.
In blackjack, cards’ value is determined by the value on their faces. Picture cards including J, Q, K are worth 10, while the Ace can count as either 1 or 11. Suppose that you are dealt a Q-6; the total points you get are 16. Notably, the true blackjack comes with the Ace of spades and the Jack of spades, which generates a sum of 21. Other cases formed a total of 21 are considered an ordinary blackjack.
As aforementioned, blackjack is a comparing card game; therefore, players will not have to take card suits into consideration when playing, but the total value of cards in the hand. Players can choose to “Stand” with the value they have got or get another card by using the “Hit” option. Besides, “Surrender,” “Double Down” and “Split” are other blackjack playing options that players can opt for in order to beat the dealer.
Hit: After being dealt two cards, players can ask for a “hit” to increase their hand’s value. Another card will be added to your hand. Don’t forget to get as close as 21 as possible, but not go over it, or you will bust.
Stand: If you are satisfied with the hand’s value and you assume that you can win against the machine or the dealer, you can choose to “Stand.” The blackjack machine or the dealer then can draw other cards until they beat you or their cards’ value exceeds 21.
Split: If the two initial cards you are dealt have the same value, you can opt to “Split” them into two hands on which you can place a separate bet. Then you are able to use these playing options such as “stand,” “hit,” etc., on each hand to win against the dealer or the blackjack machine. However, if you are holding two ten-value cards, it is not recommendable for you to split them.
Double: Blackjack lovers can use this playing option when they think they have a strong hand, and all they need is just one more card. This option can also be applied to split hands.
Blackjack: Blackjack is the most awaited hand that players want to get. It is formed by a picture card and an Ace. However, true blackjack comes with a Jack of spades and an Ace of spades.
Even Money: Players can choose to get an “even money” if they have a blackjack and the dealer shows that he or she is holding an Ace. A payout equal to players’ initial bet will be paid if the dealer’s other card is worth ten-value.
First Base: First base is used to describe the player who sits at the dealer’s immediate left. This player is dealt first and also the first to act in the games.
Hole Card: The card that is left face down is called “Hole Card”. This card is revealed when players decide to choose a playing option on their hands.
Surrender: Once players find that their hand is not a potential one, they can opt tosurrender. If they do so, half of their bet is returned to players.
Upcard: Upcard is the up-face card that belongs to the dealer.
In blackjack, the dealer is the last to turn his card up, so players will have to ponder before using these playing option strategies in order to boost their chance of winning.
The key to success is, don’t try to get your card total as close to 21 as possible; just focus on beating against the dealer and don’t let your card go over 21, or you will bust.
For example, if you are dealt a 9-7, then you draw another card that is an 8, your hand total is 24, you bust.
Players will be asked to make an insurance wager when the dealer’s up-face card is an Ace. This insurance is a side bet that players bet that the dealer’s other card is worth ten points. To make insurance, players have to place a wager, which is as little as one-half of the initial bet on the betting spot. In case the dealer’s down-face is a ten-value card, you win the dealer and receive a 2 to 1 odds winning.
Under some circumstances, a player has a blackjack hand, and the dealer’s hand shows that he or she has an Ace. At that time, the player will be asked if he or she wants to get “even money” to bet that the dealer’s hand is a potential blackjack. Accepting this “even money” means that you will automatically get a 1 to 1 payout if the other card of the dealer is a ten-value card. Otherwise, you lose your bet.
Thrilling as it may sound, high-rollers and thrill-seekers can opt for these playing options to get their gambling experience to the fullest. However, it is recommended that making an “insurance” or taking “even money” is not a wise choice.
Hard Hand and Soft Hand
Blackjack lovers are the ones who know best what a hard hand and a soft hand are. In blackjack, a hard hand indicates the hand that does not contain an Ace or, if it does, the Ace is worth 1. A hand that contains Q-6-A-3 is a hard 20, a hand of 8-4-3 is a hard 15. In the case of a soft hand, an Ace counts 11. Provided that you have 9-A, you undoubtedly have a soft 20.
The tips that any player should keep in mind is if one of their first two cards is an Ace, count it as 11, which will considerably enhance your winning odds against the dealer. Should the card value not come as what you have expected, for example, you have a hand of A-3 worth a soft 14, you can draw another card. Provided that the card counts 7, the card value you get in total becomes a hard 11, which means you are able to draw more without worrying about busting. Thus, players can totally make use of the flexible value of the Aces to applying to their strategies. A hard hand of 4-10 is literally different from a soft hand of A-3 though the value may be the same.
Real cash is not used on the blackjack table but chips. There are six types of chips representing players' bets with different colors: white, red, green, black, purple, and orange with the imprinted denominations respectively: $1, $5, $25, $100, $500, $1,000. In certain casinos, these chips (except the white one) are known as nickels, quarters, blacks, Barneys, and pumpkins.
Number of Decks of Cards
A deck of cards consists of 52 playing cards. Generally, there is more than one deck of cards that are used in the blackjack game, which stops counters from cheating and keeping up with the played cards and boosts the house-edge from casinos’ side. As a result, it is easier to find a multi-deck blackjack game at a land-based casino than a single-deck one. At present, almost all brick-and-mortar casinos use up to 8 decks of cards in the dealing shoe at a time. With online casinos, more than 8 decks of cards can be used.
Before making any bet on the blackjack table, players should carefully check the betting limits in order to avoid getting into any monetary trouble. The maximum and the minimum bet are different amongst casinos and blackjack’s type and are posted right on the table. Imagine the table you intend to play has a minimum bet of $100, which means you are allowed to place a bet as little as $100. Black, purple, and orange chips are available for you to use when you decide to play at this table.
Importantly, chips or “checks” are used on the blackjack table in lieu of real cash. Therefore, if you wish to play, you will have to convert your money into chips. There will be no difficulty as the procedure is easy to do. Head to the blackjack table you wish to play, then wait until the current round is completed. Next, place your cash in front of the dealer and ask for chips, he will exchange your cash into chips and slide them toward you. Your gambling conquest will be set out right after that.
The interesting thing is players are able to play more than a hand in a round at some casinos if the betting spots are still available. In case you wish to play two hands per round, it is obliged to place another wager next to the second one you wish to play. Some casinos require you to double the minimum bet to play with more than one hand.
Dealer’s Playing Rules
It goes without saying that if a player knows his opponent well, he will know how to beat his rival and win the game. That is why grasping the dealer’s playing rules plays an important role in boosting the winnings odds for blackjack players. As mentioned above, players have many playing options to choose from, such as Hit, Split, Surrender. However, the dealer does not.
It is widely seen that when the dealer’s hand is less than 17, he or she will certainly hit another card, and when the hand ranges from 17 to 21, he or she will stand. However, your mileage may vary as not all casinos apply these rules. At certain casinos, dealers have to stand when the hand’s total is a soft 17, while at others, another card must be hit. In a word, players will have more chances to win the blackjack game if the dealer stands on a soft 17.
It is obvious to see the blackjack’s payout right on the semi-circular table: “Blackjack pays 3 to 2”, which means players can expect to get a multiplier of 1.5x his initial bet. However, this payout is paid for players who have a blackjack hand only. Suppose that you place a bet of $100 and win against the dealer with a “natural” or “blackjack,” the total sum you receive becomes $250.
If you are holding an unbusted hand that exceeds the total card value of the dealer, you win the game. The payout you receive is at 1 to 1 odds. You are paid a reward of $100 for a bet of $100 wagered, for instant.
In case the players’ hand and the dealer’s one have the same total, the game is a tie or push, and players’ bet is totally retained.
You lose your bet if your hand goes over 21 points.
Is Counting Cards a Good Strategy?
One of the most practical strategies that are applied to win traditional blackjack is counting cards. However, in the case of online blackjack, this strategy may not work as almost all online blackjack games use Random Number Generators, which shuffle decks of cards in an unpredictable manner. Besides, blackjack free games or blackjack demo versions do not allow you to practice this popular tactic, but a live version.
In blackjack live games, the real dealer uses a real deck of cards via a video stream, so it is a good chance for you to figure out how this tip works and if it is truly practical. The noteworthy point is that this tip will efficiently work if a deck of cards is used. Nowadays, from 4 to 8 decks are used in blackjack live games, which is strongly believed to increase the house-edge and stop players from counting cards left.
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Every player should play blackjack for free before playing for real money. There are many free blackjack games on the internet nowadays, so players can easily access these games to hone their knowledge and experiences without any deposit and download app required. Moreover, these games also allow players to apply their own strategies to boost their winning odds against the dealer.
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How to Play Blackjack Online?
Due to the unexpected Covid-19, many players nowadays choose to play casino games, including blackjack right on their coach. There are two options for players to pick: play for free and play for real money.
As stated earlier, gamblers playing just for fun will not have to worry about their bankroll as it is unnecessary for them to provide any personal information or make any deposit. However, it is not the case with the real money version.
There are many casino-related problems that players will have to take into consideration when they decide to play blackjack for real money online. However, you can get started by following these steps:
- Make sure that you choose a trusted and responsible casino site
- Check if banking options you are using is accepted at that casino
- Sign-up and make deposits
- Enjoy your gambling adventure
Suppose you have not had your wits about you when it comes to picking up a reliable online casino site that offers blackjack. In that case, you can read our latest online casino reviews conducted by experts and hundreds of local testers or check our best casino reviews in 2020 along with the best casino bonuses.
In order to be polite on the blackjack table, novices should pay attention to what they should not do to avoid being embarrassed in any circumstance, which can confuse both their fellows and the dealer. Here is some blackjack etiquette that a newbie should keep an eye on:
- Players are not allowed to touch cards.
- Cards are not permissible to be held with two hands.
- Cards are always placed on the table, not below the table.
- Real cash is not allowed to be handed to the dealer.