Blackjack; Back to the Basics

If you’re new to blackjack, an online casino is a great way to get to know the game and practise, before venturing into a real-life casino. Here are a few basics to get you started.

Basic rules

Blackjack can be played with one or two standard card decks of 52 cards. Each card has a value assigned to it, with cards 2 – 10 being worth their face value and jacks, queens and kings being worth ten respectively. Aces can be worth one or eleven, depending on the game. The aim of the game is for each player to get exactly 21 points. A two-card 21 is a blackjack. Players try to beat the hand of the dealer.

Betting

Placing bets is not necessary for playing blackjack, but part of the game in casinos. Each table has a minimum and a maximum bet. Each player places their bet before the cards are dealt. At the end of a round the outcome can be:

  • Win – A winner gets as much as he or she has bet.
  • Lose – The dealer takes the players’ bets
  • Blackjack – The player wins 1.5 times as much as they have originally bet
  • Push – The round is a draw and each player keep their bet.

Dealing

Once everyone has placed their bet, each player at the table, including the dealer, receives two cards. All cards are dealt face-up, except for one of the dealer’s cards, which is dealt face down. When all cards have been dealt the players take turns in clockwise direction, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

Gameplay

Players attempt to get a perfect blackjack. There are various ways to do this, including taking another card, splitting a hand, doubling down or taking insurance. Players can also surrender, but this is not offered at all casino tables. When a player thinks their hand is good enough to beat the dealer, they can stand. Once all players have had their turn and decided whether they wish to double down, take insurance or surrender etc. it’s the dealer’s turn. If the dealer has a blackjack, all players lose, unless it’s a draw. If the dealer hasn’t got 21, they will hit or stand. If the dealer goes bust, all the players win. If not, players with higher points than the dealer win. Players with a blackjack win a bet plus a bonus.