Blackjack is one of the most popular games you will find in a casino. At one point in your life, you want to play a game that will test out your wits, and still, you get to earn from it. You don’t need to look any further because this blackjack guide will help you with everything you need. Blackjack is played in casinos far and wide, and you can actually win a lot of money from playing. Isn’t that just great?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to play Blackjack and the associated rules. In other words, this is everything you need to know about how to play a Blackjack casino game like a pro.
Understanding Blackjack Game
Since this guide is specially made for a rookie without experience or skills in playing Blackjack, let’s start by introducing the game. You need solid basic knowledge and proper skills to increase your chances of winning. To do this, you need the best strategies and the rules at your fingertips to keep you on the winning end.
First of all, Blackjack is best played in a casino. A suggestion: you can join hundreds of others playing Blackjack at the casino just around the corner because you will experience the fun and big money associated with winning Blackjack. Let us start this guide with what you need to play Blackjack.
- A conventional deck of 52 cards
- Casino chips
- A playing table
The objective of the game
The main goal of Blackjack, in simple terms, is to “beat the dealer.” How do you beat the dealer, you ask? Getting closer to 21 without going over 21; that is why Blackjack pros call the game “21”.
Note: Do not confuse Blackjack with poker. In poker, you play against the other players, but in Blackjack, you aim to beat the dealer.
How to lose
There are two ways to lose:
- If the dealer gets closer to 21, more than you
- If you go over 21 (if you bust)
How to value the cards
- The numbers 2 to 10 count as a face value. For instance, 3 counts as three, and 9 counts as nine
- The letter cards (face cards) J, K, and Q count as 10 each
- Ace (A) can count as either 11 or 1, depending on the value of the hand that helps the most
Here is a practical example to help you understand how an Ace works:
If you are dealt an Ace and a 4, this equals either 5 or 15. You can then decide to take a third card and get a 5. For example, this will total up your card values to either 10 or 20; Ace (1) + 4 + 5 =10 or Ace (11) + 4 + 5 = 20. In this case, the best way to use your Ace is as an 11 because 20 is closer to 21 and is a strong hand.
But if the third card you are dealt is 8, for example, your card values can add up to either 23 or 13. 23 is a loss because it is over 21, and therefore you will consider your Ace as a 1 to give you 13, with a chance to make another draw that will bring you closer to 21.
Step by Step into Blackjack
Buying casino chips
Buying casino chips is the first step of getting considered as a player at the Blackjack table in a casino. Most casinos do not allow you to play with cash, so you can acquire casino chips from the dealer. Note that when exchanging cash for casino chips, you don’t give the dealer the cash directly. You will have to display the amount you wish to play for on the felt table where the cameras can capture how much cash you are using to play. It is the dealer’s work to count the chip denomination equal to the amount laid out on the table and push the casino chips to you. After this exchange, you are free to handle the chips and place your bet.
Placing a wager or a bet
At the beginning of the round, you have to place your bet amount at the bet designated place, usually a circle or a square at the far right or left corner of the table. The table will show you the lower and upper bet limits on the far end. The bet limit is totally dependent on which casino you go to. Most casinos have a minimum wager of $5 per hand.
The dealer deals out cards to each player
The dealer will hand out cards to each, 2 cards each facing up. He will hand the first card to each player, and then one to himself face down. Then the dealer deals the second card to each player and then to themselves, this time facing up. So that by the end of the dealing, each player has two cards face up while the dealer has one face up and the other down. This is now when the game officially begins!
You decide how to play hand.
The first player is always the one on the left. The best strategy is to always access at the value of the dealer’s card that is facing up before making any moves or gestures. You have to add up your card value to decide whether you need another card. If you choose to add more cards, your card values should be at most 21; if this happens, you automatically lose the bet. It is called a ‘bust.’
If you are dealt an Ace and a ten-value card as the first cards, you automatically get a Blackjack because the two cards add up to exactly 21; Congratulations! You will get paid immediately, before the next round, but only if the dealer doesn’t have a Blackjack. If in case the dealer has a Blackjack, too, you will not win anything, but you won’t lose your wager either.
Stand or Stay
Standing means that your first two cards are acceptable and do not need more cards. You can also wave your hand or put an open palm over the table.
Hit the felt lightly.
If you want more cards from the dealer, tap the table lightly. You can have as many cards as you wish, one at a time, as long as you don’t go on a bust. When you’ve had enough cards, you stand to signal the dealer. If you take another card and you bust (go over 21), the dealer will collect your losing bet and move to the next player.
- The dealer’s hand
The dealer opens up the face-down card when all the players are done with their hands. If the card values add up to 17 or more, the dealer stands or stays. Should the dealer have a card value totaling 16 and below, he will deal himself another card. If the dealer busts by drawing a card value over 21, all the players are paid out except those who bust before the dealer drew his card.
Provided the dealer does not go on a bust, he will compare his hand with all the players’ hands. He will then collect bets from players with weaker hands to pay out the players with stronger hands (the hands closer to 21 above dealer’s). Assuming there is a draw in the hands between a player and the dealer, then that’s a tie; it means no money is exchanged for the hands.
Additional rules of the game
Surrender: If your hand (the cards’ total value) is too weak, you can surrender. If the dealer’s first card face-up is an Ace, you cannot surrender. If you choose to surrender, be sure that you will lose half of your original stake. You can simply verbalize the word “surrender” to show the dealer that you are giving up half of your bets.
Split: if you are given two cards of equal value, say 5 and 5, you have an option of putting out a second bet. The dealer should then split the two cards so that they both become the first card in two new hands. This actually applies to face cards. You can split the J, K, and Q cards because they are of the same value.
Blackjack is a very popular game in casinos. Even though it’s a simple game to master and play, it needs a lot of strategizing because it can be mentally challenging. Blackjack is a game that invites critical thinking. We hope that this guide helps you as you get ready to challenge yourself and become a pro. Betting can be addictive; therefore, it is advisable to play rationally and responsibly. And at the end of it, the goal is to have fun and to sharpen your wits.
If you want to try out what you just learned, head over to our casinos and test your skills.