Blackjack, when you are standing on the outside looking in, seems like a fairly easy game to understand and play. Blackjack is the classic card game that almost everyone feels like they have a chance at winning. There is some truth to that. Blackjack has some very simple rules and as long as you know the rules you can play the game with a moderate success rate. With Blackjack there are some very important playing tips you might like to follow in order to gain the winning advantage. Download any of the online casinos to the right to get started right away.
The first thing you should know about any gambling game, not just Blackjack, is that you can't win a hundred percent of the time, unless you are card counting or using illegal practices. In Blackjack the important thing is your strategy. The idea of simply having to get twenty-one points out of your cards, makes many a gambler feel that they can win the deceptively complex game. What many don’t realize is that it is a game based on strategy, as well as luck.
Blackjack, also known as “21,” Vingt-et-un (which is simply 21 in French), or Pontoon, is a card game based on the idea that you must get no more than 21 points when playing it from the numbers and faces on your cards. You simply want to hit the magic number, or stay underneath of it, for once you go over, or “go bust,” the dealer wins.
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Blackjack is normally played with eight regular decks, but you can also play this game with one deck. The cards that are 2 through 10 are all the face value. In other words the deuces are 2 points and the tens would equal 10 points. The ace is a little different in this game. With Blackjack that ace can be an eleven or a one depending on the type of hand it would make. The kings, queens, and jacks are also ten points. In blackjack your aim is to try and get a natural 21 or as close to 21 as you possibly can, without busting. You and the dealer cannot go over 21 or you will lose. In other words say the dealer has 17 and you have 19 that is a good place to be, but if you received another card of 3 point value you would bust and the dealer would win because he has 17. In this game like all card games the house has the advantage over you. The only other outcome in this game that you have is a tie. This is where the dealer and you have the same points in the hand. In this event you both move on, and you get your original bet back, with nothing extra.
To start the game you will have each person place a wager. This is called the ante bet and must be in place to show the dealer you would like cards. Then the dealer will go about distributing two cards to each player in a counter clockwise move. In other words the player to the left gets one card, then the next player, and this motion continues until the dealer has his second card. The dealer will give an up card in the first round, than the second card is the hole card or the card dealt face down. At this point you need to decide if you will stay in the game. If the dealer has a ten or an ace as the up card the dealer may have a blackjack. This is where you could surrender if that rule is allowed. You can also take insurance to bet on whether the dealer has the blackjack or not, so that you don't lose as much money. If the dealer has blackjack you will lose your bets. If you tie with the dealer then you get to keep the wager, but gain no winnings.
As we mentioned above if the dealer has an ace as the up card you can purchase insurance. The insurance allows you a payout of 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack. If the dealer doesn't have blackjack you will lose. If the player also has blackjack then even money can be dispersed. After the additional bets are made the dealer will check the card. If the blackjack is present payouts are made, but if not play will continue as normal.
Hit: When you take a hit you are asking to receive another card. You can get another card for as long as you would like. In other words say you have two card that total five, so you hit getting another deuce. You still have seven, you can hit until you get as close to 21 without busting, but beware when you get 16 because you may want to stop.
Split: When you split a hand it means you have a pair in your hand. You might have two 3's or two 9's. The fact is you can play two hands by placing a second ante bet for the additional hand. You will play the first hand by asking for a hit until you bust, get 21, or don't want to risk busting. Then you will play the second hand. You get earnings per hand, so if one busts you can make even money off of the second hand as long as it is a winner over the dealer. Surrender: In this option you have a chance to look at your first two cards and decide if you want to play or lose half the bet. You can fold your hand in Surrender. Usually this option is only available when an ace is showing as the up card in the dealer's hand. There is the late surrender option in some casinos in which you can surrender if the dealer doesn't have blackjack, but you still won't win. Early surrender is folding before the dealer looks at the cards.
Stay or Stand: This is when a player will have a hand they don't wish to add to. For example if you had a king and a jack you have 20 points and a slim chance of 21, so standing on this type of hand is important. You can say the word stand, wave the dealer away, or in a single deck game you can place the wager on top of the cards.
Double: When a dealer only wants one more card and they are sure they can win the hand with that card without going bust, they can double down. This means you place an additional wager and ask for that next card. You can only double down on the first two cards. You can also double down after a split.
Surrender: this is when you forfeit half of the amount of money that you have bet and you give up your hand. This is a rare one as many casinos do not allow this move.
Once all players have their hands the player to the left will start the action until the dealer is left to display whether the house wins. The dealer doesn't have freewill, which means they are dependent on you the player. When the dealer has 17 or more they must stand. Below the 17 they must hit. If they have a soft 17 the dealer must also hit. If the dealer busts then any player that didn't bust wins.