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How to Play Blackjack - Instant Lessons

Blackjack is the one casino game where players stand a chance of beating the house in the long-term. The house edge in Blackjack is typically around 2% – 3%, but when you use basic Blackjack strategy, it is just 0.5%. Only craps comes close to Blackjack with a house edge of 0.8%.

It’s truly amazing that casinos offer card games like Blackjack. We all know that 21 is the magic number in Blackjack, but do you need to score a hand total of 21 to win? These and other questions will be answered shortly. Buckle up, we’re about to take you on the express train to Blackjack central.

The Basics of Play

The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 points as possible without going over 21, known as going bust. The cards are assigned specific values that indicate their point levels. Aces can be counted as either one point or 11 points, all face cards are counted as 10 points, and all number cards retain their face value. The dealer will deal each player two cards, both face up, and deal themselves a face up card as well as a face down card. The dealer will check their face down card, but will not reveal it to players unless he has scored a blackjack, meaning he has an ace and a 10-point card as his first two cards.

Players must make their bets based on the cards they have been dealt. They then have the option to ‘Stand’ meaning they keep their cards as is, or ‘Hit’, meaning they will be dealt an additional card from the dealer. A player may ask the dealer to ‘Hit’ them as many times as they like. Once a player rests their hand the dealer will begin dealing to their hand. The dealer is required to hit until they have a minimum of 17 points.

The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 points as possible without going over 21, known as going bust. The cards are assigned specific values that indicate their point levels. Aces can be counted as either one point or 11 points, all face cards are counted as 10 points, and all number cards retain their face value. The dealer will deal each player two cards, both face up, and deal themselves a face up card as well as a face down card. The dealer will check their face down card, but will not reveal it to players unless he has scored a blackjack, meaning he has an ace and a 10-point card as his first two cards.

Players must make their bets based on the cards they have been dealt. They then have the option to ‘Stand’ meaning they keep their cards as is, or ‘Hit’, meaning they will be dealt an additional card from the dealer. A player may ask the dealer to ‘Hit’ them as many times as they like. Once a player rests their hand the dealer will begin dealing to their hand. The dealer is required to hit until they have a minimum of 17 points.

How to Place Blackjack Bets?

It’s easy to bet on Blackjack games. The first thing you need to do is choose the right game to play. We recommend Blackjack games with as few decks as possible, and Blackjack payouts of 3:2 as opposed to 6:5.

Why? Because if you place a $100 bet and you hit Blackjack, you will win $150, instead of $120 on Blackjack. Casino games like Classic Blackjack offer many exciting winning opportunities. Pick your chip size and place your bets at the table. Next, click Deal!

If you want to remove your bets, simply click the Clear button, and start over. You will be dealt 2 cards face up, followed by the options to Stand, Hit, or Double. Note the table minimums and maximums on the top right of your screen – these determine the betting limits.

Blackjack Bets & Payoffs

Unlike when learning how to play roulette and craps, it’s easy to place bets in Blackjack. There aren’t a whole lot of different options to worry about like Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come and all those confusing rules and regulations.

With Blackjack, you are dealt 2 cards face up and you must decide if you want to Hit, Stand, Double, or Take Insurance. The way you do this is by calculating the total hand value of your cards versus the dealer’s upcard. You simply need to beat the dealer’s hand total without exceeding 21.

The bets and payoffs that are possible are largely determined by the table minimums and maximums. It’s always a good idea to start off at tables with low minimum bets and work your way up as your game improves. Here are some of the payoffs you can expect with Classic Blackjack games:

  • Insurance Bets Pay 2: 1
  • Winning Hands Pay 1: 1
  • Classic Blackjack Pays 3: 2

What Do the Following Blackjack Bets Mean?

Push – When your hand has the same value as the dealer hand. This draw situation results in your bet remaining on the table for the next draw.

Insurance – If the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, you can take an insurance bet to guard against the dealer drawing a 10-value card. The insurance bet is 50% of your original bet. If the dealer draws any other card, you lose the insurance bet.

Double Down – once you’ve received your first two cards, you can use the double option to double the size of your bet and have one additional card dealt to you. You won’t be able to draw any other cards.

Split – you have the option to split identical cards into two separate hands and play them as such. You can continue to hit until you bust, or until you’re happy.

Remember, there are many other types of Blackjack games besides Classic Blackjack. Each of them has its own bets and payoffs. Most of the time, the dealer draws to 16 and stands on all 17’s (hard 17 and soft 17), but you’ll need to check this before you play. Classic Blackjack has a theoretical RTP of 99.56%. This means you can expect to win $99.56 back of every $100 that you bet when using basic Blackjack strategy. It’s a pretty good deal!

History of Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. Originally known as twenty-one, a game that was first referenced in a short story written by Don Quixote writer Miguel de Cervantes in Spain in 1601. A gambler himself, Cervantes’ story centers around two cheats working in Seville who have become experts at cheating at twenty-one. The book makes reference to the fact that the game’s objective is to reach 21 without exceeding it, as well as the fact that the ace has a value of 1 or 11. When twenty-one was first brought to the United States, in order to garner interest, gambling houses offered special bonuses, including a ten-to-one payout if a player had a hand, known as a ‘blackjack’. This hand had to contain an ace of spades as well as either a black Jack of Spades or Clubs card. The bonus did not last long; however, the name stuck and modern-day Blackjack was born.

How to Win at Online Blackjack

There are several ways to win at blackjack. The first is by scoring blackjack, meaning that your first two cards have given you a 21-point hand. You can also win by scoring a total value that is less than 21 points, but over the dealer’s total. For instance, you have a face card and a nine, making a total value of 19, while the dealer has a face card and a seven, making a total value of 17.

Players can also win online blackjack if the dealer goes bust (exceeds 21 points) while the player’s card value remains under 21. If the dealer and the player should happen to tie, it is known as a ‘push’ and neither player is considered to be the winner.

And there you have it – the 5-minute guide to playing blackjack like a pro. Of course, you can use blackjack charts and strategy guides to help you, but this info is enough to get you started. You can play free blackjack online and once you’re comfortable, switch to real money gambling mode and play like a pro!

Practice Blackjack:

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