Blackjack is the most popular card game in the casino. It’s a longstanding favorite for both beginners and experienced players all over the world. The rules are simple and there are plenty of easy-to-follow strategies available to improve your overall gameplay. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when and where Blackjack was first created. Many people look to the old French game of Vingt-et-un as a likely starting point and it evolved from there into the Blackjack game that we all know and love today.
Just a quick look at any online casino and you’ll notice the wide range of Blackjack games on offer. You’re spoilt for choice at most casinos but the huge advantage of playing online is that there are tables to suit every type of budget. Take to the low stake tables to learn the basics and find your winning strategy. Once you feel confident you can always up the stakes and see where your new-found Blackjack knowledge will take you!
How To Play Blackjack
The aim of Blackjack is to get closer to 21 than the dealer using the cards you are dealt. It’s a relatively fast-paced game that offers quick winnings and some great odds against the house. You’ll find that most games are played with 6 or 8 decks. Most of the variants follow on from the classic version and this is the game we’ll explain now.
Card Values & Hands
Number cards count as face value.
- Face cards count as 10
- Aces count as either 1 or 11
- Aces acting as 1 are known as soft hands
- Aces acting as 11 are known as hard hands
The first step is to make a bet and the amounts you can place will depend on the min/max stakes of the table you are playing at. Once the bets have been made the dealer will then deal you two cards face up, and then themselves one card face up and one face down. Now you’re ready to play by making one of several moves. Remember, the aim is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust (going over 21).
Blackjack Basic Moves
- Hit: Receive another card after the initial two cards. A wise move when you have a total much lower than 21
- Stand: Stop receiving cards because you think your hand is the best it can be. “Standing” on 17 or higher is recommended.
- Double Down: Increase your initial bet (usually the same amount again) and receive one more card only. You must stand after your third card.
- Splitting Pairs: You can split your hand into two if your first two cards are pairs. An additional bet is required and you can split twice per round with a maximum of three hands per player allowed.
- Insurance: Offered if the dealer’s card is an ace. You need to place an additional bet of half your original bet amount. If the dealer’s second card is a ten then you win at 2-1 odds. If the dealer’s card is anything else then you lose the insurance bet and carry on with your original hand and bet amount.
- Surrender: You can choose to end the hand by surrendering half of your original bet amount. A quick way of moving on if you feel that your hand has no chance of winning.
Now that you’re up to speed on the moves you can make in a Blackjack game, it’s also very useful to understand exactly what moves the dealer can do in certain situations. Here are some basic rules that most dealers need to stick to when playing the classic Blackjack game:
- Hit on a soft 17
- Stand on any hand of 17 or higher
- Hit on any hand of 17 or lower
Playing Blackjack online is the perfect way to enjoy this classic game from the comforts of your own home. There are lots of online resources to help you with strategies and how to make the most of your Blackjack experience. If you miss the interaction of real casinos then you can even stream live Blackjack games with dealers for that extra bit of fun! Playing Blackjack can bring hours of enjoyment and with so many variants on offer you’re sure to find a game that is just right for you and your budget.