The Basics of Blackjack
Blackjack is a game of chance and skill. It is played with a deck of 52 cards. The goal is to get a total hand value as close to 21 without going over. A hand that goes over 21 is called a bust and the player loses all of their wager.
There are many different types of blackjack games and the rules vary according to the casino. However, all of them are similar in that you are playing against the dealer. The object is to have a total hand value that is equal to or greater than the dealer’s, and not go over 21, which is a bust.
The dealer deals each player two cards. Each card has a printed value of its own, except for the ace, which can either count as 1 or 11.
Players have to decide whether to “hit” (draw more cards) or “stand” with their current hand. Hitting is often a good strategy, especially when the player has a weak hand that needs to be drawn more cards, but it should not be used too much. Stand is also a good strategy, but you should only stand when the player has a weak hand and it is very clear that the player will not draw more cards.
Basic Strategy: The rules of blackjack are based on millions of hands played over time. This provides a sound basis for the game and enables players to reduce the casino’s edge.
Having a Blackjack:
There are several ways that a player can win a Blackjack, but the most common is to have a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s. This is called a “Blackjack”. If a player has this, they will be paid at least 3 to 2 and the dealer will take their chips.
The first step in a Blackjack game is to place your bet and then the dealer deals you a hand. The dealer will give you one face-up and one face-down card. If your cards total 21 (called a Blackjack), you will win automatically, unless the dealer gets the same, in which case you will be dealt a second hand and the dealer takes your original bet.
In Blackjack, you can double your bet by placing another bet on the same number of chips as your original bet. The dealer will then give you a new card for your new hand.
You can split up to three times, with the exception of a pair of aces. In some casinos, you can’t re-split a hand that has been split. In other casinos, a player can re-split a hand up to four times.
Always Split an 8 – A lot of people make the mistake of trying to “stand” with an 8 in their hand and risk a bust by taking a Hit. This is very wrong and statistically the worst hand in Blackjack.
Never stand on Soft 17 – If you have a hand with an ace and a 6 card, it is always a good idea to hit.