Blackjack is one of the most popular of all table games, take a look at our in depth blackjack guide below so you know exactly how to play like a pro!
There are lots of card games that have been and gone, but blackjack doesn’t seem like it will ever go away, and there are plenty of reasons for this. Blackjack hands come quickly, and you can get a lot of action in a short period of time while you’re playing. One of the biggest advantages to blackjack from an entertainment standpoint is that it is a fairly easy game to understand, there are lots of available rule variations that keep the game fresh. There are chances in blackjack games to get an advantage over the casino, and here we’re going to get you started on doing just that.
The Rules of Blackjack
Here is how the game typically plays out. Each player places a bet, and the cards are dealt. The dealer is dealt two cards with one of them facing up and the other facing down. Each player is dealt two cards, face up. Players can then choose to receive additional cards by electing to “hit,” or they can choose to receive no additional cards by saying that they “stand.” The goal is to get closer to a total of 21 than the dealer without going over.
In this game, Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings all count as a total of 10. The cards Two through Nine are worth their face value, while an Ace can count as a total of 1 or 11 based on which value will give them the highest total without busting. The dealer has to hit or stand based on a set of house rules after all of the players have either chosen to stand or have went bust by getting a total of 22 or more. Generally, the dealer has to continue hitting until he or she has a total of 17 or more.
While there are several sets of rule variations, each variation has either a positive or negative effect on the maximum payout rate that a player can achieve through strategic play. For example, when a player receives a total of 21 with the first two cards, that is called a blackjack and the player usually automatically wins. Not only that, but the player is usually given a better payout than 1:1 with the standard payouts being anywhere from 6:5 to 2:1. The higher the payout on blackjack, the lower the house advantage.
Aside from choosing a set of favorable rules, blackjack strategy is broken up into two parts. The first part has to do with learning when to hit, stand and take other strategic options. The second part involves a type of tracking system called card counting that helps the player determine the best time to make large or small bets on the next hand.
Basic strategy in blackjack is the name of the correct set of actions to take depending on your total and the card the dealer is showing. Learning complete basic strategy takes a lot of practice and study, but there are some general rules to follow that make things easier to pick up. First, it’s good for the player if the dealer holds a low card of Two through Six, and it’s bad for the player if the dealer holds a high card of Seven through Ace. If the dealer has a low card, the player should be passive in terms of avoiding going bust. When the dealer has a high card, the player should hit more aggressively to try to get a total of 17 or higher.
When it comes to card counting in blackjack, there are a lot of misconceptions. The general premise of card counting is that the player has an advantage when the deck has a lot more big cards than small cards because of the increased chances of the dealer going bust and of the player making blackjacks. With that in mind, you keep a running count starting at zero. You subtract from that count when an Ace or card with a value of 10 is dealt, and you add to the count when a low card is dealt. This creates a situation where the player will have an advantage over the casino when the count is high, which means the player should make larger bets. Learning to count cards is a long and difficult process, but it’s worth it.
The strategic depth in blackjack is rarely seen in other casino table games. Because of the high level of strategy involved in minimizing the casino’s advantage, blackjack is one of the top games that players prefer when clearing online casino bonuses or when trying to beat live casinos. For these reasons, it doesn’t seem like blackjack’s popularity will ever fade.
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