If you go to a casino then 9 times out of ten, you’ll see full blackjack tables on the floor. The game is a perennial casino classic and perhaps a lot of that credit goes to Hollywood for glamorizing blackjack in countless movies and TV shows. Besides if you are interested in making money then blackjack is your best bet, as it’s not just a game of chance, but also a game of skill and tactical decision making. The player actually has an ability to influence his or her fortune here. That being said- how do you get started if you have never ever played blackjack before? By getting to know all the rules.
It’s all about 21
To begin with, when it comes to blackjack, the player is always playing against the dealer and not against any of the other people on the table. To make card counting difficult and extend their advantage, casinos will always use a combination of multiple decks of cards. The dealer for his turn deals two cards to himself and two to each player. The cards dealt to the players are both faced up, while one of dealers cards is face up and the other face down. The dealer must deals cards to himself or herself till the total of the cards reaches 17 or more.
The basic premise of the game is rather simple, the person who has the biggest total of cards without going over 21 wins. So if you have a total of 19 and the dealer has 17 then you win. If you have 18 and the dealer has 22 then he’s busted and you win again.
For the purpose of blackjack, pip cards (the ones numbered from 2-10) carry their face value. The face cards (J, K, Q) are all valued at ten. Ace on the other hand is a special card that can be valued at 1 or at 11 depending upon different situations. It’s entirely up to the player how they want to count the ace as.
For example, if you are dealt an ace and a 8, then you can chose to count the ace as one (which makes your total 9) or you can count it as 11 (making your total 19). Needless to say, in this scenario, it would better your chances of winning if you were count the ace as 11 as this would get you as close to 21 without going over 21.
Hit or stay
Once the initial two cards are dealt to you, it’s up to the player to choose whether they want another card or not- remember, there is no compulsion to ask for anther card. It’s entirely your own judgment call whether you want to the total or not. Let’s tae an example- If your initial card total is 6+2 = 8, then you definitely want the dealer to deal another card to you as you are pretty farm from 21 and there’s a good chance that the dealer’s card total will surpass you. To ask for another card, you ask the dealer to ‘hit me’.
On the other hand, if you are dealt a jack and 8, then you have a total of 18, which is much more closer to 21, and it’s a good idea for you to stand. Sure, you could get another card that might turn out to be A, 2 or 3 however there’s an even better chance of a dealer going bust giving you the win by default. Do not forget that the dealer must keeping drawing new cards till his or her card total is 17 or above. When you don’t want any more cards you tell the dealer that you are ‘staying’.
If the initial hand that is dealt to you involves 2 cards of the same value then you can choose to split the cards into two hands. The same bet is played on the new hand and you continue playing the game in a normal way but two hands at a time. Decision making and strategizing your approach is a crucial part of blackjack and the knowing the rules inside out, is the first step in a long yet fruitful process.