Blackjack is one of the gambling games where you can influence your fortunes with practical strategies, such as basic strategy and card counting systems. For this reason, a lot of players seek to learn how to play blackjack.
Luckily, blackjack is easy to learn how to play. It doesn’t matter if you are playing a single deck game or a more complex variation; the objective of the game remains the same. And that is to beat the dealer without going over the score of 21.
Blackjack is also one of the casino games with the lowest house edge, which has also added to its popularity. If you play your cards right, you could lower the house edge to less than 1%. Practically none if you are an excellent card counter.
If you would like to find out more about how to play blackjack online, stick around. Below we will teach you all you need to know to get started in blackjack, including how the general flow of the game works, the basic rules of the game, and some tips and strategies to help you win more games.
We have also listed some online casinos with free blackjack games so that you can start practicing how to play. When you feel ready, you also can switch over to real money if you like.
How to Play Blackjack Links
- Play Blackjack Online Here
- Basic Blackjack Rules
- Blackjack Card Values
- Learn How to Play Blackjack Step-by-Step
- Blackjack Tips and Tricks
- Blackjack Terminology
- How to Play Blackjack Online – FAQs
The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer. Many people confuse this with the idea of getting a hand with a score of 21 – the best possible score in the game. However, you don’t need to get 21 to win.
If the score of your hand exceeds a total of 21, you immediately lose the game. This is referred to as “going bust.” So, you need to think strategically about whether it is a good idea to stick with your hand or ask for more cards.
Understanding playing card values in blackjack is relatively simple. The only cards that have different values are the “face” cards and the ace. Cards between two and ten all count for the numerical value seen on the card. That stated, here’s a breakdown of other card values:
- Aces – can count either as one or 11 depending on the value of the other cards it is played with.
- Face Cards – Kings, Queens, and Jacks all count for 10 points.
The best possible outcome for a player would be to see a hand with an ace and a ten-point card.
Now that you know the basics of all land-based and online blackjack games, let’s get into how the natural progression of a game flows:
- Every game starts with a bet. The minimum and maximum bet amount a player can bet depends on the game. If you’re new to the game, we recommend starting with smaller stakes and fewer decks of cards.
- Cards will then be dealt. Initially, both you and the dealer will get two cards. Yours will both be face up, but the dealer will have one face up and one face down card.
- You will now need to decide on how to proceed with the game based on your hand value.
- If you have a hand with a low score, you will want to draw more cards.
- However, if you have a high score, you’ll want to stick with your current hand. If you were lucky enough to have been dealt a natural blackjack, you’ve pretty much won the game.
- The dealer will then reveal their hand and decide how to proceed based on the score. The dealer could draw more cards, or they may choose to stick to their hand. There are set rules for a dealer hit or when the dealer stands.
- If you have a better hand than the dealer, you’ll win the round and the bet. If not, the game concludes, and you lose your bet.
- Begin a new game to play again.
There are many variations of blackjack, and each has its tips and tricks. However, there are a few general strategies that apply to the game as a whole, including:
Split Your Low-Value Hands
There is a rule in blackjack that allows you to split your hand if you are dealt two hands of the same value. For example, two sevens for fourteen.
If you are dealt two low doubles, we recommend you split it. Any double below two nines is considered splittable. The reason is that the two 9s gives you a pretty solid score of 18. However, two eights give you the worst possible score in the game with 16
Double Down Your Bet If You Split
Doubling down refers to doubling your bet in the middle of a hand. If you split on a high set of cards, we recommend that you consider doubling down on your bet. You have a chance of getting two high hands and winning more than you would on a single hand if luck is in your favor.
However, exercise caution with this betting option. Doubling your bet means double the losses if you lose.
Can you afford to lose that amount of money? Will it put your game session in jeopardy? These are questions you need to ask yourself.
Follow Basic Strategy
We won’t get too much into how basic strategy works here – we’ve got a separate guide for that. However, we will say that it is the most trusted strategy available for the casino game. All it provides you with is a bunch of predetermined decisions to follow in the case of every hand.
Avoid Insurance Bets
Not all blackjack games offer the insurance bet, but if it does, make sure to avoid making the bet. Insurance bets are a last-ditch attempt to win money on a losing hand. Naturally, these bets often end badly.
Consider a Strategic Surrender
In some variations of blackjack, you can “surrender” before a dealer reveals their second card. In such cases, you will lose only half your bet. Situations you should consider surrendering in is when the dealer has an Ace face up. Often, in these cases, the dealer has a natural blackjack.
If a casino features the option to surrender (nowadays, not many do), don’t use it overzealously. You may land up sacrificing many potential winning hands if you are not careful.
Now that you know how blackjack works, you should learn the terminology associated with the game, so you don’t get confused when you’re playing a game for real money:
- Hit – when you ask the dealer to give you another card.
- Stand – when you decide to stick to your hand and refuse to add more cards to it.
- Natural – also known as a blackjack, a two-card hand with a score of 21. If you’ve got a natural, you have a good chance of winning the game.
- Surrender – a rule only present in some variations of blackjack. Accepting a loss before the end of a round and getting back half of your bet.
- Double down – doubling your bet and taking an extra card. (Doubling down is a risky move in most cases!)
- Soft hand – a hand featuring an Ace and another card that does not add up to a natural blackjack.
- Face card – a card featuring a character with a face (King, Queen, or Jack).
- Side bet – an additional bet added to your original bet after the game has already started.
Start with placing a bet. You then get two cards with which you determine your starting score. You then have the option to stand or hit (ask for additional cards)—the player with the hand closest to a score of 21 wins. If your score exceeds 21, you lose immediately.
If you have got a hand with a score of 17 or more, you should stand. Anything less and you should hit, even on the dreaded hand score of 16 depending on the situation.
Never split a hand of two 10s as this is a hand score of 20, which is the second-best available score in the game.
Yes, blackjack is an easy game to learn how to play. It’s easy to become an average player. However, it is a pretty hard game to master, so never count on winning every game – especially as it is a game of chance!
It takes between 100 and 200 hours to become an effective card counter. And this may not even include the number required to become an effective card counter in multi-deck games. As the higher the number of decks in the game, the harder it is to count.
You can increase your chances of winning blackjack by using basic strategy. You can count cards, but casinos might not appreciate that.
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