Before playing blackjack in a land-based or online casino, you need to learn blackjack and master its rules. This will make you feel more comfortable during your first game of play, so the game will go smoothly. If you understand the rules and strategies, you will be able to make quick decisions and your games will go faster, hence the importance of learning blackjack first.

Blackjack is a card game played between a player and a dealer. While the traditional game, played in casinos, often has several players around the same table, the online game puts the player more face to face with the dealer. This game is one of the most popular gambling games both on the internet and in traditional casinos. It is played with 1 to 8 packs of cards of 52 cards each, which are placed in a special box called the ‘shoe’. The decks are usually shuffled after each game.

When playing online, you will quickly notice that there are different Blackjack games. Indeed, depending on the platform, you can have access to a large number of variants. Generally speaking, the blackjack rules are fairly identical. Let’s look at the card values, the different hands and how to play.

Card Values

To play Blackjack properly, it is imperative to understand the value of the different cards in the deck. In this card game, the suit of the cards doesn’t matter, so if you have a club, diamond, heart or spade it doesn’t matter, the only thing that matters is the value that is assigned to each card. For a better understanding here are the values of the cards in blackjack:

2 to 9: The value of each card is the same as the value of its name. A 4 counts as 4 points, and so on.

Logs: These are the 10s, Jacks (J), Queens (Q) and Kings (K), which count as 10 points.

Aces: The ace can have two values, either 1 point or 11 points, depending on the player’s hand. If the player’s hand exceeds 21 points, the Ace is counted as 1 point. If the player’s hand does not yet exceed 21, the Ace is counted as 11 points. The value of the Ace is always determined by the value of the cards in the hand so that you have the advantage.

Blackjack: A hand with a value of 21 points is called blackjack. A combination of a 10-point log and an Ace is counted as 11 points from the beginning of the round.

The Different Hands in Blackjack

Now that you know the different values assigned to the cards, let’s take a closer look at the different hand denominations you can have in the Blackjack game. At first glance, this may seem difficult, but it’s easier than it looks. With practice, it will be easier to remember everything. Let’s go over the main deals that players need to remember when playing blackjack.

Blackjack or “Natural”

In blackjack games, a deal consisting of an ace and any card worth 10 points is called a blackjack, or a “natural” hand. If you have this hand, it means you automatically win, unless the dealer also has a ‘natural’ hand (you get back the full amount you bet).

Soft Hand

Based on the premise that the Ace can be worth one or eleven points, in Blackjack games if you have a two or more card hand with an Ace worth 11 points, it is called a “soft hand”.

Hard Hand

In Blackjack games, if you have a hand of two or more cards with an ace worth 1 point, it is called a ‘hard hand’.

How to Play Blackjack

Once you understand the value of the cards and the different hands you can have, now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how to play the game of Blackjack. Here’s how it’s done in a nutshell.

1. The game starts after the players have placed their bets. The amount of bets may be limited depending on the rules at the table. The dealer deals two cards, one after the other, to each player, face-up (in some types of Blackjack, such as Pontoon, the cards may be dealt face down). Then he deals two cards to himself, one face-up, and the other face down. In the Blackjack game, this is called the face-down card. When you play online you are alone with the software or you can play against a real dealer in live roulette.

2. Once the players have been served, they must decide what action to take. The dealer goes from player to player, and the blackjack rules and players choose whether to fold (take or ‘draw’ another card) or stay (not draw another card). Players can also choose to ‘double’ or ‘split’ – the meaning of these two terms will be explained below.

3. The dealer plays after all the players. He plays for himself according to a simple but codified blackjack rule. The general rule is “Banker draws to 16, stays at 17”, which is often written on the table itself. This means that the dealer draws cards if he has a hand of 16 or less. If his hand is 17 or higher, then he “stands” (does not draw any more cards).

4. Since each player is only playing against the dealer, his hand is only compared against the dealer’s hand. In the game of blackjack, the cards of other players are therefore not important, unless the player is counting cards. It is sometimes said that other players’ play can influence your own, but this is only an urban legend; all players play against the bank. If the game is played with a deck of cards this can have a small influence on the game. A card already drawn cannot be drawn twice. But as soon as you play with two or more decks of casino cards, it won’t matter.

5. The dealer wins when the player goes bust or has a smaller hand than the dealer. If the dealer wins, the player loses the bet. If the player wins, the dealer gives the player money according to his bet. Blackjack pays 3 to 2. When the dealer wins, the player loses all bets (except side bets) made with his hand.

The casino game of blackjack is both simple and complex. To win you just need to have a higher hand than the dealer. However, this is quite complex to determine as he has a face-down card. To make the right choice of action, you can refer to the blackjack table. It summarizes all the possible situations and actions to be taken for all cases.

The Different Options Available to the Player

During a round of blackjack, the player can choose from the following actions:

Draw

If the player draws, it means that he asks for another additional card. In the Blackjack rules, it is stated that a player may draw as many times as he wishes until he goes bust, or his hand has a card value of 21.

Stay

In blackjack games, the player also has the option to stand. If the player stays, it means that he does not ask for any other cards. The player who stays keeps his original hand, which is then compared to the dealer’s hand. If his hand is higher than the dealer’s he wins the round.

Double

If the player doubles, it means that he can choose to double his starting bet. For example, if the starting bet is C$10, the double will be C$20. For blackjack games, there is a quid pro quo for doubling your bet. In return, he will only be able to ask for one extra card instead of being able to ask for as many times, when he draws. When he chooses to double down, the player automatically stays. This can be quite risky because you only have one chance to win.

Split

If the first two cards dealt are two cards of the same value, i.e. pairs, the player can choose to split them in order to play with two sets. To do this, the player must add the same bet as the one he started with. When the dealer deals with the ‘second’ card, the player decides how to play each of the two decks separately. The perfect time to split the cards is when you have aces and eights. For more tips on how to play pairs in Blackjack and split them, please see the Pair Split.

It is important to understand that splitting blackjack is a double-edged sword because the two cards split constitute two different but, can bring in both bets if they win or can lead to the loss of both bets if they lose. If one is a winner and the other a loser, you lose nothing and win nothing either.

blackjack

FAQ

Learn the fundamentals of strategy and stick to it. Never divide a pair of 5s or a 10-value card. If the casino provides a rewards program, be sure to sign up for it.
Blackjack is commonly played with one to eight 52-card decks at a table with two to seven players. The value displayed on all number cards (2-10) is scored. The face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are worth ten points, while the Ace might be worth one or eleven points.
The overall value of the hand is established by adding the values of the individual cards in the hand, whether it comprises two or three. All tens, jacks, queens, and kings are worth a total of zero points. The Ace always counts as one.
Many gamers lose because they are attempting to reach the age of twenty-one. In blackjack, the goal isn’t to get to 21. It’s all about outsmarting the dealer. You earn the same amount whether you beat the dealer with a 13 or a 20 because the dealer busts.