How To Play Blackjack For Beginners
Blackjack is an iconic game. It has been around since the beginning of casinos and continues to thrive through the wonderful world of the internet. Playing blackjack online often means getting a tutorial or a helping hand, but playing in real life requires a bit of forethought.
Don’t worry though! We will guide you through the game and explain the rules and terms.
What The Cards Mean
First off let’s explain what the cards mean. A deck (a whole pack of cards), will have 52 cards available. Each of them is divided into 4 different suits, they are clubs, spades, diamonds, and hearts. Clubs and spades are both black suits, but one has a 3-point rounded head, while the other has a spade-like shape. The diamonds and hearts are both red, but you can tell them apart by their diamond and heart shapes.
Inside each suite, you will find numbered cards, picture cards, and Aces. The number cards range from 2 to 10, the picture cards contain a jack (represented by a J), a queen (represented by a Q), and a king (represented by a K).
All picture cards are worth 10, while the number cards are worth the value of their number. The last one is the ace (represented by an A). The ace is a special card, and in blackjack, it can either represent a 1 or an 11. You get to choose. We will explain how to best utilize an Ace later.
In blackjack, the aim is to reach the number 21. You are either playing against the dealer and no one else, or you are playing against the table too. If you can’t reach 21, you are trying to get as close to that number without going over.
If you go over and reach 22 or higher, you lose the game – this is known as “going bust”. Those are the rules, but now it’s time to see the game in action. The game begins with you playing a bet to enter. The dealer then gives you, everyone else at the table, and themselves, 2 cards. The cards can either be visible for everyone to see or hidden depending on your preferred play style.
Looking at your cards, you can decide to keep them as they are, bet more money (because you are super confident in your cards), or ask for one more. The dealer goes around the table asking what everyone chooses to do, the game continues going around until everyone is keeping to their cards or has gone bust.
The person closest to 21 wins.
There are 5 important terms in blackjack. You don’t need to know them to play the game, however, being unaware can easily lead to confusion. The first is “hit”. When you tell the dealer to “hit me”, you are asking for another card. The second is “stand”. When you declare “I’m standing”, you are keeping the card as they are.
The third is “split”. This one is special and should only be used when you are comfortable in the game. When you have two cards of the same value (two jacks, two tens, etc), you can split them into two hands – one value on each. To do this you need to pay an extra bet, but it will give you a higher chance of winning.
The fourth is “double down”, which is like a hit but with an extra step. You double your bet, and then the dealer gives you a card. If you receive a 2 and 3, you know that you cannot break a 21 with your next card. The highest you could go is 16, after receiving an Ace. Doubling down with this card can give you a bigger payout later if you win.
The last term is “surrender”. If you know you cannot win, you can surrender, ask for half of your bet back, and leave the game. It is a safe move, especially if you can see someone else will beat you.
When it comes to the Blackjack strategy, you need to be aware of a “hard hand” and a “soft hand”. A soft hand is when one of your cards is an Ace. A hard hand is when you have no Aces. Because Aces can be either a 1 or an 11, you have a lot of choices to get close to 21. If you have a 9 and an Ace, you either have 10 total or 20 total.
Judging by the other players and dealer’s face-up card, you can judge if 20 is safe enough or if you should push for a higher number again. You know you will be safe, as the highest you will get is 21 with another Ace.
The best way to know if you should hit or stand is to check the dealer’s hand (forget about the other players). If they have a 2 through to a 6, you know they will probably lose. You don’t need to play risky. If they have anything else, you should try and shoot for the highest number you can.
How To Play Blackjack For Beginners: Final Words
Now you know the rules and have a simple bit of strategy to help your game, it’s time to start playing blackjack!