Blackjack

Blackjack is on its way to become the most popular casino games of the moment. Simply because of the reason that the game is very easy to learn. However, in order to know the game really well a lot of time and practice are needed. To be a master in Blackjack you need a very good teacher, apart from a lot time and practice.

Goal of the game

The goal of the game is to get a higher total score than the dealer, but not more than 21. When you surpass an amount of 21 you lose your bet and the cards will be removed from the game. You can take as many cards as you want, as long as you do not surpass the 21. The moment you’re satisfied with your cards, you need to inform the dealer that you do not longer wish any other cards and want to stick to the ones you have. Once everyone at the table has received his or her cards, or decided not to take any other cards it is the dealer’s turn.

The game begins by placing the bet of all players in the box at the Blackjack table. The dealer then deals two cards for each player and one card to himself. All cards are dealt face up and thus are visible to all. The first player to the left of the dealer starts with the action and may decide whether he wants to take a card (hit), or that he does not want the card (stand). After the player has had his turn, the action continues in clockwise order around the table. After each player has decided what to do, the dealers deals himself some cards. If the dealer has 17 or higher he needs to fold and pay out the rest of the players (if they have a higher score than 17).

The cards of the dealer

The cards of the dealer are the highest possible score after everyone has received their cards. Each Ace in the hand of the dealer is equal to eleven points. The dealer starts the game with one card.
There is one exception to this rule and this is indicated on the surface of the Blackjack table (only if this rule is applicable). If on the surface of your blackjack table is mentioned “Dealer must hit on soft 17”, then the dealer needs to take an extra card with a starting hand consisting of an Ace and a 6. This rule is disadvantageous to all players at the table. Your chances to win at blackjack increases when you only play at tables where the dealer no longer can take any cards on a soft 17 (Ace-6). The dealer is required to take cards up to 16 points and also at 16 points.

Blackjack – Winning and losing hands

If the dealer has finished dealing all the cards and you’re scores turns out to be lower than the dealer’s score, you will lose. If you play a tie against the dealer, this is called a “push” and you get will the betting amount back. If you scored higher than the dealer, but not higher than 21, you will win.

Blackjack
You have a “Blackjack” hand when the first two cards received have a total score of 21. This hand consits of an Ace with a ten or a face card.

Blackjack Natural
When you get a blackjack with the first two cards you get dealt, this is called a ‘natural blackjack’.

What if the dealers first card is an Ace?
Different rules occur when the dealer has an Ace as his first card. Almost all Blackjack games offer “even money bets” or “Insurance bets” for this issue. Thereby you have the option to ensure your cards in case the dealer has a Blackjack.

Blackjack payout rules & types of bets in Blackjack

Apart from your original bet, there are several Blackjack betting options available during the game. These occur when certain situations occur, each with its own unique payout.

Insurance Bet
Almost all Blackjack games allow you to place an insurance bet, for in case that the dealer has an ace as his first card. This possibility arises when all cards are dealt. Insurance Bets are also called “side bets” and can be placed in order to protect your own cards against the possibility of a natural Blackjack of the dealer. An insurance bet amounts to the half of the original bet of a player. If in that case the dealer has a Blackjack, the player wins the Insurance bet at a rate of 2:1.

Even Money
If you get a blackjack hand dealt and the dealer has an Ace as his first card, the dealer can assume that you will take the “even money” , as the probability is quite big that the dealer will also have a Blackjack.

Splitting pairs
If you get a pair dealt such as two eights, two sixes and two aces, you have the option to split a pair. You can only split if both cards are exactly of the same value (regardless of the type of card: clover, spades, hearts or diamonds). Two three’s form such as an exact match as two two’s. A ten and a Jack are not considered as an exact match, although both are worth ten points. These cards cannot be split in this same manner. In some casinos fours, fives and tens cannot be split.

What happens if I split cards?

If you split your cards you will need to place the exact same bet for the card which was split. The bet for both cards should be equal. The Blackjack dealer will split your cards in order to make two separate hands, both requiring to have an own bet and different actions. When after having a Blackjack after you have split your cards, the house will not consider this as a natural Blackjack. For this reason, your hand will be considered as a lower value of 21, for instance, when you need to compete against the dealer.

Doubles

You can double up on a 9, 10 or 11 and this means you will double your bet before you’ve seen the second card. The dealer will then give you another card, after which you will not get any additional cards. When doubling you will always end with two cards.

To pick a card

Once you have received the first two cards, you can choose to take a card or not to take the card (fold). You can fold in every combination.

Payouts at the end of the game

Once all players have had their turn to decide on their cards, the action shifts to the dealer. The dealer then draws cards for himself, and pays the winners, or takes the money himself when you turn out to lose the hand.

If the dealer takes more than 21 points, all the hands win which are still in the game. If the dealer does not take more than 21 points, all hands are played against the dealer. Who has a better score than the dealer wins, except in case of a tie. In that case the player will get back his or her bet. For all new casino players Blackjack is a great game to start with. It is a lot of fun and it is a challenging game in which players can participate actively.