Blackjack is one of those games that most people have heard of – even if they don’t know how to play it. This is perhaps one of the biggest signifiers of how popular this legendary card game has been for many years, and it’s fair to say that it still entices players to this day at both land-based and online casinos.
One of blackjack’s biggest charms is the fact that it’s so easy to play. The game combines a well-rounded blend of luck and strategy, and this makes it an exciting game for both newcomers and long-time casino players.
Nevertheless, there are a few things to learn that will help you to enjoy blackjack more quickly. So, in this post, we’re going to talk about what blackjack is, how the game is played, some simple tactics to use, and will also provide you will a short terminology cheat sheet, which will help you get up to speed rapidly.
What Is Blackjack and How Is It Played?
Blackjack is a card game where the objective is to beat the dealer by having a hand value that’s closer to 21 without going over. As soon as a player understands this, they can be winning on the top blackjack websites in no time.
A hand of blackjack is played in the following order:
The first step when playing blackjack is to place bets on the upcoming hand.
Once bets have been played, the dealer gives each player two face-up cards. The dealer also receives two cards, but one is face-up and the other is face-down.
Players must now consider the hand they have been dealt. The aim of blackjack is to have a hand value that’s closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without going over.
To evaluate their hand, players need to add the total value of their cards, with a combination of an Ace (1 or 11) and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, and King) automatically being 21, which is known as a blackjack.
Once players have evaluated their hand, they need to decide how to play.
They can choose to hit, which means add another card. This action can be repeated until the player is satisfied with their hand or goes over 21, which is known as a bust.
They can choose to stand, which means the player will not receive another card.
They can choose to double down, which means the player will need to double their bet and will then receive one more card.
They can choose to split if they have two cards of the same value, such as two Kings. An extra card will then be added to each split hand.
After players have made their choices, the deal turns over their face-down card, and must then continue to hit until the hand’s value is 17 or over.
The dealer’s finished hand is then compared to the player’s hands.
If the dealer goes over 21, all active players automatically win.
If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 than the player’s, the player loses.
If the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer, the player wins.
If the player and the dealer have the same hand, the bet value is returned to the player.
Blackjack Terminology Cheat Sheet
Now you know how it all works, let’s look at some terms you’ll need to understand when playing blackjack:
- Blackjack: A hand that contains an Ace and a 10-valued card, which totals 21.
- Bust: A hand that goes over 21. This means the hand automatically loses.
- Stand: To lock in your hand without taking any more cards.
- Hit: To take another card.
- Split: To split two same-value cards to create two separate hands.
Simple Blackjack Tactics
Although there is an element of luck involved when playing blackjack, there are some strategies that will put you in the best position possible to win in any given scenario. For example, consider the following:
Hit or Stand
Knowing when to hit or stand is important. You can find strategy guides for every scenario online, which will instruct you to do things like hit when you have a hand value of 12-16 and the dealer’s face-up card is 7-Ace.
Doubling down can be risky because you’re exposing yourself to a larger bet. However, there are times when it’s worth doing – for example if you have a hand value of 11 and the dealer’s face-up card is worth 2-6. Of course, you can still lose in this scenario, but it’s all about giving you the best odds possible at any given moment.
It can be tempting to split whenever you receive two same-value cards but it’s a strategy that should be used wisely. For example, many guides will tell you to always split aces.