Blackjack is one of the most popular and straightforward table games you can play at the casino. Also well known as Twenty-one.
WHAT IS BLACKJACK?
Blackjack is one of the most popular and straightforward table games you can play at the casino. Also well known as Twenty-one. The rules are simple, the game is thrilling, and there is an opportunity for high strategy. We will reveal all you need to know to win this classic game.
THE BASICS OF BLACKJACK
The standard 52 card pack is in use; however, most casinos shuffle several decks together. The most popular is the six-deck game (312 cards). Moreover, the dealer will use a blank plastic card which is never dealt out; this card indicates when to reshuffle the cards.
Before the game begins, each player places a bet. Bets, valued in chips, are played in front of you in a designated area. In addition, the betting stage establishes the minimum and maximum betting limits.
Blackjack starts with two cards, and the aim of the game is to get to 21 or beat the dealer’s cards. You can ‘hit’, which means to have another card dealt to you or ‘stick’/’stand’ with the total you have. You will lose the game if you go over 21 and are declared ‘bust’. Getting more than the dealer, but still under 21, means you win Blackjack. Getting the same number as the dealer means you tie, and you retain your money for the next round. In short, Blackjack’s objective is for each player to get to 21 or as close as they can without going bust and beating the dealer.
BLACKJACK CARD VALUES
The ace cards A A A A are worth either 1 or 11, and the face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10. Hitting an Ace and a face card, or 10, is the ideal outcome to look for. This is ‘Blackjack’.
The dealer must always request a new card if they have 16 or lower. In the traditional Blackjack game, the house has a slight edge of 0.5%. The reason for this edge is due to one of the dealer’s cards not being face up. So the player makes decisions based on intuition and luck. With this edge, the player does not know the number they need to beat and can go bust.
When you win Blackjack, you get your initial bet back, plus the same amount. If you lose, you lose your money. Winning with a Blackjack, you traditionally win an additional 1.5 times the bet on top of your winnings.
HOW TO WIN BLACKJACK – STRATEGIES
When learning how to win Blackjack, it’s important to note the different kinds of blackjack hands you’re going to face.
A hard hand is a hand that does not include an Ace card. You should always ‘hit’ on hard hands that total 11 or less as there is no risk of going ‘bust’ (over 21).
‘Stick’ on hands that total between 17 and 21. It gets slightly more difficult when you have cards totalling between 12 and 16, and your next move depends on the card the dealer is showing.
If your hand totals between 13 and 16 and the dealer’s showing a 6 or lower, you should stick. If the dealer has a 7 or higher, you should ‘hit.’ The thought process behind this is that a 10 is the most likely card in the game due to there being four different types of 10 you can hit(10, Jack, Queen, King).
If the dealer shows a 6, and you assume the other card is a 10, that totals 16. The dealer always needs to hit if their total is 16 or below, which is a risky move. If it’s a 7 that they are showing, and you presume they have a ten, you need to think about beating the total of 17.
A soft hand includes an Ace where you can either play the Ace as a 1 or an 11. Hitting an ace allows you to hit again without risking going bust. For example, if you have an Ace and 5, it could either count as 6 or 16. If you hit a 7, the Ace would then count as a one, and you would have 13.
Doubling down means you double the bet you have placed on your current hand. If you double down, you will only be able to receive one more card this game.
When you’re dealt the same numbers, an option is to double your bet and split your cards, placing a bet on each hand. It’s a good idea to split on two aces, as you have the potential of hitting two blackjacks! Splitting on two 8’s is also a good idea as it gives you a tricky number of 16.
When the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, any players can make a side bet of up to half of their original bet, that the dealer’s face-down card is a ten-card. Meaning the house hits Blackjack. Once all side bets get placed, the dealer looks at the face-down card; if it’s a ten-card, It gets turned up, and the players win the insurance bet. The insurance bet equals double the amount of their half-bet, so a 2-1 payoff. When the dealer hits Blackjack, the round is over, and the player’s main bets are collected. If a player also has a blackjack, it’s a standoff, meaning no chips are paid out or collected.
One key advantage to the dealer is that the player goes first. If the player goes bust, they have already lost their bet, even if the dealer goes bust as well. If the dealer goes over 21, the dealer pays all players who did not go bust the amount of their bet at a 2-1 payoff. Suppose the dealer stands at 21 or less. In that case, the dealer pays the bet of any player having a higher total (not exceeding 21) and collects any player’s bet having a lower total. If there is a standoff (a player having the exact total as the dealer), no chips are paid out or collected.
HOW TO PLAY BLACKJACK – TOP TIPS
It would be best if you never split fours or fives.
If the dealer shows 3 to 6 and you have two 6’s in your hands, you should always split.
You should split 7’s if the dealer is showing a 2 through to 7
Always split 9’s if the dealer is showing a 7.
Now its time to put your knowledge to the test! Check out the best blackjack and live casinos in the UK.
BLACKJACK TOP WINNERS
Lady luck was smiling down on a shopkeeper from Coventry when he played Blackjack one evening in 2016. Placing a side bet entered this unnamed player into a jackpot draw, and he won a massive £100,000, walking away with a vast £111,698.26!
In 2015 a local player in Glasgow won Grosvenor Casino’s biggest jackpot ever of £73,887.27! All this from playing and winning Blackjack!
It can be very tempting to spend more than what you can afford and step over the limit with online gambling. Make sure you are limiting yourself either with willpower or use the casinos handy responsible gambling features that help you not spend out with your means.
Suppose you ever feel your gambling has become a problem or would like advice about gambling addiction. In that case, you can either visit www.begambleaware.org or call them on 0808 8020 133.