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Introduction To Blackjack

One has to wonder if Brittany Spears singing “Hit Me Baby One More Time” wasn’t a reference to a blackjack game. In most instances saying hit me to the house dealer isn’t as easy as singing a song, as the noise in the casino can make it very difficult for the house dealer to hear your request. More often than not, there are certain hand gestures that go along with whether you want to Stand or request Hit Me.

How To Play Blackjack

Essentially a game of luck with just an iota of skill, the blackjack game is a fast-paced game that can be played with a minimum of two players and a maximum of ten players, however, it is suggested that between four and six players are best. The Dealer of the round will use a deck of 52 standard playing cards and shuffle them, leaving them face down next to them. From here, all bets are placed before any cards are drawn.

Once the blackjack bets are placed the dealer then deals two cards to each of the players at the game, and deals two cards for himself. Going clockwise, the dealer places one card in front of everyone, ending with himself, then repeats it until everyone has two cards in front of them. Of all the cards, the only card placed face-up is the second dealer’s card. This is when the blackjack odds start coming into play.

All face cards count as ten, with Ace cards counting as either a one or an eleven. All other cards are counted as their numerical value. A blackjack win happens when a player’s first two cards are any face card (king, queen, jack) and ace. This is always a winning hand, however, it can become a draw if the dealer has this combination too. All players play against the “house” or the dealer.

  • Played with 52 standard playing cards
  • First person to hit Blackjack or 21 wins
  • Hit means to draw another card
  • Stand means that the player wants no more cards

Blackjack Rules

The rules are wonderfully straightforward and apply to blackjack online as well as at a blackjack casino. Blackjack can be broken up into six simple stages that are easy enough to follow. Firstly, all bets are placed before the dealer deals out the cards. Secondly, once you have seen your cards you will ask to either Hit or Stand, indicating whether you would like another card or prefer to keep what you already have. Any amount over 21 means you have gone bust and lose that round. Thirdly, you can Double Down. This allows the player to double their original bet and to then also draw an additional card. Fourthly, you can Split. Splitting is when the first two cards dealt are a pair that can be split into two separate piles. Each pile then has its own wager, which must be the same amount. Fifthly, Insurance! If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, then the player can take insurance. If the dealer’s down card is either a ten or face card then the player wins two to one. Sixth, to Surrender – this is a no-one situation and the player decides to fold rather than continue playing.

Blackjack Strategies

Many players will swear by their own blackjack strategy, and here are some of those that have made the top of the list. Always double down on a hard 11. Always split a pair of aces and eights but try to never split a pair of fives and tens. When a dealer has a two or three up card then try to always hit a hard twelve. When a dealer’s upcard is a nine or less then always double down if you have a ten.

After learning the six basic rules of blackjack you can start to develop a solid strategy. There are many free resources online that assist a player when they are playing, many of these can be used in casinos and are allowed at the gaming table. Generally, these resources feature items that display the best times to hit, stand, double down, split, insure and surrender and work with every possible combination.

  • Use the free resources provided
  • Works with every possible combination
  • Strategy charts can be used in most casinos at the table

Different Types of Blackjack

Like any good game that has been around for ages, there are different variants to blackjack. Blackjack has five different varieties that can be played. The first is Classic and remains the most popular choice for players all over the world. The second variant is European, followed by Face Up 21. Perfect Pairs and Spanish 21 are the last two variants that can be found in casinos and online alike. While the classic take on the game features mainly around the player and dealer each attempting to reach, but not exceed, 21, the European version is much more similar to roulette. This version uses two decks of cards, which increases the odds for the players. Face Up 21 plays both cards for the players and dealer face up, while Perfect Pairs plays more closely to the Classic version but with a betting edge to it. Spanish 21 is the most popular alternative to Classic.

Tips and Tricks for Blackjack Beginners:

When playing blackjack, always try to remember the cards that have been used (card counting is allowed in this game) and use the free resources available to you. Keeping track of what has been played is a key strategy that doesn’t only rely on the luck factor. The resources found online are often available to print and you can keep it next to you like a quick and easy reference sheet. Remembering that you don’t just need to hit or stand are also good tips.

Glossary Of Terms in the Game

  • Hit: to request another card
  • Stand: to stay with the amount of cards you already have
  • Blackjack: a winning combination that includes a face card and a ace

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when to surrender?

Surrender is an option in blackjack when your first two cards have less than a 50 percent chance of winning against the dealers up card. You should surrender if you don’t think an additional card will help you win. When you surrender you give up half of your bet but can then keep the remaining half.

What is the difference between blackjack and 21?

There is no difference between blackjack and 21 as they are one in the same game, with the same rules and the same payout structure. The name “21” is used by many to indicate the total value needed of the cards in order to win. Often, home games are referred to as 21.

Are there free resources to use to help me play?

Blackjack has many strategies that can be utilised, and most of these have free resources floating around the internet. The blackjack game has drills for basic strategy as well as for card counting and you can do this online using software found on various resource sites. There are also charts that can be downloaded and printed for free, which you can place next to you during the game.


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