How to play Blackjack

Blackjack can appear quite tricky if you’re just a spectator who has never played before and there is good reasoning behind this. It is a tricky game, there’s no doubt about it! However, if you were feeling as though you’re a little inapt to play or you have a fair idea, but would like to improve your playing potential then this may just be the kick you are looking for. We give you the basics of the game and also some simple strategies straight up, so that you able to grasp the main concepts and start being a part of the fun.

The main objective to playing Blackjack is to get your cards as close as possible to 21. Players first place their bets. Bets are the amounts of money players are willing to put into the round. Remember that bets in Blackjack (and most casino games) do have limits on the amount you bet. For example, the minimum bet you can place is $10. The dealer will then deal one card at a time to each player including himself, until each player and the dealer has two cards each. The dealer will organize his cards in such a way that one if faced upwards and the other is faced downwards. This is so that the players can see the face value of one of his cards. Players then compare their cards to the dealer’s face up card and depending on how their cards compare (are they closer to 21 than the dealer), players will make the relative moves to either improve their hand or finish the round as a winner or loser. Keep in mind that whilst there could be other players around you, the game is only between you and the dealer.

The various moves players can decide to take are as follows:
Players, when comparing the dealers’ card that is visible, can choose to either Hit or Stand. If the players believes his cards are good enough to beat the dealers (meaning that the player believes he is closer to 21 than the dealer), this player will then choose to Stand. Play then moves to the next player. Say that this player is a little nervous as he believes the dealer could be closer to 21 than him, he’ll ask to Hit. When a player ‘Hits’, the dealer will give this player a new card - faced down. The player then looks at his card and will either Bust or have the opportunity to decide whether he would like to Hit or Stand once again. A player ‘Busts’ when he the card he received from the dealer, puts his total over 21. If you Bust, you’re out. If you don’t Bust, you’re then given the opportunity to make another move. If this player has Busted or chooses to Stand, the player next to him will then be given the opportunity to play. Keep in mind that a player has to do one of those moves before other players get their turn.

If you’re wondering when the dealer reveals his second card, it’s only once all player at the table have had at least one opportunity to play. Say the dealer’s total (once his other card has been placed face up) is less than 16, the dealer must then Hit, but if his total is 17 and greater, the dealer must stand.

There are various other moves players can take such as:
•    Doubling down – player can double the amount of the bet he placed at the beginning og the round.
•    Splitting – if a player has been dealt a hand that contains two cards that each have a 10 value such as Ten, Jacks, Queens and Kings, these cards can be split so that each are part of a separate hand. Both these hands will then be played independently and it can improve your chances of gaining a stronger hand.
•    Surrender – players can surrender when the dealer does not have a Blackjack and they can then get half their bet back.
•    Insurance – an option available to players whereby they can receive half their bet back if the dealer has a Blackjack.

So how do you win? Well, it’s simple: Say the dealer’s two cards caused him to Bust, every player at the table who didn’t bust, will win and the bets will be evenly distributed between the winners. If the dealer’s cards did not cause him to Bust, his cards will be compared with each of the player’s cards who are still in play (those who didn’t bust).

Instant wins are when a player gets an Ace (value=11) and a 10 as his first two cards – this is known as a Blackjack (21). Dealers can also get a Blackjack and if this happens, all players in that round will lose.