Rules to Keep in Mind When Playing Blackjack

By 25 February 2022

Blackjack is a popular game in both physical and online casinos. The aim of this game is to end up with a count close to 21. Also, your count should be higher than that of the dealer. Ensure you make the right moves because you will lose your bet if you exceed 21. This is called a bust.

How to Play Blackjack

Whether you are playing blackjack in a land-based or online casino, you need to know the basic moves first. Different variations of blackjack exist, but there are standard steps in all forms. If you choose to play a variant with additional steps, the dealer will take you through the process. Here are the standard steps.

  • Select the blackjack variation you want to get an available table
  • Place your bet in the box
  • In a physical casino, the dealer will then give you cards. However, in an online one, you will press the deal option to get cards.
  • Start planning your strategy and make the right moves
  • When you are impressed with your hand, ask to finish the game
  • Watch the result of the dealer’s hand
  • Take your winnings and end the game or play another round

Blackjack uses one to eight 52-card decks with 2 to 7 players. However, it can also be played using a six-deck containing 312 cards. Each card has a different value. The number cards, 2-10, are worth the respective numbers. The face cards: King, Queen, and Jack give 10 points. Ace is worth 1 or 11.

Hit or Stand

After you have two cards dealt to you, facing upwards, you will have the chance to draw more cards. You can choose to hit or stand. If you call out 'hit,' you will receive an extra card. You can hit as many times as you want, but don't surpass 21 to avoid losing.

If you are satisfied with your first two cards, you can 'stand.' The dealer will work with one player at a time, from the left side, until they lose or stand. Then, they will move to the next one. The dealer will also have two cards, but one will face down, thus you need to be strategic.

Split or Double Down

When you are dealt with two cards of the same value, you can choose to split them to play as separate hands. However, your original bet will only cover the first hand. Thus, you will have to place an equal bet for the second hand. Here are splitting tips to guide you.

  • Always split Aces and 8s
  • Do not split 4s, 5s, and 10-value cards
  • Only split 2s, 3s, 6s, and 7s when the dealer's face-up card is 7 or lower

If your cards are not of the same value, you can double down which entails doubling your bet when hitting to get an extra card. However, you need to be tactical if you want the odds to work to your advantage. For instance, never double down below 8 points, but it's worth it if your points are 11.

What is Insurance?

When playing blackjack, you will come across the term insurance. It is a side bet that protects you against the dealer having a blackjack, which is an ace and a 10, King, Queen, or Jack. When you take the insurance, you will have the chance to bet up to half your original bet at 2:1.

If the player doesn't have a blackjack, you will lose your insurance bets but will be allowed to continue playing using your original bets. Note that the insurance option can only be offered before the dealer checks their down-facing card. Therefore, you need to be careful when choosing this option to avoid losses.

Even Money Option

If you have a blackjack, and the dealer's face-up card is Ace, you can choose the even money option. This means that you will accept a payout of 1:1 on your original bet. For example, if you had bet $10, you will win $10 even. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using this option.

  • Calculate the probability correctly
  • If your cards can give a higher payout, it is advisable not to take this option

The even money option is also offered before the dealer checks for blackjack on their hand. If you believe the cards dealt to you can't beat the dealer's ones, you can surrender. The dealer will take the cards and give you half your initial bet. This option may not be available in some blackjack variations.