Blackjack is the most popular casino table game in the world. It is also one of the few games where players have an actual edge over the house. The game is simple to understand and very easy to learn. This tutorial will cover the basic rules needed to play Blackjack.
Blackjack can be played with anywhere from 1 to 8 decks of cards. More decks equals more of an advantage to the house, where as less decks equals more of an advantage for the player. Most casinos will offer a limited amount of tables with single or double-deck blackjack, with some not offering it whatsoever.
Table limits normally start at a minimum of $5 and have a maximum betting cap ranging anywhere from $100 to $50,000 (note: this figure ONLY exists at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas). Tables will normally accommodate up to 6 players, with the action starting from the dealer’s left to right. The dealer will always be the last to act in the game of Blackjack.
The game starts as soon as the player pushes in their bet into the appropriate betting circle. It should be noted that higher-denomination chips should be placed on the bottom of the stack, with lower-denomination ones being stacked towards the top. Once the dealer has instructed the players that no more bets can be placed, the cards will then be dealt out.
All cards that are dealt out to the player(s) are dealt face-up, with the dealer taking their first card face-down and their second card face-up. Players have a variety of options to choose from after their first 2 cards are dealt out. However, analyzing the dealer’s up-card is essential to making the decision to “hit” or “stand” on your own hand.
Players will normally stand on anything from 16 to 21, and will normally take a hit on anything 11 and below. Players can hit as many times as they please as long as they don’t go over 21. Taking multiple cards (hits) is a calculated risk that must be taken if the dealer is showing a strong up card such as a face card or an Ace.
Playing and Winning in Blackjack
Blackjack, also referred to as “21,” is played on a points system that gives numeric values (see “Blackjack Card Values” below) to every card in a single deck of playing cards. 21 is the best score one can achieve in the game, and players should be focusing on getting as close to that number as possible without “busting.” Players who score a 21 on their hand will not only have “Blackjack,” but they’ll automatically win and also get paid 3:2 on their bet.
Players who beat the dealer’s hole cards will also get paid double their original bet, provided they have a number equal to or less than 21. If the dealer busts, players will also get paid out accordingly as long as they too have not busted.
Note: If the dealer is dealt Blackjack – or 21 – all losing bets are immediately collected from the players. The only time a player will not forfeit their bet on a dealer Blackjack is if they too have 21.
Blackjack Card Values
Each card numbered at 10 and below (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) have a value equal to their actual number. Suits have no effect on the value (4 of clubs will have the same value as a 4 of diamonds). For example, if a player draws the following cards: 2, 5, and 8 – the value of all three would be 15.
Face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) all have values equaling 10. Like numbered cards, different suits have no effect on the value of the face cards. For example, if a player draws a Jack and a King for their first two up-cards, that will equal a 20 – the second-highest score behind a Blackjack or 21.
The last card – the Ace – has a special value in Blackjack. It can count as either 1 or 11, with the actual number being dependent on what helps out the most with a particular hand. Being dealt an Ace and any face card is an automatic Blackjack and the player will be paid out 3:2 immediately.
More and More Online Blackjack Players Choose Online Casinos
Lots of people will tell you there’s nothing like the smell of the cards and the feel of the chips in your hand, not to mention the bond you form with the other Blackjack players sitting at your table. However, many players are forgoing the flashy lights and sensory overload that Las Vegas and other casinos provide in favor playing their favorite table game from the comfort of their own home
Online Blackjack is Convenient
Let’s face it, we live in a world where convenience reigns supreme. The internet, smartphones, drive-through and other gadgets and life-hacks have seamlessly infiltrated our lives and we have no intention of letting them go, so why not play your favorite game online too?
When you play online Blackjack you don’t have to bother with things like getting dressed or exchanging cash for chips. There’s no need to drive anywhere and with a plethora of online casinos offering easy to open accounts and convenient account funding methods, there’s really no reason not to give online Blackjack a shot.
No Pressure for Beginner Players
If you’re just learning how to play Blackjack sitting at a table with seasoned players can not only be intimidating but it might throw you off your game. With the constant stimulation of a live casino, new players may find it difficult to focus and they may make mistakes they otherwise wouldn’t have made. Online casinos are an excellent alternative for players looking to learn 21 privately before trying their skills at live tables.
Since you are 100% in control of where you choose to login from, you can make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed therefore, increasing your ability to focus on the game and not everything else going on around you.
Small Stakes Betting:
Since online casinos don’t have the overhead that their live casino cousins have to deal with, like the cost of opening a table and dealer salaries, they can accept bets of any size. Whether you’re new to Blackjack and want to wager smaller bet amounts or you want to pass the time and don’t feel like high stakes hands, online casinos will always have a table open for you.
Live Casinos Don’t Offer the Same Perks
While live casinos offer some pretty amazing perks like free hotel rooms, drinks and more to attract clients, let’s face it, they save the best stuff for the high rollers without much being left for the average gambler. This is where online casinos have the edge. It seems like there is an endless stream of online casinos popping up all over the net and this translates into competitive introductory bonuses and Loyalty Programs for you to choose from. So whether you’re looking to get a couple free chips thrown your way to try out a particular online casino or match bonuses to keep you playing longer, you’re sure to find a great deal.
Up Your Blackjack Skill Level
It’s well known that live casinos play with numerous decks, online casinos use a random number generator to shuffle the deck before dealing cards. So if you’re a card counter online casinos are admittedly not the best place to practice your skillset, however, if you’re a Blackjack player who prefers to employ when to hit, double down and stand strategies, online casinos can be THE place for you.
Online Casinos Offer Live Dealers and Chat Functions
Not everyone looking to have a more interactive Blackjack experience lives within a reasonable driving distance to a casino, so there are many online casinos looking to bridge the gap between a completely solitary experience and interactive one. With a live dealer, often times a beautiful woman, dealing your cards and easy to use chat functions, you’re able to bond with your other table players and get as close as you can to a live casino experience without having to take off your bunny slippers.
Why Wait to Play if You Don’t Have To?
Blackjack is one of the more popular casino games which of course means it’s in high demand. Blackjack players braving the live casino experience may experience a line just to get a seat at the table. It doesn’t cost an online casino anything to open up additional tables, so when you play Blackjack online, you don’t have to wait for a table.
Online Blackjack vs. Live Blackjack
At the end of the day, whether a Blackjack player chooses to play live Blackjack over online casino Blackjack, boils down to personal preference. One thing that all Blackjack players can agree on is that Blackjack is an exhilarating game that offers many highs and lows, but as long as you enjoy the game you’ll come out ahead.