Blackjack is one of the easiest games to play in a casino and offers you one of the strongest odds of winning. Without a doubt, it is the most popular table game in the United States. The casino has an edge of less than 1 percent in most cases. Additionally, with Blackjack, you are always playing only against the dealer and not against an unassuming expert gambler who could be sitting right next to you.
How to Play Blackjack
In Blackjack, the objective of the game is to beat the dealer. In order to beat the dealer, you need to get cards that get you close to 21, but not over. While not going over 21, you have to outscore the dealer or have him go bust. Let us discuss the rules of Blackjack. For number cards, the value of the card is the number itself. Face cards are counted as 10. Ace can count as 11 or 1. If the ace puts you over 21, you count it as 1, or else you count it as 11.
The value of a hand is the total of all the individual cards’ values. The highest hand is a “blackjack,” and it consists of an ace and any card with a value of 10. A Blackjack hand outranks all other hands with a value of 21.
How to play blackjack
Once all the players have placed their bets, the dealer deals out two cards to each player and to himself. Each player’s cards are both dealt face up. One of the dealer’s two cards is face up, and the other is face down. The face-down card is called a “hole card.” After the cards are dealt, the play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. If you think getting one or more additional cards will get you at or closer to 21, you ask to draw additional cards with a “hit.” If you go over 21, you are bust. You can “stand” if you do not want any more cards to be drawn. You can also “double” your bet, and you will get one more card but no additional cards after that.
If you have a pair or two 10-point cards, you can separate your cards into two individual hands. Doubling the bet, you can then play each of your hands with options we discussed. Remember, each ace only gets one point if you’re splitting them. If you get a ten and ace after splitting, then it counts as 21 points, but not a Blackjack. Sometimes, these rules vary by casino. You can also “surrender” if you forfeit half your wager after the first two cards. In that case, you do not get to play out your hand.
After each player is done with their turn, the dealer turns over his hole card. If the dealer’s hand is valued at 16 or less, he will “hit” to draw additional cards until he goes over 16. If the dealer goes over 21 points, he is bust. Players on the table who are not bust at this point will win. If the dealer does not bust, then whoever has the highest value hand between the dealer and the player wins. You’ll receive even money from winning wagers. If you have a Blackjack, at most casinos, you will be paid 3 to 2.
Blackjack Strategy to Improve Your Odds of Winning
Computer simulations and probability calculations have helped develop a basic Blackjack strategy. If this strategy is fully followed, the house advantage can be reduced to 0.5% over the long run. Per the basic strategy, here’s what you should do when the first two cards are dealt to you, and you can see dealer’s face up card:
- If you have 8 or below, hit irrespective of what the dealer has.
- If you have 9 and the dealer has 3, 4, 5 or 6, double your bets. If the dealer has 2 or 7, hit.
- If you have 10 and the dealer has anything between 2 and 9, you should double down. If the dealer has a 10 or ace, hit.
- If you have 11 and the dealer’s card value is between 2 and 10, double down. If the dealer has an ace, hit.
- If you have 12 and the dealer has 2, 3, or 7 and higher, hit. Stand if the dealer has 4, 5 or 6.
- If you have between 13 and 16, and the dealer has 7 or higher, hit. If the dealer has between 2 and 6, stand.
- Always stand if your cards value between 17 and 21.