Playing cards and chips

Blackjack – How to play – Rules

Black Jack AKA twenty-one, is a popular card game all over the world. In the past, blackjack was mainly played on in casinos, but when the casino games moved online, blackjack became a popular game at online casinos as well. Nowadays you can even play blackjack online live with a croupier.

How to play?

In blackjack, skill has a larger role than in other casino games and it is actually one of the few games possible to beat. In the game, the player plays against the dealer, who also has the same main goal Hit 21 (blackjack) with two cards, ten and an ace. This normally pays 3:2, meaning that if you betted €10, you will receive €25. However nowadays a worse payout like 6:5 is somewhat common as well. Just beating the dealer’s hand will pay 1:1.

The game begins with both player and the dealer is dealt two cards. For the player, both cards are dealt face up where dealer receives the other card blind. In some cases, the dealer may only be dealt with one card, but this is somewhat rare. After the cards are dealt, it is the players turn to act with the following options.

  • Hit – Take another card.
  • Stand – No more cards. Current play stands.
  • Double – Double the bet and only receive one card.
  • Split – Once a player has two of the same number they have the option to separate one play into two separate plays where all the options are open again.

Blackjack rules

Rules may vary between casinos, so it is always good to view the table rules before betting. However, the basic rules are always the same no matter what table you are sitting at. Card values are always as follows:

  • Ace is either 1 or 11
  • Picture cards (jack, queen, king) and 10 are all 10
  • Other cards with their own value

The card values are always the same no matter what table you are sitting at. However, there are some other rules on top of the basic rules that favor the casino more than the player.

Push – Tie game

Push is a situation in blackjack where you and the dealer both have the same result. What happens next is a crucial factor in determining how fair the game is. In most reputable casinos in push situation, the bet is returned. Nobody wins, neither casino or you. Normally this is always the case, but there are some shady bar blackjacks where tie game is actually a win for the dealer!

Surrender

After the two cards are dealt, the player may surrender and half of his bet is returned. That is if rules of the casino allow a player to surrender his or her hand. While you won’t be facing a situation many times, where surrendering is the optimal strategy, it is still good to have that option available.

Where dealer stays

This one is yet another important rule in blackjack where the game can be more favorable towards the house instead of the player. Usually, the rules stand that “Dealer hits on soft 17”, which isn’t though the best one from the players perspective.

Soft 17, or any other soft play in blackjack, means that the hand can actually be two plays at the same time. Meaning that for example in the case soft 17, it can be either 7 or 17. This is because one of the cards is an ace (remember, Ace can be either 1 or 11). For example six plus Ace would be either 7 or 17, AKA, soft 17.

From the players perspective, it would better if the dealer would stand on soft 17. At least according to the basic strategy the player should either double or hit in this situation, so you could assume that the same play would also favor the house. If you are interested to read more why, click here.

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