Blackjack has gained popularity amongst casino players due to its simplicity, speed, and excitement. However, blackjack is also played largely for fun.
There are various strategies of playing blackjack, each developed by the each individual player. While deciding a “winning” method, always refer to the methods used in casinos.
The most elementary rule of the game is to obtain 21 or as close to it as possible without exceeding and defeating the dealer’s hand. However, prior to the dealer dealing in any cards, a player must lay a bet. This can be done by placing the chips or money in the designated area on the Blackjack table. The dealer distributes two cards to every player and lastly to themselves. One of dealer’s cards is laid face up and the other face down. All the face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) carry 10 points. The Ace is worth either 1 or 11 points (based on what value benefits you the most). The remaining cards have a value equal to that of the card. E.g. the 2 of spades is worth 2 points.
The player who receives an Ace and a 10 point card wins the hand. But if the dealer also gets blackjack then there is a tie. A winning blackjack pays the player 3 to 2 on their bet.
Hitting and Standing
A hit occurs when the dealer deals a player an additional card. Players can make a hand gesture to the dealer or simply utter the words “Hit me.” Of course, some casinos require hand gestures so cameras can see in case of a discrepancy. A stand indicates a player wants to continue playing with the current cards they have been dealt. A player can show this by putting their wager on their cards or moving the cards horizontally. If a player asks for a hit and exceeds 21, they surrender their cards and forfeit the bet.
Doubling down implies a double bet on the first two cards, where just one additional card is drawn in order to improve the player’s hand.
If the initial two cards are a pair, a player may divide them into two different hands, place the equal amount on each and play them individually. Aces receive one extra card. However, after splitting if a player receives a 10, the hand is considered as 21 and not as blackjack.
If the dealer’s face up card is an ace, the player can opt for insurance. The player may place maximum of one-half his original bet as an insurance bet. If the dealer’s down card has a value of ten points, the player wins the insurance bet 2 to 1. For any other card, the dealer stands to gain.
A player can hand over the first two cards he has drawn and forfeit 1/2 of his original bet. This strategy can be used only in certain casinos as the rules change between them.