Blackjack’s simple structure is probably the reason for its immense popularity. It is easy to learn for beginners, but is still enjoyable for more experienced players. With the right strategies and card counting systems you can even reverse the house edge and get odds in your favour!
You may know blackjack as the game called 21. And the name 21 is also very telling of the game, because the very goal of the game is to obtain a total card value of 21 – or at least a short value that is closer to – but always below – 21 than the dealer’s hand. If you get a card value of more than 21 you go bust and you lose the round.
The Blackjack Hand
Your hand is made up of the cards you are being dealt. When you play blackjack, you should be aware of the fact that all face cards (kings, queens and jacks) has a value of 10, while Aces count as either 1 or 11. All other cards have their face value. Card suit is irrelevant, though the game’s name might suggest something else. The game proceeds with the dealer giving each player two cards. Before then the player has wagered an amount. While the player is dealt two cards, the dealer deals himself two cards, only one of which is open to the player(s). Blackjack is played from left to right, and although there are several players at the table they all play against the dealer’s hand. That is why in blackjack you never play against the other players at the table. Since you only play against the casino, you can also play blackjack alone against the dealer.
If you as your first two cards are dealt the value 21 you have blackjack. Blackjack is when you get an Ace and a card with the value 10. Blackjack is a winning hand and the dealer can at best hope to get blackjack himself and thus get a draw – or a push as it is called. Blackjack is the best hand you can get – and it also pays the most!
Dealer Rules in Blackjack
The dealer is bound by certain rules for how he will play his cards. Usually these rules written on a sign next to the dealer – please be sure to read the rules as they may be important for your game.
There are especially two general rules that determine how the dealer must play his cards. Normally the dealer must stand on all card combinations of 17 and above. If the dealer has card values of less than 17 he must draw more cards. This rule will also apply to the combination of a socalled “soft” 17, a 6 and an Ace (card value 17).
Alternatively, the rule is that the dealer must take at least an extra card when he gets a “soft” 17. The advantage of this rule to the player is you that the risk of busting increases as the dealer is forced to take another card.
Blackjack is both incredibly entertaining and easy to learn. So what are you waiting for?