Few other card games gather more players or draw more intensity than a game of blackjack. With its immersive gameplay and a worldwide reputation as an iconic card game, it’s one of the most straightforward games you’ll find in the entire casino range.
Blackjack may look simple on the outside, but beneath the surface, you’ll find there’s much more to this classic card game. Let us tell you more in our beginner casino guide. Here you’ll get the basic rules, card values and more, so you get acquainted with the game in any setting.
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What’s The Aim Of Blackjack?
Ultimately, the aim is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21- It’s that simple! If your hand goes higher than 21, you “bust”, which means you lose that hand.
What Are The Rules?
Whether you want to play live, online or otherwise, the rules of the game are pretty much the same. Up to seven players are seated around the semi-circular table (but more players can be seated online, such as in a game of Infinite Blackjack). There’s a betting spot in front of each player, where you must place your wager in the form of chips before the dealer plays the hand. If space allows, you can play more than one hand at the table, placing chips in each betting spot.
Once everyone has placed their chips, the dealer will hand out two cards to each player. They will then draw themselves a card turned face down (known as their “hole card”). Note that there are some variations of this game that allow the dealer to receive two cards: one turned down and the other facing up.
Next, each player can decide to hit (take another card) or stand (keep just their current cards). This all depends on the value of the hand in front of you.
What Are The Card Values?
The game is played with standard playing cards and up to eight decks. The cards from 2 through 10 are worth their exact value while all the face cards – King, Queen and Jack are worth 10. An Ace can have two values – either worth 1 or 11.
How Does The Game Start?
If the total value of the cards you get is 21 (for example if you get a 10 and an Ace), you immediately win a Blackjack, and the dealer will pay out odds of 3:2 on your initial wager. This is the ideal scenario! But what are your options if you don’t get this hand?
You Can Hit…
Essentially, you’re requesting another card from the dealer to increase your hand’s value. You can do this as many times as you like – just be careful you don’t go over 21 and bust!
You Can Stand…
If you stand you won’t accept any more cards for that round and gameplay will move to the next player. So, if you have a hand with two 10-value cards and you stand, your final value of 20 will be pitted against the dealer.
Or You Could Split
If you have two of the same value cards dealt to you, you can split them, and place the same wager again on the second hand. Now, you can choose to hit and stand on each hand independently depending on what cards you’re dealt next. Now that’s potentially two chances to beat the dealer instead of one.
What Does It Mean To “Double Down”?
This option allows you to double your initial bet in return for receiving one (and only one) more card. In most casinos, you can only double down after you receive your first two cards and before drawing another card. There are plenty of guides and strategies for doubling down, but it all depends on what card the dealer holds and what’s left in the deck: not easy to know.
Check out our five-minute strategy guide for more on how to double down.
Unlike you, the player, a blackjack dealer has specific rules to follow. Casino rules specify that a dealer must keep drawing a card if their hand totals less than 17 and stand when the total is 17 through 21. There are variations to dealer’s play, so make sure you check out the table rules carefully before you take a seat.
Some casinos will allow you to take an insurance bet, which only becomes available if the dealer draws an Ace as their first card. In essence, you’re betting that their next card will be a 10-value card, resulting in a Blackjack. An insurance bet enables you to win back half your original wager instead of potentially going bust.
How To Play Live Blackjack
A game of live blackjack doesn’t vary that much from a game at the table. There may be more variations to play such as single-deck games, party-style games and tables where more players can take part. Check out LiveRoulette’s library live games and discover just how easy it is to switch from table games to live!
And Finally: Blackjack Payouts
The payout for a winning hand is 1:1, so if you put down a £5 bet, you’ll get £5. If you manage to win on a natural Blackjack, you’ll receive a payout of 3:2, making it the highest return in the game. There are various table limits available, giving you diverse betting options that match your bankroll and playing style.
That’s everything a first-timer needs to know to get by in a game of blackjack. Why not put your newly found knowledge to the test in one of LiveRoulette’s games?