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How to play blackjack

by Techies Guardian

Do you want to learn how to play Slots UK blackjack? Blackjack strategies are very easy to understand, making the game a favourite among beginner gamblers. Blackjack is a one-card game with lower casino odds. In the casino version, the house is the dealer, who becomes the permanent bank.

The dealer would remain standing while in the player’s seat. The dealer runs every part of the game, including the shuffling and dealing of cards as well as handling the bets. If blackjack is played at home, usually all players would have the chance to become the dealer, otherwise known as “changing banks.”

Blackjack’s objective 

In Blackjack, you need to attempt to reach the score of 21, without going above it (ie., busting at 22 or more), before the dealer hits 17. You can become the winner if you don’t bust and your total goes above the dealer’s cards. Hitting 21 precisely also leads to bigger winnings.

The pack

The blackjack game uses the standard 52-card deck, but some casinos may shuffle several decks of cards together. Usually, the six-deck game (312 cards) is the most common. Here, the dealer has a blank plastic card that has never been dealt. This card is placed around the bottom of the pack to show that it’s time to shuffle the deck. When the dealer uses four or more decks, they are usually dealt from a shoe, which is a box that enables the dealer to remove cards at the same time, while keeping them face down without actually holding the packs.

Card value

Every card in Blackjack has a value that remains consistent throughout the game. They include:

  •     Number cards: the number on this card is the value.
  •     Face cards: the value of face cards is 10.
  •     Ace: the value of this card is 1 or 11. Usually, it is counted as 11, except it might take you above 21, where it is used as 1.

Looking at these denotations, an ace and a ten card equal 21 in two cards called blackjack/natural.  If a player has a natural, then the dealer pays the player one and a half times their wager. If the dealer has a natural, they would collect the bets of all players without naturals. If the dealer and another player have a natural, then the player is stand-up and will take back his chips. If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace or ten-card, then they can look at their face-down card to discover if the two cards are natural. If the face-up isn’t an ace or ten-card, then they can’t look at the face-down card until it is their turn to play.  Subsequently, a hand containing an ace is known as a “soft” hand.

How the game is played.

  •     Before the game begins, every player will place their bet using their betting chips in the designated area in front of them. Each game has its own minimum and maximum allowed bets usually ranging from $2 to $500.
  •     Next, the dealer shuffles portions of the pack and designates one of the players to cut. Then the plastic card is placed in the card so the last 60 to 75 cards will not be used (this strategy makes it difficult for card counters to operate efficiently).
  •     After all, players have placed their bet, the dealer gives one card face up to each player in a clockwise motion, and then one card face up to themselves. The dealer deals another round of cards to each player, but the dealer takes the second card face down. So the player receives two cards face up, while the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down.
  •     Next, the player goes to the left and decides whether to “stand” (not request another card) or “hit” (request another card as they attempt to get closer to the count of 21 or even hit 21). The player can stand on two cards originally dealt to them or request additional cards, one at a time, until they stand on the total (21 and under) or go “bust” (over 21). Bst means the player loses and the dealer takes all wagered bets. The dealer continues to the next player, and it happens in the same manner.
  •     After serving every player, the dealer’s face-down card is turned up. If the total is 17 or more, it must stand. If the total is 16 or under, the dealer must take a card. The dealer may continue to take cards until a total of 17 or more is reached and then be required to take a stand. If the dealer has an ace and counting it as 11 brings 17 or more (not over 21), the dealer counts the ace as 11 and stands.  The decision of the dealer is automatic for all players, but the player always has the option to take more cards.

Choices for every game

You have the basic options to either hit or stand. But there are also a few additional possibilities:

  •     Taking insurance: This only comes up when the dealer is showing an ace. Taking insurance means placing a new bet that will then pay 2 -1 if the dealer gets a blackjack. You lose your bet (paying 1 -1_ but win the insurance, thereby breaking even.
  •     Double down: This means doubling your debt and getting only one more card. You should use this when your initial cards equal 8–11 or soft 12 to soft 19.
  •     Split: This involves making two hands from one hand when both cards have the same value. Usually, Queens, Jacks, Tens, and Kings are counted as 10. If both your hands win, you’ll have double your amount of money. If one wins, you break even. If both lose, you lose double the money. The split usually means separating the cards and placing a duplicate bet.
  •     Surrender: Casinos often allow you to choose to give up half your bet without playing. This is only desirable when the dealer shows a 9–A and the player has a 5–7 or 12–16.

Basic Blackjack strategy

In every blackjack game, you need to build your strategy to increase your winning chances. Your strategy should also take into account what the dealer’s face-up card is. When the dealer has a face-up card of 7,8, 9, 10-card, the player should not stop hitting until they have 17 or more. If the dealer’s face-up card is 4, 5, or 6, which is poor, you should stop drawing as soon as you get a total of 12 or higher.  Subsequently, if the dealer’s face-up card is a fair one, such as 2 or 4, you can stop with a total of 13 or higher.

  •     Soft hand: If you have a soft hand, the general strategy is to continue hitting until you reach a total of 18. This means an ace and a six (7 or 17), which means you would not stop at 17 but hit.
  •     Doubling Down: If you have a total of 11, then always double down. With a total of 10, you should double down unless the dealer shows an ace or ten-card. With a total of 9, you should double down only if the dealer has a poor or fair card.
  •     Splitting: You should always split a pair of aces or 8s; identical ten-cards or a pair of 5s (since two 5s equal 10) shouldn’t be split as they can help effectively double down. You should not split a pair of 4s since a total of 8 is a good number to draw on. Typically, you can split 2s, 3s, and 7s except when the dealer has an 8, 9, or 10-card or ace. You should not split 6s except if the dealer has a poor card.

The objective here is to never take a card if there is a possibility of going bust. Besides the basic blackjack strategy, it is also prudent to learn the house rules and house edges to improve your strategy.

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