Having been a blackjack dealer and gambling instructor, I have taught countless people how to playing the game of Blackjack. The game of Blackjack is a very simple one to learn and you can be on the table playing in just minutes from now. On my main website (WiseBettor.com), I go more in detail about gambling, but this quick start guide will give you everything you need to play a game of Blackjack. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on playing Blackjack online.
Before you can play a hand of Blackjack, you must place a bet on the table. The minimum bet amount required to play depends on the table you are at. All winning bets at the Blackjack table are paid even money, with the exception of a dealt Blackjack, which is paid three to two. If, for example, you have a $5 bet on the table and receive a Blackjack, you would be paid $7.50.
The game starts with you receiving two cards and the dealer receiving two cards. One card of the dealer is placed face up for you to see. This card is called the “up card” and gives you a little help in guessing what the dealer holds. Each card has a count that’s equivalent to it’s number. So, for example, a two is worth two. The Jack, Queen and King cards are worth ten. The Ace is worth one or eleven–you decide. At the conclusion of each hand the player closest to twenty-one wins. However, the object is not really to get as close to twenty-one as possible, rather to beat the dealer.
As the player, you go first. You can hit, stand, split, double down or surrender. Here’s a description of each action.
Stand: You stay with what you have and end your turn.
Hit: You take another card. You can continue to do this until you are satisfied or bust (go over 21).
Split: If you have two cards of the same type (example: two tens), you can split them up and make two separate hands. You can only split your first two cards.
Double Down: When you double down, you double up your bet and take one final card–and end your turn. You can’t double down after you have more than two cards.
Surrender: You kill the hand by taking back half of your money and giving up. Most casinos offer this now. You can only surrender when you have your first two cards.
Once your turn ends, the dealer completes the hand by drawing if needed. Most casinos are setup so that the dealer must hit until the dealer holds a 17. If the casino hits on soft 17, that means any 17 made with an ace (example: ace and a six) is hit. A hard 17 would be something like a ten and a seven.
You are now ready to hit the Blackjack table and have some fun. It would be good to read up on some blackjack strategy before playing–to maximize your potential. You will find out some key times to not hit no matter what you have and times to double down. Blackjack is a fun game and the house has a low advantage over you–if you know how to play right.
By Jason A. Martin
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