If you’re keen on becoming a blackjack pro, it’s always crucial to start with the basics. It is easier to craft a strategy that works when you have a good rein on what the game is, what its objective, and what constitutes a win or a loss.
While blackjack is considered one of the easier casino games to play, a basic understanding of the rules of the game will take a long way. Remember that the game is designed where players have to accumulate cards points that total to 21 or closest to it but never over. In this particular card game, the face cards and the 10 card all have the value of 10. The number cards are valued based on the number they represent. Then, there’s Ace, which could either be valued at 11 or 1.
A lot of people often mistake the ultimate goal of the game as being able to secure a card with 21 as a total. In reality, the real goal for the game is for you to win against the dealer.
Also, if you end up with a hand that is of the same value as the house’s or the dealer’s, it’s considered a tie where nobody wins. Players have the choice to stand at any time.
Playing the Game
To win, you have to beat whatever card value the dealer has while also making sure that you will not go bust. Going bust means having cards that total more than 21. This means that you will lose automatically. Whoever ends up with a card that is closest to 21 in total value will be considered the winner. This is done by adding all the value of the hand that was dealt to you.
It’s common for blackjack tables to have a total of six players. Usually, 8 or 6 card decks are used. The dealer will shuffle these cards together and then have them placed on a box that is meant to dispense them. It is also referred to as a Shoe.
Players need to make their wagers before the cards are dealt. Afterwards, two cards will be dealt by the dealer with their faces up. Meanwhile, the dealer will get two cards as well, but only one has its face up and the other is faced down. The players will then decide whether they’d stick with the hand they were dealt or if they will decide to take an additional card in the bid to get as close to 21. The game also has a rule where, if the dealer has a card of 17 or up, he must stay. But if he has 16 or less, he has to draw.
If the first two cards you get totals to 21— say, a face card or a 10 plus an Ace— you are automatically declared the winner. This is also referred to as a blackjack, from which the game’s name was derived. For winning, you will get back 1.5 times the bet you made, however, if the dealer also happens to secure a Blackjack, it is considered a tie or a push. If this happens, you will just get your bet back.
When playing the game, the house advantage can be affected by certain factors. For instance, if you just play it as it is, no strategy involved, expect the house advantage to be at 7%. If you will employ a basic strategy, this can pull the house edge down by about 0.5%. If you decide to do card counting, it can reduce the house advantage and increase your odds by 1%.