Blackjack is one of the most popular card games at any casino. Many online casinos offer a wide range of blackjack variations. The rules of the game are simple to learn and basic blackjack strategy can be employed by all players, making the game popular with amateurs and professionals.
Aim of the Game
The aim of the game of blackjack is to achieve a hand total of as close to 21 as possible, without going bust (going over 21). Blackjack is played against the dealer and not against the other players at the table so all hands are compared to the dealers hand.
Each card in a game of blackjack has a value and the values of the cards in your hand are combined to arrive at your hand value. Cards 2 through ten hold their face value; face cards are valued at ten and Ace is value at 1 or 11 depending on the total value of your hand.
How to Play Blackjack
To begin a game of blackjack, you must place your bet. You will then be dealt two cards face up and the dealer will be dealt one card face up and one card face down. Each player, in turn, will have a chance to play his hand. Once all of the players hands have been completed, the hands will be compared to the dealers hand and all wins will be paid out. The dealer must play according to the house rules with no deviation. These typically require him to stand on 17; however there may be some variation between casinos.
Player actions include:
- Hit Receive one more card
- Stand Receive no more cards and end your turn
- Insurance Placing a side bet against the dealer having Blackjack.
- Surrender Some casinos may allow a player to surrender before they begin to play, at the cost of half their bet. Some casinos only allow a late surrender once the dealer has checked his hand for blackjack and some may allow early surrender.
- Splitting If your first two cards are of equal value, you can choose to split them into two different hands and play them separately with separate bets. Some casinos may allow splitting after splitting.
- Doubling Down On your first two cards, you may choose to double your bet and receive one more card to end your turn.
Ending your Turn and Winning
You can continue playing until you choose to stand or you go bust. The highest paying hand in a game of blackjack is Blackjack which consists of an Ace and one other card to make a hand of 21. You can also win if you hold five cards that value less than 21.