While blackjack is undeniably one of the most popular table game in casinos throughout the world, there are many people who are confused about the rules of the game. In all actuality, blackjack is a very simple game to learn and with a little practice, players can become skilled in no time. In the game of blackjack, player’s place a wager and are dealt two cards, face up. The player’s goal then is to get as close to the number twenty-one as possible, without going over. What’s more, they have to beat the dealer’s hand as well without exceeding twenty-one.
The cards in blackjack all have specific values assigned to each, and those values are critical to understanding how to play the game. For example, the Ace can be worth one or eleven depending on the other cards in your hand. If you will go over twenty-one when counting the Ace as an eleven, it must be counted as a one. Basically, the value of the Ace will depend upon what makes the best hand for the player at the time. The cards two through nine are counted at face value, and the Jack, Queen and King are all valued as ten. The card suits are irrelevant in blackjack.
Prior to the start of the game, each player places a bet and the dealer then commences to deal the cards around the table, starting at his left. Two cards are dealt to each player face up (depending on the type of game), and two are also dealt to the dealer. The dealer turns one of his cards face up so each player can see the value of the card and base his plays off of that. There are typically two types of blackjack games you may encounter. The first, called a shoe game, is perfect for beginners because the cards are dealt face up and you cannot touch the cards. In a handheld game, the cards are dealt face down and you pick up your cards to see your hand.
There are a couple of important rules to remember when playing a handheld game. First of all, you are only allowed to touch the cards with one hand; you must keep your cards over the table, and any cards the dealer gives to you must be left on the table, not added to your hand. Once play commences, turns go according to the first person sitting on the dealer’s left. Each player then tells the dealer how they’d like to play each hand when it reaches their turn.
There are several options a player has when deciding how to play his hand. First, a player can choose to “hit,” which means another card is added to their hand to try and increase their total closer to twenty-one without busting (going over.) Depending on the type of game you are playing, there are different rules as to how you may indicate you’d like to hit. If you pay attention to the other players at the table, you will be able to figure out what to do when it is your turn. Another common option in blackjack is to stand, which means you are going to keep your hand the way it is without adding another card. Once you stand, your hand stays at the current total.
In most games, players also have the option to “Double down.” This action can only be used when a player has two cards in their hand, before any other cards have been added. When you double down, you not only double your bet but receive one additional card to your hand. This is the only additional card you can receive. Subsequently, players can also choose to split their hand if they are dealt a matching pair of cards. This allows a player to play two separate hands, independent of each other. In theory, this can offer a player the chance to improve a hand that’s very poor, because they can have two hands that work independent of one another.
While the game of blackjack may seem intimidating at first, with a little bit of practice and a clear understanding of the rules, you can grasp the concepts of the game in no time.