How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is a game that attracts many players in online casinos. In fact, not only is it fun to play 21 from the comfort of your home. But it can be profitable too. Yet, the key to making a few bucks while having a blast online is to master how to play blackjack first. Then, when you understand the basic skills and know how to play blackjack, you need to know that they’re strategies you can apply to your game. This way, you can make it even more lucrative. Because in the end, it’s always more fun to play a game when you win.
So, if you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, this how to play blackjack guide is not only good if you’re a beginner. But if you’re ready to take the thrill of the game one step further, it could help you too.
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How to play blackjack the decks and the tables
Whether you’ve learned how to play blackjack at home with some friends or you’re new to the game. It’s important to understand that it’s played with up to 6 decks of cards, depending on the context. In other words, you could have as little as 52 cards to play with. Or up to 312 to consider in your strategy. Plus, knowing how to play blackjack in all its form is essential to play profitable. Even the history of the game of blackjack can help you to learn the game faster. What’s more, to master how to play blackjack, you need to understand that the table is more than a place to sit and have fun. It holds important information that you need to take into accounts, like how much a blackjack will pay you, how much you’ll win if you take the insurance. And when the dealer needs to stand.
The main goal of the game
Now, regardless if you’re playing at a table where the dealer needs to hit or stand on all 17 (soft or not). Or where a natural pays 3:2, the insurance 2:1, and the card shoe holds 1 or 6 decks. Your objective is always to try to make 21 without going over. And using as many or few cards as possible and beat the dealer. If you wondered, all face cards are worth 10, and anything below a 10 is worth the indicated value on the card itself, except for the ace, which is worth 11 or 1. But for now, and to teach you how to play blackjack, what’s worth knowing is these elements will affect your odds, and you’ll learn how on our blackjack strategy page. So you must be aware of this as you start learning how to play blackjack.
How a game unfolds
Later on this page, we’ll look at in-depth elements and how they affect your table choices and your odds. However, before that, let’s make sure everyone is up to speed and knows the basics of how to play blackjack. To get cards at 5 persons or 7 people’s table, you’ll first need to place a bet. Most casinos give cards to those who’ve wagered $2 and up to $500. The table limits are indicated on the left-hand side of most tables.
Then after you’ve placed your bets, the dealer will distribute cards face up to everyone sitting at the table, starting at the upmost right to left. After each player gets 1 card, the dealer will take a card face up. Then everyone at the table (including the dealer) will get 1 more card (players face-up) dealer face down before the round of decision starts.
When to hit, stand, double down, or split is essential to know how to play blackjack.
Let say you or the dealer did not make a blackjack. You’ll have to decide once everyone has 2 cards. But as you consider your option, remember that you can’t touch the cards (if you play offline). To sum up, the first player to act will be the one sitting the closest to the shoe.
Depending on this player’s count, he or she may decide to ask for 1 or more cards to get as close to 21 (hit) as possible. This player may skip getting cards if he or she is happy with the count. This action is known as a stand. A player can also double his or her bet to get 1 more card face-down if the count is between 9 and 11 (double down). A player can also opt to split pairs to get cards on both and pay an extra side wager.
How to let a dealer know your decision – the moves that show you know how to play blackjack
If you play online, it’ll be easy because you’ll have about 10 seconds to click one of the 4 options on your screen and let the dealer know what your decision is before other players get cards. However, you need to either say hit to get more cards or scratch the table towards you with 1+ finger in a land-based casino. You could also use your hand as a king would to his subject when asked to proceed—this shows you know how to play blackjack.
If you want to stand, you can say no more or stand. The hand signal to not get more cards is a left to right palm down hand motion. To split, it’s 2 fingers you’ll show while adding an extra wager (equal to the first one) next to the chips that are already on the table.
Even more decisions
As you realize by now, the basics of how to play blackjack are straightforward to understand. They’re, however, 2 more decisions that you may have to make while playing blackjack.
In essence, the insurance is offered to players when the dealer shows an ace. So when the house can hit a natural, players have the option to place a side wager that’ll pay them 2:1 in case the house gets a blackjack. Now, it could be tempting to take this insurance for those who don’t know how to play blackjack yet. However, insurance bets are rarely profitable unless the deck is hot. So if there many 10 value cards left in the shoe.
Where to cut – a trick that shows you know how to play blackjack
In our how to play blackjack guide above, we’ve often talked about the shoe. Or the cardholder. Naturally, as a game unfolds, the number of cards it holds will lessen. Then at some point, the dealer will have to shuffle the decks. And may give one player the option to cut it. Cutting a deck means placing a holding card at random in the shoe to indicate the bottom of the pile. When cutting, you should make sure 60 to 75 cards are behind the holding card. Casinos do this to make it harder for professional card counters to get it right. Now it goes without saying that the option to cut is only available offline. In online casinos, the live dealer at live casinos typically won’t give players that option.
When do you get paid is essential to know when learning how to play blackjack
Ok, so now you know more about how to play blackjack, there only a few more things to cover. For instance, when do you get paid? When playing blackjack, the players always act first. Plus, lost bets as a result of a bust are not returned to players. Even if the dealer also busts. So, after your round of decision is complete. And if you hold cards equal to 20 or less and beat the dealer, you’ll make money. In other words, if the dealer stands on 17 or goes bust. You’ll get your money right after the dealer shows his hand. If the dealer hits a blackjack and you have one too, it’s known as a push. So you’ll get your money back.
Top tips to get started
As a rule of thumb, when learning how to play blackjack, think about sitting at a table where the dealers stand on soft 17 and where the table limits are low. And, of course, where the shoe holds as few cards as possible because it could be easier to hit a natural. Well, providing the payouts and rules are the same. Don’t know what a natural is? It’s a combination of a face card and an Ace. So, it’s a fancy term to say you’ve hit blackjack with just 2 cards. A single deck table gives you odds of 4.83% to hit a natural. Sit at a 2 decks table, and it’s 4.78% chances you get. On a 6 decks table, it’s 4.75% chance you’ll have to make blackjack with just 2 cards.
A winnings strategy for those who are learning how to play blackjack
As you’re learning how to play blackjack, you should keep a few principles in mind. For instance, if a dealer shows a card between 7 or 10, you should hit until you reach 17 or go bust. If the dealer’s card is low, so 4 to 6, you should stand at 12 or more. This way, you have a chance at collecting a win because the dealer is likely to go bust. There are, of course, more tactics you can implement as you master how to play blackjack, like keep hitting until you reach 18 if you have a soft hand. But that’s covered in our other guide. So you can read it to take your game even further. And potentially make more money playing blackjack.