If you’re looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon and kill some time but you don’t want to watch a movie, card games are always a great choice. Blackjack is one of the best-known and simplest card games out there, and you can easily play it with a standard deck of cards and a spare half an hour. You can even play at the casino and you’ll have a much better chance of winning money than you would if you played the lottery, or bought a scratch-card. But before you take a seat at a table somewhere, or even play a casual game of Blackjack at home, you need to know the rules…
The basic rules of Blackjack are fairly simple, and in this article, we will take you through them step by step. So, let’s get started!
The Aim of the Game
Firstly, you need to understand what the aim of the game is. In basic terms, you are trying to beat the dealer, and there are a few ways you can do this:
- Have a hand with a total value that is higher than the dealer
- The dealer draws a hand with a total value over 21
- Draw a hand with a value of exactly 21 on your first two cards (as long as the dealer doesn’t draw the same)
The third outcome is less likely – it will usually be one of the first two that allows you to win. However, there are ways that you can lose to the dealer too:
- Your hand value exceeds 21
- The dealer has a greater total hand value than you at the end of the round
You may notice that the number 21 is important here. If your hand exceeds 21, you are out of the game. This is known as ‘going bust’ and it can happen to both you and the dealer. So, you are trying to get the highest hand possible without exceeding a total value of 21.
Calculating Your Hand Value
Your total hand value is calculated by adding up the value of all of the cards. The value of cards is as follows:
l 2-10 count as face value. So, a 7 is worth 7 points, a 5 is worth 5, etc.
l All picture or face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10 points
l Ace is either 1 or 11, whichever you decide is best for your hand
So, for example, if you had a King, a 7, and an Ace, you have two possible hand values. The King and the 7 give you 17. If you take the Ace as 11, you have a total of 28 and you’re bust. But if you take it as a 1, you have 18, which is a pretty good hand.
The Order of Play
Now, let’s look at the basic order of play.
Placing a bet – Before the hand starts, all players place a bet (if playing for money). If you are playing at a casino or in an online game on the slotslv site, for example – there will be specific rules about the minimum bet for each hand, etc. These vary, depending on where you are playing, so you always need to double check first.
Dealer deals the cards – Once all bets are in, the dealer deals one card to each player, in a clockwise order. These cards are face up. They give themselves one, face down. All players then get another face up card, and so does the dealer. So all players have two face up cards and the dealer has one face up and one face down. If you are dealt a face card or a ten, and an Ace, you have a total of 21. This is known as blackjack. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you automatically win the round. Otherwise, play continues.
Play Your Hand – Now you decide what to do with your hand… If you are happy with your two cards and you have a good total value, you can stand. Just check what everybody else has and what the dealer’s visible card is.
If you want another card, you can hit. The dealer gives you another card to add to your total. You can continue taking cards until you either go bust or decide to stand. Remember, each new card is a risk because you could go bust.
If you are confident with your hand but you need just one additional card to strengthen it, you can double down. You will double your bet and get one more card.
When you are dealt two cards of equal value, you can split. Again, you double your wager and the two cards are split, each becoming the start of a separate hand. The dealer then gives you an additional card on each, and you continue the game as normal, playing two hands instead of one.
Finally, if you are unhappy with your hand, you can surrender. You forfeit the round and get half of your original bet back.
Once you have played your hand and so have the rest of the players, the dealer plays theirs. Hopefully, you have beaten them!
These are the basic rules of Blackjack, but if you want to master the game, you will have to practice a lot and develop your own strategy so you can improve your chances of beating the dealer.