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Are you hoping to jet off to the best blackjack tables across the world but you’re unsure of what the casino blackjack rules are? Fear not, as we have got you covered with our guide to the rules of blackjack.
Our guide on casino blackjack rules gives you a clear insight into how you get your classic blackjack journey started. We also give you some insight into the different variations on the classical version of the game in case you feel like branching out to pastures new. Check out the rest of our guide to learn more.
Blackjack is one of the most popular table games in the world and has been for some time. The game is pretty straightforward to understand especially if you are playing the conventional version of the game. There are a couple of other variations on blackjack that we will get to shortly in our guide. For now, let’s take a look at the rules for this exciting table game.
The rules of blackjack are very simple. Instead of playing against other players like you would with Texas Hold’em poker, you are instead playing against the dealer. You are dealt 2 cards to start with, with the dealer also receiving 2 cards but with 1 face down. From then on you need to decide if you want to receive another card or if you want to stick with what you have. The point of the game is to try and get as close to 21 as possible without going over that number. If you actually hit the number on the head then you have made your blackjack and you immediately win the hand.
While you are trying to get to 21, the dealer is too and so you win by being closest to 21 or by the dealer going bust (going over 21) and you lose (or draw) because the dealer has hit his 21. The dealer will keep dealing to himself until he has at least over 17 points. So, it’s important to know when you should stick and when you should “hit” (ask for another card). If you decide to stick on 18 and the dealer gets to 19, the dealer wins. If you have the same points value as the dealer after 17 then your stake is returned. If you go bust at any point, you lose, irrespective of what the dealer has.
And that is the crux of the game in a nutshell. You are trying to get as close to 21 as possible in order to beat the dealer. The thing is, you can decide to stop and hold your position but the dealer can’t. For example, if you have hit a total of 18 and you don’t want to risk seeing another card then you don’t have to. The dealer may have been on 19 at the time but will need to draw another card until either reaching 21 or going bust. This is where blackjack strategy comes in but we’ll touch on that later.
Now you know that the point of the game is to get as close to 21 as you possibly can but you need to know what the card values are before you get cracking. As you might have guessed, cards 2-9 represent the value of their number. So, 2 is 2 points, 5 is points, 9 is 9 points and so on. 10 to the king all represent 10 points. So, jack, queen and king are all 10 points and are known as face cards.
The ace is where things get a bit more creative. An ace can either represent 1 point or 11 points. So, if you received an ace and a king with your first two cards you would then have blackjack. If you receive an ace and a 5 then you would either have 16 or 6, the choice is yours.
Firstly, there is some terminology you should become acquainted with when it comes to blackjack. If you don’t want another card then you would say that you want to “stand. If you would like another card you would then say “hit”.
At the start of a hand you will place a bet before you eleven see your 2 cards. The betting limit will vary but smaller tables will typically be around $10 a bet. As the hands progress, you can then “double down” if you want to, in which case you will receive another card and double the value of your bet. You can only do this once.
If you are dealt 2 of the same card or a “pair”, then you can choose to split them. This means that you can then essentially play 2 hands at the same time. For example, you received two 7’s for your first two cards. You then decide to split them. Splitting is another way for you to double your bet as you will need to match the intial stake on the newly opened hand. You can also double down on both of these hands as well as the hands progress. It should be noted that you can’t split 2 aces.
Much like many other table games, there are plenty of variants on blackjack. It’s important that we touch on some of these variants so that you don’t end up playing a version that you don’t understand. There are over 20 different variations on blackjack but we will touch on some of the most popular ones.
Classic blackjack: This version of blackjack is the version that we have just gone into. You are trying to get as close to 21 as possible while also beating the dealer’s points total. We won’t go into much more detail on this as we already have but this version is called classic blackjack which is the standard version of the game.
European blackjack: The version of the game is widely considered to be more player favoured. This is because the dealer is only pulling cards from two different decks which makes predicting the cards a little easier. The other notable difference from the classic version is that the dealer won’t announce if he has blackjack. This means that you will continue to play a hand not knowing that the dealer has you beat already. This is the one downside. Aside from that, there are very few rules for blackjack that differ from the European version.
Face-up 21: This version of blackjack is very player favoured but it does have its downsides. It is player favoured because the dealer starts with both cards face up. This gives you a lot more information when checking whether or not you want to stand or hit. However, the dealer can hit on a soft 17 in this version of the game. A soft 17 is simply when the dealer has an ace and 6 which makes his hand more flexible. Another downside here is that the dealer blackjack will always beat the player blackjack. So, if you hit 21 but the dealer does too, then you lose. If you win with blackjack it only pays even money as opposed to the typical 3:2.
Perfect pairs blackjack: This is a pretty interesting variation on the classic version of the game. All the rules are essentially the same but with an added betting twist. You can place a side bet before the start of each hand. You are betting on whether or not the hand you receive will be the same value or a pair. So, if you receive two 9’s your side bet wins. However, you can also win if the two cards have the same value i.e. a face card and a 10.
Each variation pays out differently. A value pair pays out at 5:1. If the cards are the same value and the same colour you get paid out at 10:1. The biggest jackpot you can win is 30:1 and this is when the two cards are the same value, same colour and the same suit. For example, a 10 of hearts and jack of hearts.
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Our journey through the rules of blackjack has now reached its final destination. Hopefully our trip through these casino blackjack rules has been informative for you. You should now have a decent grasp on the rules for all the variations and a very clear picture on the rules for classic blackjack as well.
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