How To Play Blackjack (and Win): For Beginners
There is a good chance that you have seen other people playing blackjack at social gatherings, even if you have never played the game yourself at a casino. It is not difficult to learn how to play the game. However, becoming an expert at it will take a considerable amount of time and effort.
As a beginner, you should not be too concerned about this. You must get started first.
Playing it is a lot of fun. It gets even better if you get the hang of the rules and strategy as that increases your chances of walking away with some substantial wins. There are several ways to win at blackjack, and this tutorial for ‘how to play blackjack’ for beginners will teach you the fundamentals of the game.
Blackjack Betting Rules
Blackjack is a card game that is played using a deck of 52 cards. Multiple decks may be required depending on the location and type of the game.
The objective of the game is to defeat the dealer by obtaining cards of a higher value or by obtaining cards with a combined value of 21.
When playing blackjack, an ace may have a value of either 1 or 11 points depending on the player’s decision. Every card in the two-to-ten string follows the same rule, which states that the rank of the card is equivalent to its point value. There is a point value of 10 assigned to each face card, which includes the Jack, Queen, and King.
Since the dealer is your only opponent, the decisions you make are somewhat influenced by the other players. The player is required to place their wager prior to the dealer dealing out the cards. When the dealer gets a total that is higher than 21, they are said to have “busted” and automatically lost. This applies to the player as well – a hand value that exceeds 21 is a bust and it means that the player loses the bet.
To go along with the standard rules of play, a normal game contains a few more critical aspects that players must adhere to. Being familiar with the ways you may win in blackjack and all your options no matter what hand is given is always a plus. These include:
- Any time your hand comes closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you’ve hit a regular win and will get a payout of 1:1.
- When the sum of your card totals 21 points, you have won blackjack, which pays 3:2.
- When the dealer has a hand value of 16 or below, they are required to hit.
- In order to get a hand value of 21, or as near to it as possible, players have the option of hitting or standing.
- When a player has two cards in hand, they may split them up into two new hands. Known as “splitting,” this gives the player another chance to defeat the dealer. You may use this strategy if you have two cards with the same face value.
- To double your wager in the middle of a hand, you might opt to double-down. You will only be given one card, and you will not be given the choice of taking a second card.
For a little more advanced gameplay, players have a variety of options that they can go for. These options include:
- Players can obtain insurance if the dealer presents an Ace as their face-up card. That way, your money is safe in case the dealer holds an Ace of Spades valued at 10.
- Online casinos may allow players to relinquish half of their wager if they are not satisfied with their hand’s value. This move is known as a ‘surrender’.
- If you hold a blackjack but the dealer is displaying an ace, you will push (tie) if the dealer also has a blackjack. This means that neither of you will win the hand. Even money is an option if you don’t want to take any chances of losing. Payouts will now be 1:1 instead of 3/2.
Basic Blackjack Gameplay
This is how the game of blackjack plays out at the most basic level:
- The gamblers set down their wagers.
- Each player is dealt a hand by the dealer.
- The game is initiated by the player to the left of the dealer’s side.
- If the dealer has a blackjack, all players who do not have a blackjack lose their bets.
- If the dealer doesn’t, the players who were dealt blackjacks are paid for their hands.
- A player must get an extra card if they want to hit.
- When a player doubles down on a wager, they must make a second wager in the same amount as the first and only get one card on a hit.
- A player may divide identical cards into two distinct hands.
- If a player stands, the dealer stops dealing cards to them.
- Even if the dealer also busts, a hand that totals over 21 is a loss by default.
Getting Started With Side Bets
Learning about blackjack side bets is also a good idea if you are just starting started. When playing Blackjack, you may place these wagers in addition to the conventional ones. Here, the goal is to make educated guesses about the cards the player or dealer will get. Bets are placed before any cards are dealt, and the outcomes of each side bet are determined purely by chance rather than by the player’s level of ability.
Side bets in blackjack give an additional layer of sophistication to the game, but they also significantly increase the player’s risk level. When playing blackjack with side bets, the house advantage is greatly increased, and most bets have a house advantage of 10 percent or more.
In no way, shape, or form, should they be the primary focus of a player’s gaming or wagering efforts. If you do decide to continue, you need to be aware of the greatly enhanced advantage the house has over you at this point. In fact, as a beginner, you should try to avoid them regardless of how enticing they may be. In learning how to play blackjack and win, there is a much deeper learning curve but for now, I would highly recommend getting started with some real games and real (low) stakes to get some experience under your belt and a more tangible feel for the game’s ebb and flow.
You can learn more about side bets in this article we wrote especially for the keen Blackjack learners.
Where to Practice
You are going to have to put in a lot of effort if you ever want to make it to the level of a professional player in the game. Players are fortunate that sites such as the ones we are recommending allow them to get some practice in. The increasing availability of blackjack games that are either playable for free or come with a free practice mode provides players with an excellent opportunity to hone their abilities.
Like poker, playing for blackjack for real money is an entirely different experience. So when you’re ready to test out your skills on some low-stakes games, check out these poker sites recommended explicitly for their Blackjack products.