By James Guill.
Whether you are on the floor of the Bellagio in Los Angeles or Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, blackjack is one of the most popular table games you will find. It is straightforward, making it easy for beginners to grasp the rules and tricks quickly.
Likewise, it is a profitable option for many experienced players who have mastered beating the dealer.Nevertheless, just like every other table game, it is guided by rules. While many variations may slightly affect the game rules, the goal is the same, which is to beat the dealer’s hand. In doing so, there are many things that every player should know before sitting at a table or playing online. In this article, we will share some details about the basics of the game, and valuable tips for beginners.
The objective of playing blackjack
As a beginner, it is vital to understand the game’s objective before you sit at the table. During a typical blackjack game, the dealer will give you cards with different face values. The game’s goal is to ensure that you have the strongest hand. That is, the total value of your cards is higher than that of the dealer.
In a game of blackjack, you do not compete against other players. Instead, the focus is to ensure that you have the strongest hand relative to the dealer. Also, it is essential to ensure that your total card value does not exceed 21, which will be a bust, and the dealer wins. So, unlike other games based on luck, it is crucial to learn how to play blackjack.
How to play blackjackAs mentioned, the goal is to beat the dealer or get closer to 21 than the dealer. Indeed, that sounds so easy. However, you do not choose the cards you are dealt. What you do with them afterward is what counts. Here are a few steps to playing blackjack:
Join a Table
There are many top casinos to play blackjack online. Find one, register, and gather your chips. The number of card decks varies depending on the variation of blackjack. In the standard game, each player is dealt two cards face up while the dealer receives one face up and the other face down. Your next move is a function of your skill and knowledge of the game.
Decide on your next move – Hit, Stand, Double, Split or Surrender?
Hit or stand? Never be in a hurry to make a move unless you are sure that you have the strongest hand. The tricky part is that you only see one of the dealer’s cards dealt face-up. So, your entire game plan revolves around your total card value against that of the dealer’s up-card.
Request another card (Hit) when your current hand is very low so you will not go above 21 when dealt the next card. On the other hand, stand when your hand is at or above 17, or you are confident your hand will be stronger than the dealer’s final hand. Most players rely on different strategies to make their decisions. Especially in situations involving multiple players, card counting systems also play vital roles. Since the cards for all the players are dealt face up, it is easy to keep track of what’s left in the shoe.
Make a move and wait for the outcome
If you Hit, you’d receive another card. But, if you choose to Stand, the dealer reveals their card dealt face down to end the session. You are declared the winner if you have the strongest hand against the dealer or if the dealer goes over 21. Otherwise, the dealer wins if your hand is lower than the dealer or above 21.
Blackjack card values
Blackjack comes in different variants, and some may require more decks. However, the standard uses a 52-card deck, and it is essential to know the value of each card. The cards are classified as follows:
- Aces – These cards are worth either 1 or 11 depending on the type of hand (soft or hard)
- Face cards and 10 – These cards are worth 10 points
- Every other card is worth its face value (1 to 9)
Basic Tips for Beginners
Always Split Aces and 8s
This is one of the most basic tips that every beginner must know. With a pair of 8s, you have a total of 16. Likewise, a pair of aces gives you a value of 2 or 12, which is not great. So, it is best to split them with the hope of picking a good value when you hit. Usually, anything in the range of. 7s, 8s, 9s, and 10s puts you in an excellent position.
Never split two face cards
Two face cards give you a hand value of 20 which is as close as you can get to 21, so why split it? Unfortunately, many rookies get it wrong with the hope of trying to double their chances. Still, there is a high chance that your next card will not get you as close to 21 as you already were with the original cards. So, as a tip, it is best not to split two face cards.