Blackjack Rules – Complete Guide

BLACKJACK Updated on: 1 September 2018

Blackjack may be a simple game to play, but it is not an easy game to win. To distinguish yourself from people who play blackjack without any chances of securing satisfying wins and join the exclusive group of players who win regularly with this game, you will need to familiarize yourself with some key blackjack rules and strategies.

The basics of the game are very simple, and you will have these figured out once you know what possibilities result in a win for you and which possibilities mean a win for the casino. These are just a few these, which is why many newbies can begin enjoying this game within no time.

But sooner or later, you will realize that understanding the easy-to-digest rules of the game will not give you much of an edge. This is why it is important to know some blackjack strategies as well. Some advanced and proven strategies include card counting and blackjack shuffle tracking.

For now, we will focus on the basic rules of blackjack. Truth be told, any advanced strategic approach you can use with blackjack begins with a clear understanding of these rules. You can still learn about these advanced blackjack strategies, just look through the site’s article directory and you will know what you need to do to become an exceptional blackjack player.

1. How To Play Blackjack

Once you sit down to a blackjack game, not much is required of you during the initial stages. You just have to place your desired bet amount. From there, the dealer hands out two cards per player, and two cards for the casino. All player cards face upwards, while only one of the dealer’s cards faces upwards while the other faces down.

From there, you decide whether to “hit” or “stand”, at least in the most basic version of the game. When you choose “hit”, you are basically asking for an extra card, and when you “stand”, you are basically saying that you are done playing and the dealer can move on to the next player.

The goal here is usually to reach at most a card total of 21, and the closer you get to this number, the better your odds of winning. Aces are counted as 1’s or 11’s, its typically up to you which direction to take. However, if your first two cards are an ace and a card that counts as a 10, your are said to have a blackjack.

How Blackjack Bets Are Settled

In blackjack, you are always going against the dealer, no matter how many players are at your table. The most rewarding win is attained when you get cards totaling to 21, in which case you get one and a half times your total bet as profit.

The other way you can win is by beating the dealer, but without getting to 21. In this case, you will get a profit matching your bet. Since a dealer has to have at least a card value of 17, you will have to a get higher card number than he/she does to win. So, if he has a 17, you need an 18 and above to win.

You can also win without having to reach a value of 17, but only if the dealer busts. This means that in his/her attempt to reach a minimum card value of 17, the dealer has gone beyond 21, which is called a bust. So, if you have a 16 and the dealer has bust, you become the winner. If you and the dealer get the same card total, this is called a “push”, and you will get back your bet.

The rest are scenarios whereby you lose. You get an outright loss if you bust (go over 21), even if the dealer has not completed playing. You also lose if the dealer’s card values exceed yours. For instance, when the dealer has a cards totaling 18 while you have a seventeen, you lose the bet.

Some Blackjack Betting Tips

Different casinos might have different table limits for their blackjack players. Tables with high limits are usually meant for high rollers and skilled players. So, if you are a beginner, you are better off playing at a blackjack table that offers lower limits so that you can afford to make mistakes without losing substantial sums of money.

Other than your skillset, the bankroll you have at your disposal should also determine what table you should use to avoid getting wiped out before you have a chance to recover your losses or have a decent amount of fun. The aim should be to play in a manner that allows you to remain in the game for much longer. This can only be achieved when you bet small portions of your bankroll at a time.

Also, you should know that placing the 50% insurance bet when playing blackjack is a sucker’s game. Getting insurance does not give you much of an upside, since the best you can hope for is that the dealer has a blackjack so that you can break-even. Otherwise, if the dealer does not have a blackjack, you lose the 50% insurance bet and then play out the main bet, which you can also lose, piling up your losses.

So, What Does It Take To Win At Blackjack?

To put it simply: both skill and luck because you cannot determine what hand you will be dealt, and you still have to use your skills to improve your odds of winning. The skills that truly give you an edge and possibly help you win more usually take a little time to master.

For instance, card counting and blackjack shuffle tracking are very effective in helping you become a great blackjack player, but they require plenty of practice to master. Now that this article has told you how blackjack is played, look through my blackjack strategy guides to learn more about these and other advanced blackjack strategies.