What is Blackjack?
Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is a popular casino game that involves two or more players competing against the dealer. The goal of the game is to get a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over. The game is played with one or more decks of 52 cards, and is the most widely-played casino banking game in the world.
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How to Play Blackjack
In order to play blackjack, the dealer will deal each player two cards and one card for themselves, all face up. The players then have the option to take additional cards to increase their hand’s total or “stand” and keep their total. The dealer will then draw additional cards until they reach a total of 17 or more. After all player’s hands have been resolved, the dealer will compare their hand’s total with the players’ totals. If the dealer’s total is higher than any of the players’, then the dealer wins. If any of the players’ totals are higher than the dealer’s, then those players win.
Basic Rules of Blackjack
When playing blackjack, it is important to know and understand the basic rules of the game. Here are some of the basic rules of blackjack:
1. 21 is the Highest Hand
The highest hand that players can have in blackjack is 21, also known as a “blackjack.” This can be achieved by combining an Ace with any other 10-point card (10, Jack, Queen, or King). If a player has a hand total of 21, they automatically win the hand.
2. If Both Player and Dealer Have the Same Hand Total, the Hand is a Push
If both the player and the dealer have the same hand total, then the hand is a “push” and no one wins. This is also known as a “stand-off.” The player’s bet is returned to them.
3. The Dealer Must Stand on 17 or Higher
The dealer must stand on any hand total of 17 or higher. This rule is in place to prevent the dealer from taking too many cards and risking going over 21.
4. Players may Double Down on Any Hand Total of 9, 10, or 11
Players are allowed to “double down” on any hand total of 9, 10, or 11. This means that they can double their original bet and take one additional card.
5. Players may Split Pairs
If a player is dealt two cards of the same rank (e.g. two 8s), they are allowed to “split” the pair and play two separate hands. The player must place a second bet equal to their original bet to do this.
6. Players may Double Down After Splitting Pairs
Players are allowed to double down after splitting pairs. However, they must make a separate bet for each hand that is equal to their original bet.
7. Players may Surrender at Any Time
Players are allowed to “surrender” at any time and forfeit half of their original bet. This is usually done when the player feels like they have no chance of winning the hand.
8. Insurance is Available for Players
Players are allowed to take “insurance” if the dealer is showing an Ace. This is a side bet that pays out 2-to-1 if the dealer has a blackjack.
9. Players May Not Re-split Aces
Players are not allowed to re-split aces. This means that if they split a pair of aces, they can only draw one additional card to each hand.
10. Players May Not Take Additional Cards After Splitting Aces
Players are not allowed to take additional cards after splitting aces. This means that after they split a pair of aces, they must stand on the two hands.
Strategy in Blackjack
In addition to knowing the basic rules of blackjack, it is also important to understand the basic strategies of the game. There are a number of different strategies that players can use to increase their chances of winning, such as:
1. Hit on Soft 17
When the dealer is showing an Ace, it is usually a good idea to hit on a soft 17 (a hand total of 17 that includes an Ace). This is because the dealer is more likely to have a blackjack when they have an Ace showing, and hitting on a soft 17 gives the player a better chance of beating the dealer.
2. Stand on Hard 17 or Higher
When the dealer is showing a hard 17 (a hand total of 17 that does not include an Ace), it is usually a good idea to stand. This is because the dealer is unlikely to have a blackjack, and standing gives the player a better chance of beating the dealer.
3. Split Pairs When Advantageous
It is usually a good idea to split pairs when it is advantageous to do so. This means that if the player is dealt a pair of 8s, 10s, or Aces, it is usually a good idea to split them.
4. Double Down When Advantageous
It is usually a good idea to double down when it is advantageous to do so. This means that if the player has a hand total of 9, 10, or 11, it is usually a good idea to double down.
5. Take Insurance When Advantageous
It is usually a good idea to take insurance when it is advantageous to do so. This means that if the dealer is showing an Ace and the player has a hand total of 19 or higher, it is usually a good idea to take insurance.
Blackjack is a popular and exciting casino game that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. In order to be successful at the game, it is important to understand the basic rules of blackjack, as well as the basic strategies of the game. By knowing and understanding these rules and strategies, players can increase their chances of winning and have a more enjoyable experience.