Blackjack Rules For Beginners
Blackjack is popular for good reason. Its rules are easy to understand – you can play this game competently within an hour.
This guide will brief you on the basics. Let’s get going!
How Do I Win At Blackjack?
You must make a hand that beats the dealer to win at Blackjack. To do this, your hand should be as close as possible to 21 points.
Card Values in Blackjack
But to win consistently at Blackjack, you must understand the value of your cards. Here’s the lowdown on what they’re worth:
|Ace||This card is a real chameleon! It can be worth 1 point or 11 points – depending on which value (a) gives you a better score and (b) does not cause you to go bust. For example, if you are dealt an Ace and a 6, it counts as 17 if you stand. But if you hit and you are dealt a 7, you would have 14 points, as 24 points would bust your hand.|
|2-10||These cards are worth their face value. Therefore, a 6 of hearts is worth 6 points.|
|Jack, Queen, and King||These face cards are worth 10 points each.|
To calculate your score, add up each card in your hand. Your starting hand can have a value of 4 to 21.
If your hand is worth 21, that’s a Blackjack. A Blackjack is an unbeatable hand – at worst, the dealer can only tie it by also getting 21. And if they lose, you get paid out at 3:2 odds!
Key Blackjack Terms
If you’re new to game of Blackjack, its terms can be confusing. As you encounter them, look them up in this handy table:
|Term||What It Means|
|🂡 Ace||This card is worth either 1 or 11 points – whichever gives you a better score.|
|💰 Bankroll||Money used specifically for gaming purposes. Always keep this sum separate from your personal accounts.|
|💲 Bet Behind||Betting on the hand of another player. This option is available on some live dealer blackjack tables when all seats are occupied.|
|♠️ Blackjack||A popular table game where players try to draw as close to 21 as possible without busting (going over 21).|
|🎈✨ Busting||Drawing to any score over 21 (22 or higher). Do this, and you lose.|
|✌️ Double Down||Doubling your initial wager in exchange for getting one more card.|
|🃏 Face Card||Jacks, Queens, and Kings, which are worth 10 points. Tens can also be considered face cards.|
|⛰ Hard Hand||Any hand without an Ace. These hands lack the flexibility of a soft hand (e.g., a soft 14 can be 4 or 14, while a hard 14 is 14.)|
|💥 Hit||Asking the dealer for another card.|
|🏠 House Edge||The gaming site advantage over players. If you bet $1/hand and the house edge is 2%, the house will (on average) earn $2 profit over 100 hands. However, due to short-term luck, you can profit over that same period.|
|📃 Insurance||A side bet that pays out at 2:1 if the dealer has a Blackjack.|
|🂡 Soft Hand||Any hand with an Ace. The Ace can be worth either 1 or 11 points, dependent on what gives you a better score.|
|🂶➗🂶 Split||Separating a pair into two separate blackjack hands.|
|🪑️ ⬆️ Stand||Refusing additional cards. After this, the dealer will draw additional cards following game rules.|
|🏳️ Surrender||Giving up your hand before the dealer moves. You give up half your initial bet and retain the other half.|
What is Doubling Down In Blackjack?
As stated above, doubling down allows you to double your wager in exchange for receiving one more card. Therefore, it can be a profitable move if you have a strong hand (one with a starting value of 9-11).
American Blackjack allows you to double down on ANY hand. But in European Blackjack, you can only do this on hands with a starting value of 9 to 11.
What Is Splitting In Blackjack?
Splitting allows you to separate pairs. This act creates separate hands, thereby increasing your potential profit.
The American and European games have different rules for splitting. For example, in European Blackjack, you can only split once per round, but in the American game, you can do it three times.
How Do I Play Blackjack?
Now that you understand Blackjack’s basic terms, let’s walk through a hand together.
- Place your bet. This can be any amount between the table minimum and maximum. After this, you will receive two cards, and the dealer will get one (European Blackjack) or two (American Blackjack) cards. In American Blackjack, one of the two cards will be face down.
- Determine your score. As stated earlier, your starting hand can be worth anywhere between 4 to 21 points. Once you’ve done this, decide whether to hit or stand. You can also double down or split your hand if these options are available to you. Remember: your goal is to get as close to 21 without going over.
- Hit. This step is optional – if you have a great score (17 or better) after the deal, you’ll want to stand. Otherwise, you’ll want to hit. Do this, and the dealer will give you another card that will add to your score. If eligible, you can also double down or split your hand.
- Stand. Do this once you’re satisfied with your hand’s score. After that, the dealer plays. The dealer follows the protocol set by the game you’re playing. But usually, the dealer hits until their hand is worth 17 points or more.
- Showdown. Once the dealer stands, you’ll show down your hand. You win if you have a higher score than the dealer (without exceeding 21). Typically, a winning hand pays out at 1:1 (even money), but Blackjacks pay 3:2!