Blackjack Overview for Beginners
First of all, you place your bet, then you’re dealt two cards. The dealer’s also dealt two cards, with one of them face-up so you can see what it is. In blackjack games, an ace can be worth 1 or 11, while number cards are worth their face value and face cards (jack, queen and king), are all worth 10.
If your first two cards add up to 21, i.e. you get an ace and a card worth 10, you’ll win the game, so long as the dealer doesn’t have a 21 also. If the dealer’s first hand is worth 21 and yours isn’t, you’ll lose.
There are several courses of action you can take if your hand doesn’t add up to 21:
– Hit. You receive an additional card.
– Stand. You receive no more cards and keep your hand as it is.
– Double Down. You double your bet, receive one more card and then stand.
– Split. If both your cards are of the same value, you can double your bet and separate the cards into two hands; each hand will be dealt an additional card
If your hand ever goes over 21 – this is known as busting – you’re out of the game. If the dealer busts and you don’t, you’ll win. Once you’ve acted, it’s the dealer’s turn. The dealer can’t decide what to do; instead, the dealer has to stick to rules depending on what the value of their hand is. In most games, the dealer has to hit on a soft 17, in others the dealer has to stand on this hand.
A soft hand is any line-up of cards containing an ace. If you have a soft hand, you can draw an additional card without going bust. This is because you can have the ace count as 1 instead of 11. A hard hand is any hand that doesn’t contain ace, or a hand with ace that has to be counted as 1. Otherwise you’d go bust. For example, a hand containing a 6, and 8 and an ace is hard: if the ace is 11, your total would be 25 and you’d be out; the ace, therefore, has to count as 1, bringing your total to 15.
Blackjack Tips for Beginners
Once you’ve understood the basic blackjack rules, you’ll no doubt want to learn some blackjack tips to help you beat the dealer to 21. One of the best strategies you’ll come across online is basic strategy; it tells you the best move you can make depending on what cards you have an what the dealer’s face-up card is. There are basic strategy tables available for all blackjack games, including games played with different numbers of decks and games played with slight rule variations.
You may want to play free blackjack so you can get used to the game and practice basic strategy without risking your money. Most online casinos will let you play for free, though at a lot of them you’ll need an account first. Once your confidence with the game has grown, deposit some money into your casino account and play using casino bonuses. With casino bonuses, you’re still technically playing for free, but if you’re lucky enough to score a win, you’ll get to keep the winnings. Bear in mind though that you’ll have to play through the casino’s wagering requirements before you can cash your winnings out.
Most blackjack games offer optional side bets in addition to the main bet. It’s best not to place any side bets as these are generally less likely to pay out than the main bet. As a beginner, it’s a good idea to stick with blackjack games that have lower betting limits. If you place lower bets, your bankroll should hopefully last longer, and you’ll get to play more games of blackjack.
The number of decks in blackjack games can vary greatly. Some are played with a single deck, while others can be played with as many as eight decks. You should play games that have a single deck, or as few decks as possible. The reason for this is that the fewer decks there are, the lower the house edge. This means that over long-term play, you’re likely to lose less of your money if you stick with games that have a lower number of decks.
Some more specific tips include always splitting a pair of 8s and always splitting a pair of aces. Likewise, you should never split a pair of 5s or 10s. You should double down if your hand is worth 11, or if your hand is worth 10 and the dealer’s upturned card is 4, 5 or 6; you should also double down if your hand is worth 9 and the dealer’s card is five or six. You should always hit on a soft hand since there’s no chance of you going bust. If it’s a hard hand you have, you should think carefully about whether you want to risk getting an extra card, as this may put you over 21.