How to Play Blackjack and Win
It’s easy to play blackjack – just walk up to a blackjack table and play. You can also play blackjack at any of the online casinos featured on our howtobeatthecasinos.com blog. It’s on the blackjack layout that casino chips for wagering are placed by the players. The dealer stands at the back of every gaming table, and deals the cards. Directly in the front of the dealer will be the chips that are in play. If you want to wager, you lay your hard earned money on the table (do not give it directly to the dealer), and the dealer will then exchange your your money for chips. You play with these casino chips, and then convert them back to cash at the cashier, when you have finished playing at the blackjack table.
When the cards have been shuffled and the shoe first begins, the dealer will request a person to cut the deck. A plastic marker card is then positioned about one half to three fourths of the way down, and the deck is then put into the shoe. Before dealing a card, the primary card is “burned” meaning it’s removed, and is then placed in the “hole” (the discard stack). The casino dealer gives each bettor and himself two cards, one in a time, beginning at the dealer’s left side and then going to his right, following the players wagers placed on the layout. All of the cards, except the dealer’s 2nd drawn card, are dealt faceup. The dealer’s faceup card is known as the “upcard.” Once all cards are dealt, the blackjack dealer asks each player from his left to his right if they want further cards to help their hand.
The aim of BlackJack is to really have a hand valued as near to 21 points as you can without exceeding 21. Most cards have point values equivalent with their amounts: An 8 card is worth 8 points etc. Any picture card is worth 10 points. An Ace is is exclusive because it may be worth both 1 point or 11 points – and you can choose whichever value leads your hand to the best total. The added value of all of the players dealt cards is called that player’s “total.” By way of example, an Ace 6 is called a “soft 17” as the Ace is counting as 11, and the 6 makes 17. An Ace with 6 and 9 is called a “hard 16” since the Ace is counting as 1, and 1+6+9 = 16.
A player should also aim to get the best hand. If his first two dealt cards are an Ace and a picture card, this is known as a Blackjack or “natural”, which totals 21. No hand can beat a blackjack, but a dealer blackjack at the same time would push the bet. If the dealer’s first up-card is an Ace, each player will be given the chance to take a side bet called “insurance.” If the insurance wager is taken by a person, he should put out an additional wager equal to one half his original stake. If insurance is taken and the dealer gets a Blackjack, the bet is paid 3 to 2, protecting the player’s original wager.
A players hand is finished either when he has decided to stand, or has drawn a card that makes his (hard) total more than 21. This is called a bust, and the dealer wins in that eventuality. Once all player hands have been completed, the dealer turns over his face-down-card and performs his hand out subject to the house rules. The dealer must stand at 21. He must also hit if his hand totals less than 17. Some casinos make the dealer hit on soft 17, as their chances are improved by doing this in the long term.
Once the results of all hands are known, the dealer pays the winners and takes the bet of the losers. Bets are paid at even money, except when a blackjack is dealt which pays 3 to 2. So, $10 pays $10 for a standard winning hand, or $15 for a blackjack. The dealer then puts all of the card dealt into the discard stack. The whole betting, dealing, and playing procedure repeats until the plastic marker card is encountered, at which point the cards are reshuffled.
Great Blackjack Strategy (Also also referred to as Basic Strategy)
The primary disadvantage of BlackJack to the player is that if both he and the dealer bust, the player still loses his wager. This rule disadvantages the player, but other rules like the ability of the player to split hands and double bets advantage the player. If you can play blackjack well and keep to a calculated strategy, this can be very close to an even-money game. Blackjack is one of the most popular table games in any casino for this reason.
To win money or lose just a little on blackjack, you should learn the best strategy. You must know what you need to do against every potential dealer. This entails determining whether to split cards, strike, stand, or whether to double. As soon as you have mastered basic strategy, you can decide whether or not to invest time to learn counting cards. Counting cards will help you understand if the deck is “favorable” (to the player) or not. A deck that’s “ten-rich” (lots of ten-value cards left) is generally valuable to the player as it raises the odds of being dealt a BlackJack. A 10-rich deck also reinforces your chances of making a good hand, and a 10-rich deck will have the dealer bust more often on a 12 through 16 card score. We love it when the blackjack dealer goes bust – you’ll then get paid!
Be careful not to hit every blackjack hand score. Computer simulations prove that you should always sit on a score of 13 or more when the dealer has a 2 through 6 showing – because the dealer has a good chance of going bust. If the dealer has a 7 or more showing, always hit until you get hard 17 or more.
If you have a 9, 10, or 11 (Ace) score, and the dealer has an 8 or lower, then always double your bet. You’ll get one more card only (which hopefully will be a ten). If you always double on these hand combinations, you’ll do well in the long term. Don’t double on a 9 or 10 though if the dealer also has a 9 or 10 showing – that’s asking for trouble. If you have an Ace (11), you can double and get one card only (although you’d have to split your cards to do so), regardless of what the dealer card is.
Always split 8’s and Aces. Never split 4’s and 5’s. The average winning hand in blackjack in the long term is 19 points. 4’s and 5’s give you a statistic chance to get 18 or 20 with the next card – so why play dangerously? Other pairs of cards may be split, based on some common sense. For example, splitting a pair of 2’s is better than having a hand of 4 total. 2’s are almost as good as Aces. You might split 3’s against a dealer 7, but doing so against a dealer high card of 8, 9, 10 or Ace would be silly. Always make sure that you’re playing in a way that gives you the best mathematical chance to win. Blackjack games can go either way – and yes, you can win or lose in any session. If you manage to win, then take a break, walk away and cash in your winning chips! DON’T keep going, because statistically you’ll go on to lose money – and that’s not a great outcome!
Don’t Get Casino Barred
Casinos don’t like card-counting players. Although its not illegal, card counting can seriously dent the casino’s bankroll while they’re trying to produce a profit. If a casino suspects that you are counting cards, they may bar you from entering the casino. Sure signs that you’re counting could include watching a table for some time then jumping in when the deck appears player favourable, or making significant changes to your bet size (say from $10 a hand to suddenly $200 per hand) when the deck is rich in 10’s. Not surprisingly, dealers and pit bosses are also trained to count cards – and they want the casino to win. To prevent getting barred, there are some basic tips you can follow to avoid detection.
Do not appear too serious or in deep thought when playing. And keep good table etiquette – e.g. do not go around telling other players when it’s time to bet high or low, or laugh a lot when they play badly. Put occasional bets out for the dealer on your hand – before long they’ll be rooting for you to win!
If you suspect the pit boss and / or surveillance are watching you, make the occasional dumb play, acting like your luck is just built on one big hunch. True card counters would never play on a hunch, so by taking this move you’re showing that you’re not a card counter. Alter your bet stakes occasionally, but not too often or too widely. You’ve got plenty of time to play as win – as long as you don’t get barred!
Enjoy blackjack, and don’t forget you can play live dealer blackjack (or computer dealt blackjack – it’s your choice) at most of the reputable online casinos we feature on the howtobeatthecasinos blog.