There’s a reason why so many people today love gambling; after all, this is something even our great ancestors liked to do. Additionally, this was always a way to earn easy money, and there’s no shame in it. Some of us simply don’t want to put in that extra effort and spend an entire day at the office. For these reasons, people created card games which require both skills and luck in order to win. Possibly the most popular casino game is Blackjack, even nowadays.
What makes Blackjack so entertaining is the fact it’s not at all difficult to learn. You aim to beat the dealer, which means you don’t play against other players like you would in poker. You play Blackjack with a usual deck of 52 cards. Unlike in other card games, in Blackjack game, suits don’t play an important role at all.
The Rules of Blackjack
In Blackjack, there’s a dealer, cards, and a player — so the game is quite straightforward. The rules are simple as well — your goal is to get the score of 21 (or as close to that as possible without going over), or at least higher than the dealer. Additionally, the dealer will give you two cards at the beginning of the round. That’s when the game commences. The dealer has two cards as well, except that only one of them is facing up for everyone to see.
But before we get really deep into the rules, it might be smart to first explain the cards and their worth in Blackjack. After all, the Blackjack table is a battlefield, and you need to know your way around it.
- Numbered cards have their exact value (8 is worth 8, for example)
- An Ace can be both 1 and 11, depending on what you need
- Face cards are worth 10 points (King, Queen, and Jack)
Unlike many other table games, the rules of the Blackjack game are straightforward to memorize and understand.
Mastering the Game
Now that you’re familiar with card rankings, we can move on to the rules. Ultimately, you need to get a Blackjack before the dealer does. Often enough, your first two cards can be the most crucial ones — if you have an Ace and one face card, you get a Blackjack immediately.
However, if the dealer has Blackjack as well, no one wins, and you get your bet back. The good thing is that this scenario doesn’t happen too often — getting a perfect Ace and a face card rarely happens. Due to its infrequency, you shouldn’t rely on the hope that you will be dealt that perfect pair of cards. So your next goal is to have a score bigger than the dealer.
You achieve this by asking them to deal you more cards if your score is too low. This is where you decide if you should risk it or not. Let’s say your card score is 16, but you’re scared the dealer gets more than that, so you ask them to “hit” you. If your next card is anything above 5, you lose immediately.
But that’s when the Ace card can save you — indirectly, it minimizes the risk of losing. Let’s say you got an Ace card and a 5. If you count the Ace card as 11, it means you have 16 points in your hand, so you ask the dealer to hit you. If the card you get is 6, you can simply count Ace as 1 point and escape this tricky situation. So mind your moves — the cards have more power than you believe. Additionally, dealers always have one card facing up, so there are high chances you will know if a dealer has an Ace and act accordingly.
Are There Any Strategies?
As a matter of fact, yes, there are. The most popular are the Blackjack basic strategy, as well as card counting. Unfortunately, a lot of casinos frown upon the latter, so they will try to put an end to it. Although it is not illegal, casino operators are aware that you’re shifting the house advantage into your favor. Plus, it takes quite some time to master it, and if you miss counting only one round, you will probably lose.
In the end, it won’t really matter because once the casino figures out you’re counting cards, the staff will probably ask you to leave. Many casinos even ban players who use this method. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t apply Blackjack basic strategy or card counting to your game. If you wish to incorporate them into your playstyle, then do it — just make sure you’ve practiced them to perfection.
Watch out for the Copycats
Now that you’re acquainted with the rules of Blackjack, you will probably know how to tell it apart from its clones as well. There are many Blackjack games that are actually just variations, or Blackjack piggybacks, as many like to call them. These games do follow some basic Blackjack game principles, but there are many additional rules that will catch you off-guard and make you lose. Here’s a short list of the games similar to Blackjack:
- Super Fun 21
- Spanish 21
- Free Bet Blackjack
- Blackjack Switch
These games are perfectly legal, and many American casinos have them. So if you wish to play them, do it, by all means. Just make sure to study their rules first.
Additionally, there are even variations to the rules of Blackjack. For example, the double after splitting rule, which is self-explanatory. There’s also the CSM Blackjack, which stands short for Continuous Shuffling Machine Blackjack. This is something you will see in many casinos — there’s often a shuffling machine on the Blackjack table right next to the dealer. Moreover, this is the main tool casinos use to stop players from card counting.
You Just Outgrew Slots
Since you’ve now learned how to play Blackjack card game, it’s time to leave the slots behind. Once you learn how to play the Blackjack card game, there’s no going back. Also, you should know that Blackjack has one of the highest payout percentages if you master Blackjack basic strategy — it is often 99%. With such simple rules and generous character, Blackjack is your new friend. Good luck!