Basic Introduction to Blackjack

Almost everyone has a favourite casino game and for many the choice is blackjack. The main reason many love this game as it is one that most believe that if they pay attention and count cards have a better chance of winning than if they were putting quarters in a slot machine.

Blackjack was not one of those games that took off like roaring thunder when first introduced as many were just not very interested believing the house would win in the majority of cases. However, in 1963, a book written by Edward O. Thorpe hit the stores (Beat the Dealer!), then more and more people were interested in trying to learn how to count the cards and win big at blackjack.

Blackjack Rules

Whether you play online or offline, the rules of blackjack are the same. The main rule of the game is to add up your cards as close to 21 as possible without going past 21. If your cards when added up are over 21, then you busted and you lose. Cards have a face value of the number on the card with the Ace being 1 or 11 and face cards being 10. If you get an Ace and an 11 would bust you, then it will be counted as a 1.

There are different variations of blackjack with two being most popular – single deck or two deck.

Single Deck Blackjack

The way the game is played is the dealer will hold the cards and deal them to each player and a hand to him or herself. The dealer deals one card to every player face down except for the dealers card that is dealt face up. One more card is dealt to each player this time face up including the dealer. Players are only allowed to touch the card with one hand to look at the face down card. At this time using only hand motions you can decide if you want another card, known as a hit or if you wish to stand.

All players that go over 21 bust and lose. The dealer must draw cards if his total is 16 and must stand if the total of his or her cards is 17 or more. The idea is to beat the dealer and get as close to 21 as possible without going over.

There are a few things you can do to make your odds better such as splitting pairs; however, you will need to place a new bet on the other hand. The split card will still be played just like a regular hand. Some casinos will allow up to 4 splits.

For brave souls, you can also bet a double down which means you want to double your original bet which can be done after you receive one card. If you are playing a completely face down blackjack game, the cards must be immediately revealed after a double down bet.

In some cases, if the dealer has an Ace showing, you are allowed what is known as insurance meaning you are betting on the odds of the dealers card and it can be up to fifty percent of your original bet.