Blackjack is one of the basic casino games, with easy to learn rules, but it’s also one of the most enjoyable and exciting. The rules are to come the closest to 21 without going over, or ‘Busting’. It’s you against the dealer, no matter how many other players are at the table. Each player stakes his or her hand against the dealers, and the game is played out starting with the player to the left of the dealer and goes around the table in order of seating.
Each card has a value that corresponds with the number on the card, the face cards are all worth 10 and the Ace is a one or eleven. A natural Blackjack is a face card and an Ace, although in some variations a ten and an Ace is considered a Blackjack too.
To begin, place your bet, then the dealer will deal each player two cards face up, and two cards to himself, one face up the other face down.
When it’s your turn you can choose to Hit, Stand, Double Down, Split the cards, or Fold. To Hit means to take additional cards to add to your hand. You may Hit several times, as long as you don’t go over 21. Stand means that you believe your hand is a strong one and you don’t want any additional cards. To Double Down means you are doubling your bet, and will receive one additional card. You may Split cards if you have been dealt two cards of the same value, such as two 7’s. When you Split, you divide your original two cards into two stacks, and place a bet equivalent to your original bet on the second stack. These hands are played out just like you would a regular hand. There is an option to take out Insurance against the dealer having Blackjack, if his up card is an Ace. Use this option sparingly as it gives the House a bigger edge.
After each player has made their best hand, the dealer then plays out his own hand by turning his down card face up. If the total of the cards is 17 or more then he must stand, if it’s 16 or less, he must take a hit.
At this point, the winning players, if there are any, are paid. Those who have Busted lose their bets, even if the dealer Busts.
BlackJack Basic Strategy
Using a Basic Blackjack Strategy is a wise move and is not hard to learn. It will help to reduce the house edge if used correctly and earn you more in wins and extend your overall play time. Below is an outline that is easy to follow and to commit to memory. You can even find simple strategies like this one printed on Strategy Cards, or print this one out for your use. The outline is divided into sections, Hard Hands, Soft Hands and Pairs, and shows you how to proceed in each scenario.
Hard Hands do not have an Ace:
If your hand totals,
8 or less – always take a hit.
9 – Hit unless the dealer has a 3 – 6, in this case Double.
10 – Hit unless the dealer has a 2 – 9, in this case Double.
11 – Hit if the dealer has an Ace, Double for any other hand 2 – 10.
12 – Hit if the dealer has a 2 or 3 and Stand if the dealer has a 4 – 6, hit on other.
13 – 16 – Hit unless the dealer has 2 – 6.
17 – 21 – Stand.
Soft Hands have an Ace in them:
If your hand has an Ace plus,
2 or 3 – Hit unless the dealer has a 5 or 6.
4 or 5 – Hit unless the dealer has a 4 – 6.
6 – Hit unless the dealer has a 3 – 6.
7 – Stand when the dealer has a 2, 7 or 8, Double if the dealer has a 3 – 6, and Hit all others.
8 or 9 – Stand.
Pair of Aces or Eights: Split.
Pair of 2’s or 3’s: Hit unless the dealer has a 2 – 7.
Pair of 4’s: Hit unless the dealer has a 5 or 6.
Pair of 5’s: If the dealer has a 2 – 9, Hit on other.
Pair of 6’s: If the dealer has a 2 – 6, Hit on other.
Pair of 7’s: Split 2 – 7, Hit on other.
Pair of 9’s: Split 2 – 6, and 8 or 9. Stand if the dealer has 7, 10 or Ace.
Pair of 10’s: Stand.
Just print out these tables to have the basic strategy always on your desktop