The common misconception that one hears in a casino is that the objective of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. This is inaccurate; the aim is to beat the dealer. The way to do this is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. We have listed the rules of blackjack, which may help you in your blackjack endeavours to beat the dealer by being more efficient with your decisions and avoiding any accidental mistakes or cheating.
- Blackjack is played with any number of decks from one to eight. These decks must be made up of 52 cards. (House Hack – Avoid games played with three and five decks, although these are rare.)
- Keep in mind when playing blackjack that Aces can equal both 1 or 11 points. Any tens or face cards count as ten points. Any other number has its normal value.
- A blackjack is the highest hand that anyone can draw. It includes an ace and any 10-point card. Therefore, it outranks any other hand. Thus, if the two hands are equivalent to 21 but one has an ace, they win the hand.
- The players bet first and then the dealer will give two cards to each player before dealing themselves two cards, including the “hole card” which is kept face down. The other is kept face up in order to help you make your decision.
- Insurance is offered to players when the dealer’s hand includes an Ace card. This is a wager that has a pay-out of 2 to 1. It is half of your original bet and ensures that if you do lose the wager, you regain all of your losses. However, it is not always the best idea to take this because if the hole card is not a ten-point card, the dealer takes the insurance bet and the game carries on as usual.
- After offering the insurance bet, the dealer will glance at their hole card to check if they have a blackjack. If they do, then they will turn it over immediately. Thus, meaning that all bets lose (apart from any insurance bets, obviously).
- If not, however, then the play continues as normal starting with the player to the dealer’s left.
- There are 5 different choices that a player can make in a game of blackjack. These are:
- Stand – This is when a player is happy that their total will beat the dealer so they elect not to receive any further cards.
- Hit – When a player is not happy with their total, they can ask for any number of cards until they go bust.
- Double – When a player doubles their bet, they get one more card.
- Split – A split only occurs if the player has a pair, or any two point 10-point cards. It means that they must double their bet and thus separate the cards into their own hands. These two hands then get a second and the game continues as normal with two hands. However, you must be wary if you split on an ace as you are then only allowed one more card. In addition, if you get a 21 with an ace after splitting, it does not count as a blackjack.
- Surrender – A surrender is a last resort if the player does not want to play his hand. If you surrender, you get back half of your wager. However, sometimes you do not have an option to do this as only some casinos offer this option.
- When every single player has had their turn, the dealer turns over their hole card to reveal who has beaten them and won their wagers. If they have less than 16 or a soft 17 (an ace and any number of cards that add up to 6), they will choose to hit. If they go bust, then any players who haven’t already win the bet.
- Anyone who has a higher total than the dealer will win and get even money. A winning blackjack pays 3 to 2 odds, making it more attractive.
Etiquette Of Blackjack
Of course, there are official rules in every single casino game that you play, be it roulette or craps. However, there are also some unofficial and unwritten rules that you have to abide by in a game of blackjack. These concern how you behave at the table and can seriously affect your presence in a casino. Do you want free cocktails and advice from the dealers? Follow these etiquette rules and you’ll be everyone’s favourite casino goer.
- Don’t Be A Sore Loser – No matter if you lose or are beaten, it is always important to remain calm at the table. Causing a big scene is not going to affect the outcome of the current game or any future games. So, stay silent and tip well.
- Nobody Wants Your Advice – Keep your opinions about the game to yourself at the table. Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially when they don’t really know-it-all but still want to share their opinion. What if someone takes your advice and loses?
- Speed Is Key – Make sure that you attempt to familiarise yourself with the game before playing as people want to move the game along as quickly as possible in order to make more bets in a smaller amount of time. This applies to ordering your chips as well as a dealer will often slow the game down if you have not placed your chips in the correct order.
- Keep Your Hands Off – It’s hard to get used to but you must keep your hands off of your chips once you have placed it. It will attract unwanted attention from casino security.
Now, that you are all cued up on both the unofficial and official rules of the game of blackjack, you can have a dabble. Or you can even apply your knowledge of etiquette to another casino game like online slots or bingo. The world of gambling is your oyster, literally at some casinos.