How To Play

How To Play BlackJackThe game of blackjack is among the most popular table games in the world. In fact, blackjack is not only highly popular in casinos around the world, but it is also played in homes, clubs, resorts, and many other locations. One of the reasons that the game of blackjack has become so popular is that it is very easy to learn to play, although only with practice can you truly master it.

Once you do master the game, however, studies have consistently shown that blackjack gives the trained player odds to consistently beat the game. This will serve as your entree to this fascinating game of skill and chance.

Blackjack Rules

Blackjack, also popularly known as “21”–whose precursor is unknown–is a card game that is played between the dealer and a player. Although there may be up to six players at a table, none of them compete against each other. The object to the game is to collect cards from the deal that allows the player to beat the dealer by achieving a total closer to 21 without going over it. This can be accomplished in one of three ways:

* Reach a total of 21 with the first two cards that are dealt, without the same from the dealer.* Reaching a total closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.* Allowing the dealer to continue receiving cards until they pass a total of 21.

The Play

When the game begins and the deck is shuffled, each player places his or her bet. Each player as well as the dealer is then dealt two cards. Only one of the dealer’s cards is seen during play. Casinos vary as far as how many of the player’s cards can be seen by others, besides the player. The card’s total is determined by adding the card values, with face cards counting as 10, aces counting as either 1 or 11.

After all cards are dealt, players have the option of taking more cards (a hit) not to (standing). Other options include splitting in the case of the first two cards being of equal value, and in which case players play as if they have two hands. They can also “double down” in the case of card totals of 10 or 11. In some casinos, you can also surrender, which means that if you have a bad hand, you can give up half of your bet and give up your cards.

After all of these actions are completed, play begins. If the dealer’s up card is a 10 or an ace, he will look at his hand and ask if players would like insurance, at which point each player will place a wager equal to their bet. If the dealer has blackjack, the players win the insurance but lose their bet. If the dealer does not have blackjack, all insurance bets are lost.

After this point the object to the game is to either play the hand as it stands or accept cards from the deck until a total is reached that is as close to 21 as possible without going over, still beating the dealer. If the player accepts cards in excess of 21, the player loses and his bet is lost.

The player can determine at any time whether he wants to stand on his total or hit for a higher total. By contrast, the dealer plays according to standing rules of the casino, which can include a requirement to either stand or hit on totals greater than 17 and others. Countless books have been written about the game of blackjack and the optimal method of playing the game. Further, countless individuals have run computer simulations of the best way to play any given hand.

One exception to this is doubling down, which involves the playing placing a bet equal to the one already placed when the total of his cards are either 10 or 11. Some casinos allow players to double down on all totals.

Studying The Game Is Essential

The game of blackjack can be endlessly fascinating. Indeed, many players have dedicated years of study to the game, including the phenomenon of card counting, which is a statistical tool used to determine the optimal betting strategy of the game. But whether you are determined to get to this level or only want to enjoy an occasional game, the game of blackjack might be just what you are looking for.