And here it is! The very last question about Blackjack! The objective of the game BlackJack is to beat the dealer, which means getting to—or as close as possible to—a total point score of 21. This is the basic concept – always. If you get a natural 21, that is a face card and an ace, you win. The odds are 3:2. If your cards total higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21, you win. If your hand goes over 21, you "bust" and lose your bet. If the dealer busts, you win. It is a very easy game to play with the house odds at 0.5%. This means for every $10 you wager, you will lose five cents.
About the Cards
The numerical value of the cards certainly comes into play in blackjack. Cards 2–10 are counted at face value—in other words, a two of hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs always equals two points, and so on up the ladder to the 10. All face cards—king, queen, jack—have a value of 10. An ace can count as either one or eleven.
Tips for New Blackjack Players
I have found that the generally, you should assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. The dealer always has to stand on 17, another words, he cannot draw any more cards to himself.
- If the first two cards dealt to you total 12–16 you have a "stiff" hand meaning you can easily bust.
- If the dealer's up card is a 2–6, it is a good bet they he will bust.
- If you have 17 or better you stand.
- If the dealer shows a 7–ace, he would have to stand
- If you and the dealer both have a hand where the total is 16 or 17, you stand.
- If you have a hand which you think he will bust, take a hit.
Playing the Game
Each player is dealt two cards face up. The dealer receives one card face up and one card face down, known as the hole card. After the cards are dealt, the dealer will ask each player in turn to make their decision. In play, a king and a five would equal 15, but an ace and a five would total either 6 or 16. (You can use the ace as a one or an 11) A hand that does not have an ace is referred to as a hard hand because it has only one value. A hand that contains an ace is referred to as a soft hand because the value can change. If you draw to a soft hand and the three cards total a number where counting an ace as 11 puts you over 21, then the hand becomes a hard hand. For example, say you are dealt an ace and a four. Your hand is either a 5 or 15. If you then draw a 10, you now have a hard 15 because if you count the ace as 11 you would have 26, in which case you would bust.
Terms Used in Blackjack
- Take a Hit — This means that you want to draw another card.
- Stand – If you are satisfied with your cards, you stand.
- Double Down – When you double down you are allowed to double your bet after receiving your fist two cards. You then receive one card only on your hand. Note that you should only double in favorable situations, that is, when the hand is to your advantage.
- Split a Pair – If you are dealt a pair (example, two 3s) you can split these into two separate hands. Here you must make an additional bet equal to your starting bet. The dealer will give you a second card to go with the first split card. You will then decide to hit or stand. After you play out this hand and stand, you will move on to the next split card and the process will be repeated.
When to Buy Insurance
If the dealer’s face card is an ace, the dealer will offer something called insurance. This is a side bet that you make by wagering 1/2 your original bet that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. If you make the bet and the dealer has the 10, you are paid 2-to-1. Blackjack can be the best game in the casino, with the lowest house edge, if you play appropriately.