Blackjack is all about probability. The rules are simple, yet the possibilities are endless. This article will introduce you to the exciting world of blackjack.
Understanding the value of the cards.
The blackjack game is played with a standard 52 card deck.
- Cards ranging from 2 to 10 are valued at their numeric value. 5= 5 points.
- All face cards are valued at 10 points.
- Ace is a double value card. The value is 1 point or 11 points. Whatever gives you an edge.
The objective of the game
The motto of the game is to beat the dealer. You either aim for blackjack/ natural (that is a total of 21 with the help of an ace and a 10 or a face card), or you try to get your score nearer to 21 than the dealer without going over the count of 21.
What are the payoffs like?
- If you get a blackjack, you win 3 to 2 that is 150%
- If you win over the dealer (while not getting a blackjack), you win double your bet.
- If there is a push or a tie (both of you get a 21), then you get your original bet back.
How do you lose?
- If the dealer manages to get closer to 21 than you
- Or if you go over the total count of 21.
Let’s understand the working of the game.
- The dealer and the player are dealt with two cards each. (The player’s cards are on the show; meanwhile, only one card of the dealer is on display)
- The player always goes first. They have two options – either to take more cards or to stay. (And a couple of more options that we understand in the next section)
- The player decides his next move depending upon his hand and the show card of the dealer.
The six different decisions that players have to make at the blackjack table:
- Hitting: Deciding if you want another hit after the initial show of two cards.
- Standing: option to stop the game and see the outcome.
- Doubling down: Option available only on your first two cards (or if you split your hand). It is increasing your bet if you think you have an advantage. I.e., if the total of your initial two cards is more than seven or less than or equal to 10. You get only one hit after doubling down.
- Splitting: Splitting is an option when you are dealt with two cards of equal value. I.e., say two 10s or two 8s, you can split your cards and play two hands. If you split an ace, you get only one hit.
- Insurance: This option is available if the dealer has an ace up. You can ensure half of your bet, and if the dealer does have a blackjack, then the insurance will pay you two to one, i.e., you will break even.
- Surrendering: The option is not available in all the casinos. However, if it is, then, in this, you can choose to surrender and lose half of your bet in case you think you don’t have an advantage over your dealer.
Soft hand v/s hard hand
- Having an ace in your hand is considered to be a soft hand. These are considered to be very beneficial as you can adjust the outcome to your advantage. This also means you cannot go bust by hitting.
- Hard hands are hands with no ace card. Your chances of busting in a hard hand are very high if you choose to hit.
The best way to master the game of the blackjack is to learn the basic strategy. Whether you play it online casino or a brick and mortar casino, the basic strategy gives you the best move for various hand combinations, ensuring a winning edge.