Blackjack for Novice: Apprehend the basics elements

In any casino, you will find Blackjack one of the most popular games. And it is no surprise that many people are inclined to learn how this game works, considering its history and evolution.

High odds low house edge are a few features that make Blackjack one of the best casino table games around. The blackjack rules are straightforward, making it the perfect casino game for any beginner to learn.

How to play it

You, along with other players, will be competing against the dealer. Contrary to other card games such as Poker, players do not compete against each other in a game of Blackjack.

The flow of the game

  1. The players place their bets.
  2. The dealer deals with everyone’s hands.
  3. The dealer checks for blackjack. He gathers his bets from all the players who don’t have blackjack if he has it.
  4. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, then the players who were dealt a blackjack get paid off 3 to 2.
  5. Then, the players get to play with their hands, hitting, standing, splitting, doubling down, or surrendering. If a player’s hand totals 22 or more at any point, she loses her bet and is out of the action.
  6. As soon as the players have made their choices, the dealer plays his hand.
  7. All the bets are settled finally.

Cards & Meaning

Blackjack’s primary ‘gambling tool’ is a French deck of cards. The typical deck of cards contains 52 cards with four different symbols commonly called suits.

These suits are:

  • Diamonds
  • Spades
  • Hearts
  • Clubs

The symbols of the diamonds and hearts are red, while spades and clubs are black.

The ace is the first or ‘1’ of any suit. The final three suits are the K – King, Q – Queen, and J – Jack. These are also known as face cards.

Calculating the score

You will also need to know how the scores are given based on the ranks of cards in hand.

Follow these Blackjack rules to calculate your scores:

  1. Face cards such as King, Queen, or Jack are worth 10 points.
  2. 1 or 11 points are given for the ace of any suit.
  3. The point of any other card is based on their rank. For instance, the 2 clubs’ card is worth 2 points, the 3 of hearts card is worth 3 points.

Look at your cards and sum up the points based on each rank. The player with a higher number of total cards is declared the winner. The way to win Blackjack is to have a ‘higher hand’ than the dealer.

Blackjack rules

Around seven players, including the dealer, make up a blackjack table. You will notice certain words printed on the table.

Usual signs to know:

  • Dealer must hit on all 17s
  • Blackjack pays 6 to 5
  • The number of table bets – Minimum and Maximum
  • Insurance pays x to y

Blackjack terms you need to know

·      Hit

This move refers to a player taking an extra card to add to the ones in hand. Nevertheless, it is a risky move. You must remember that the total sum of cards must not surpass 21 points.

·      Standing

Standing is when you decide to keep your hand and not take any additional cards. However, this is also a calculated risk, as the dealer might have a better hand than you do.

·      Split

Splitting is possible only when you have two cards of the same rank. When you split a hand, you take two cards from your hand and start two hands. You must place an additional bet to get that 2nd hand. These two hands are played independently of each other. They also pay off separately from each other.

·      Surrender

It means that you give up half of your bet and retain the other half without playing the hand.

·      Insurance

This move is an optional bet that you can make when the dealer’s upcard is an ace.

·      House Edge

It represents the built-in advantage every casino game has shown in percentages.

·      Shoe

A place on the table where the cards are stored.

·      Hole Card

Refers to the dealer’s card, which is placed face down.

Hard hands vs Soft Hands

In Blackjack, players need to know the difference between hard hands and soft hands to understand the different strategies used to play.

Hard hands

It means that you don’t have any aces in it. You can also have an ace in it; however, the ace must count as 1, not 11, to avoid going bust.

Soft hands

On the other hand, a soft hand is an ace with an ace that counts as either a 1 or 11. The total used is the higher of the two options, but you have some sway room if you’re confronting a high-value card.

House edge

Blackjack comes with a house edge. The casino’s statistical advantage is put together into the game. Most of the house’s edge comes from the player losing when the player and dealer bust.

The Blackjack players utilizing basic strategy lose less than an average of 1% of their action over the long run, giving blackjack one of the lowest edges in the casino. When the player deviates from basic strategy also increases the house edge.

Number of decks House advantage
Single deck 0.17%
Double-deck 0.46%
Four decks 0.60%
Six decks 0.64%
Eight decks 0.66%

Blackjack strategies

As blackjack is a game of skills and luck, it is possible to influence the outcome of every round by following a strategy. The more knowledge you gather about the game, the higher your odds of winning are. Blackjack has a moderately low house edge, enabling you to become a consistent winner and even make a profit in the long term.

After grasping the main elements, consider the following strategies:

·      Basic strategy

The basic strategy features a plan which gives you an idea of how you should proceed in a particular situation. It considers your hand’s total as well as the dealer’s upcard.

Its indicated moves are based entirely on the probability of all the card combinations that you can get in each scenario. To minimize your money losses, you should follow the set of rules that its chart suggests.

·      Double down in Blackjack: ‘Reaching deep’

Once you’ve learned the basics of Blackjack, you can enhance your experience by going to the next level and taking risks. However, take your time to assess this approach through existing scenarios and determine the best time to double down.

·      Advanced Blackjack Strategy: Card counting

Usually, the “hi-lo” count is used. Each time you see an ace or a 10, you subtract one from your count. You will add one to your count whenever you see a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

When the total count is highly positive, you bet more. If it’s negative or 0, you bet the table minimum.

Our opinion

With some practice, it’s the most accessible card game to learn how to play besides War. Plus, blackjack is one of the few games in the casino that offer players ‘agency’. When you’re playing blackjack, you’re making decisions on every hand, increasing or decreasing your chances.

LA Weekly