How to Play Blackjack – The Ultimate Guide to Blackjack

black-jackThe goal of the game of blackjack is to get a score that is higher than the dealer’s score without going over the number 21. In the game, an ace is worth 1 or 11, face cards are worth 10 and every other card is worth its face value.

Below is a short and easy guide on how to play blackjack, but you can also read the Ultimate Guide to Blackjack Rules.

Outcomes

  • If you happen to have a higher score than the dealer without going over 21, then you win the hand.
  • If you happen to have a lower score than the dealer and the dealer has not gone over 21, then you lose the hand.
  • If either you or the dealer happens to go over 21 at any point during the hand, then that person’s hand is declared bust and they lose the hand.
  • A tie value results in a push, which means that you get your bet back and nothing changes in your chip stack.
  • If either you or the dealer has blackjack (i.e. dealt an ace plus any card with a face value of 10), then you automatically win the hand. If both of you have blackjack, then the hand is a push.

Set Up

Quite simply, the game is set up with everyone at the table being dealt two cards. The people that are playing at the table and challenging the dealer have both of their cards dealt face up while the dealer has one of their cards dealt face down and one of their cards dealt face up. The card that is dealt face up is referred to as the dealer’s door card, while the card that is dealt face down is referred to as the dealer’s hole card.

Before any dealing is done however, each player needs to bet on the hand. A player must bet in order to receive a hand, although they do have the choice of sitting one or more hands out if they want to take a break. The bet must be somewhere in between the maximum and minimum allowable bets as defined by the table you are at.

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Game Play

After you are dealt your two cards face up, you immediately are going to have at least three options available to you. The first option is the hit option, which results in you getting dealt another card from the dealer. The second option is the stand option, which results in you not getting dealt anymore cards and standing with the hand value that you currently have. The last option is the double down option, which results in you doubling your initial bet and getting dealt exactly one more card.

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However, there are other options that are available depending on what the circumstances are of the game and where you are playing. In some casinos both online and offline, you also have a surrender option.

This option results in you forfeiting the hand outright, but you get half of your bet back instead of losing all of it. If both of your cards have the same face value, then some casinos will allow you to split and divide those cards into two different hands, doubling your overall bet because you are required to put up a bet of the same exact size on the second hand.

Some casinos will let you do this continually if you keep on getting dealt cards with the same face value (i.e. if you split an initial dealing of 4-4 and end up with hands of A-4 and 4-4, you can then split again).

Finally, the last option available to you is to buy insurance if the dealer’s door card is an ace. This insurance pays you a certain bet if the dealer has blackjack, so in spite of you losing the bet you put up the insurance bet can actually help you overcome that.

Game play will continue until each player has either busted (gone over 21) or stood, at which point the dealer will deal their hand according to the house rules and decide all of the bets based on the outcome of their hand.

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