Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games at casinos, particularly owing to its simple rules. Even beginners can easily learn and understand the rules of blackjack, and if they master a few basic blackjack strategies, they can make quite a profit at the blackjack tables. Beginners don’t even have to spend fortunes on blackjack books and CDs; they can find plenty of high-quality blackjack information at online gaming portals.

The basics of blackjack are very easy to understand. Players simply have to create a hand that is closer to 21 than that of the dealer; however, the value of the hand should not exceed 21. If it does, the player will have lost the game. Since blackjack is a game played against the house, players need not worry about the other players at the table. Everybody at a blackjack table is playing against the house. Players can easily view one another’s cards, and the dealer can view what the players have got. Beginners are also encouraged to ask questions so that they can make better decisions.

Before playing blackjack, players should understand the value of each card in the deck. An ace is either 1 or 11, depending on the players’ convenience. The deuces, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, and tens are taken at face value. Face cards or picture cards such as king, queen, and jack are considered to be equal to 10. Blackjack does not give any value to suits; accordingly, a seven of spades and a seven of diamonds equals seven irrespective of their suits. If a player has a hand with an ace and a six, he/she is said to have a soft 17; and in this case, the value of the ace is taken to be 11.

A game of blackjack begins with players placing a bet, after which two cards each will be dealt to the players. The dealer also receives 2 cards, one of which is placed face up. If case of shoe games, players are not allowed to touch their cards; however, in case of hand-held hands, players can pick up their cards, but should do so only with one hand and should keep the cards over the table. The rules, however, vary from casino to casino and are usually printed on the blackjack table.

Once the cards are dealt, players need to make a move. Players can surrender, or choose to fold by forfeiting half their original bets; hit or receive a fresh card; stand or stop receiving any more cards; double down or place double their original bets to receive a fresh card; split their hand in two hands and play them separately; place an insurance bet under the assumption that the dealer will get blackjack. The insurance bet actually protects players’ original bets in case the dealer gets blackjack; but if the dealer does not have blackjack, players will lose their insurance bet. Placing the insurance bet is a bit dangerous and players should avoid it unless they are expert card counters.

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