Blackjack is one of the most loved casino games in the world, and one of the oldest. Back in the early 17th century, when it was first created, the game was a referred to as ‘Vingt-et-Un’ which translates to Twenty-One in French.
The game was still called ‘Twenty-One’ when it gained popularity in Nevada in 1931, when the state first chose to make gambling legal. To draw more people to the game, some casinos offered a special bet: A hand featuring either of the black jacks (the jack of Spades or, of Clubs) plus the Ace of Spades, and would pay ten-to-one odds on the player’s bet. Although casinos later discontinued this peculiar payout, the name ‘Blackjack’ has still remained.
In the modern-day, you can play online Blackjack games anywhere you like, as long as you have a stable internet connection, making the iconic game accessible at any time.
Keep reading to find out how to play Blackjack and get to learn some of our top tips.
How to play
The objective of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. In order to do this, you need to draw a hand that’s a higher value than the dealer’s hand, by the dealer drawing a hand value that goes over 21, or by drawing a hand value of 21 on your first two cards, when the dealer does not.
You will lose to the dealer if your hand value exceeds 21, or the dealer’s hand has a greater value than yours at the end of the round.
Blackjack is played with one or more conventional decks of 52 playing cards and suits don’t matter. Sometimes, more than one deck is used during a game.
Blackjack table layout
Blackjack is usually played on a semi-circular table that can accommodate varying numbers of players. The most common tables have seven players/spots, but this can vary. The dealer stands behind the table and chip rack and the players sit on the other side.
Where to sit?
When you first approach a Blackjack table, you can sit in any one of the available seats. Which seat you take really doesn’t matter. The ‘first position’ – the seat to the far left of the dealer – is called: ‘first base’. The opposite side seat – the one to the dealer’s far right – is called: ‘third base’.
These names don’t matter much to your game at this point, but you might hear other players at the game refer to these titles. It’s always good to know what these references mean, especially if you are new to the game.
This is the basic structure of a round of Blackjack:
- Player buys chips
- Player places a wager
- Dealer deals cards to players
- Player decides how to play hand
- Dealer plays hand
- Any winnings will be paid out to the relevant players
Our top tips
- Sign up for any rewards program the casino offers. Often, casinos award points for how long you play and how much money you bet; they are not based on how much you win. These freebies allow you to have more chances at winning.
- Always double your bet when your first two cards total 11 and always split pairs of Aces and eights. Remember, you are betting on getting a 10.
- Never split 10-value cards or a pair of fives. Two fives should be played like a 10. Two fives might result in two 15’s. By playing two fives as though they are a 10, you have a good chance of getting an additional card value of 10, resulting in a total of 20 when you are hit with another card.
Arguably, the most important tip of all, is to make sure you brush up your knowledge on the basic rules of the game. This can really better your chances of a win, as if you know the game well, you’ll know the best moves to make, according to the cards you have been dealt.
Do keep in mind that this is a game of chance, so only bet with money you can afford to lose.
We hope these basic rules and tips have helped you on your way to feeling like a Blackjack pro. Will you be trying your chances anytime soon?