How to Play Blackjack at a Casino

My friends, we all know that Blackjack is the favourite game of many. There are numerous good reasons for such status among gamblers. In a nutshell, your should focus on hitting the 21 or on getting a higher score than the dealer. Hence, Blackjack doesn’t require you to make numerous hard decisions to reach your goal and win some money. On top of that, Blackjack is a generously paying casino game that has a low house edge. That should be reason enough for you to take a seat at the Blackjack table, so let me introduce you to some rules you have to follow during a game of Blackjack.

Basic Rules

So as I’ve already mentioned above, you need to hold 21 to hit the Blackjack or have a higher total than the house at the end of the game. However, you will also win if the dealer busts, i.e., has more than 21 in total, or if you get 21 and hit the Blackjack with your starting two cards (unless the dealer ties with the player).

Although, you will lose the game in the following cases: If you bust (your total goes over 21) or the dealer has a higher hand at the end of the game. Do keep in mind that there is also a situation when both you and the dealer hold a winning hand of 21 in total. In this case, the result of the bet will be a “push,” meaning that you won’t win anything but you won’t lose your original bet either.

On another note, the cards’ value in a Blackjack game goes like this:

The “plain” cards from 2 to 10 count as the number they represent, while all the “face” cards count as ten. However, aces play a special role in this classic casino game — they can count either as 1 or 11, depending on what is the most favourable to a player or a dealer.

There can be from five to twelve players at a Blackjack table, but the common number of participants is seven. Remember, even though other players surround you, this is a one-on-one game between you and the dealer, and they are your main rival.

How the Game Revolves

There are several stages of this widely popular casino game. Let me walk you through them:

Step 1 — Buying Chips

Nowadays, most casino won’t let you play for cash, so before the game starts, turn to the dealer who will replace your cash with playing chips. However, don’t try to hand your money to the dealer because they mustn’t interact with anyone at the table. Lay your money on the table and pick up your playing chips when they are ready.

Step 2 — Placing Bets

There is a minimum and a maximum amount of money you can use for betting, written at the opposite ends of a Blackjack table, so look them up before you place your bet. Most of the casinos won’t take less than $5 per hand, but the betting range is determined by each casino separately, so this isn’t a standard rule.

Step 3 — Dealing Cards

Once the betting is finished, the dealer starts handing out the cards to all players at the table. Each player will get two cards turned face up, and the dealer will begin with the first person on their right. While all players will have cards turned up, the dealer’s first card will be hidden, and the second one will be turned up.

Now that everyone has their hand, the game of Blackjack can begin.

Step 4 — Playing Your Hand

If luck didn’t strike you and you didn’t hit 21 right away, you will have to decide what you would like to do with the cards dealt. You will have several playing options to choose from:

  • You can stand

This means that you are happy with the hand you’re holding and you don’t need any additional cards.

  • You can hit

When you think you have to add up to your total to complete a favourable hand, you show the dealer that you need more cards. He will hand out cards to you until you go bust or you stand.

These are the simplest moves that you can make in a Blackjack game, but there are also double down and split options you can choose to play, depending on the cards you have.

  • You can double down

This means that you think you’re holding a good hand but that you need just one more card to complete the winning combination. You will then double your initial bet by putting it in on the left side, i.e., a side bet, and the dealer will distribute an additional card to you.

  • You can split

If you get a pair of cards, for example, two fives, you can split your hand and play with two different ones at the same time. Make a second bet that is equal to your first bet, but show the dealer a peace sign so that he knows that you don’t want to double down but split. Then the dealer separates your cards and deals two more cards to you.

  • You can surrender

If you are not happy with the cards you got, you can always quit the game and get 50% of your opening bet back.

Step 5 — Dealer Plays Their Hand

If you are still in the game, it is time for the dealer’s hand to be played. Dealers won’t have an option to double down, split, or surrender. Dealers can only hit or stand, and there are certain rules about these moves too. The dealer first uncovers the face-down card and see what the total is. If they’re holding a total of 17 or higher, they have to stand. However, if his total is 16 or less, they have to draw another card.

The exception to this rule is the situation when the dealer has an Ace and a seven. This hand is called a “soft hand” or a “soft 17” because it can be counted differently, thanks to the Ace. So the total here can be either seven or seventeen, which gives the advantage to the house over a player because the dealer can continue to draw cards and chase the 21.

And here it is, step by step guide on how to play Blackjack. The only thing you have to do is learn these steps and head out to the nearest casino to try your luck at a game of Blackjack.