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Blackjack Rules

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About Blackjack - Advice and More...

 

Blackjack is fairly straightforward once you grow accustomed to playing it, but many players prefer to read all of the rules before they sit down, and this is likely a good idea. Blackjack rules are not set in stone. In fact, they vary from game to game depending on a small set of variables that the house chooses for the game.

Generally stated, each blackjack player competes only against the dealer (i.e. the bank/casino), not against other players. Your goal as the player is to beat the dealer by drawing cards until your hand comes close to 21, without exceeding it. If your first two cards total 21, you have what is known as a 'natural blackjack'. If the dealer gets closer to 21 than you without going over themselves, they win. The dealer follows a strict set of blackjack rules written just for them, and knowing what the dealer must do at the table is as important as knowing what you yourself can do.

Learning blackjack rules online is a great deal easier than trying to learn at a table in a land-based casino. Besides the pressure you feel from the players around you, and the dealers themselves, you are expected to wager your money as you learn. This is something everyone prefers to avoid. Playing online eases this concern, as you may play unlimited amounts of blackjack on a free play version before placing any real bets.

Blackjack rules online are the same as in a land-based casino, and as mentioned previously, can vary slightly from establishment to establishment. To playing online is very simple, since the software won't let you make any real errors, playing is as simple as clicking your mouse. Open our software to see how many bet denominations are readily available. To place a bet for a specific denomination click on the chip, the software will automatically place this chip in the betting area for you. To remove a bet, right click on the stack in the betting area.

All standard forms of blackjack rules dictate that the numerical values of the cards are: (10, J, Q, K) = 10, (Ace) = 1 or 11, (other cards) = face value (3 = 3).

Blackjack rules for the dealer are very simple. If the dealer's hand is 16 or less, they must take a card. If the dealer's hand is 17 or more, they must stand. Note that some casinos allow the dealer to hit on soft 17, which gives the house a very small additional advantage.

The player can do most anything they want as far as hitting and standing goes. Should a player get a natural blackjack (first 2 cards are an Ace and a ten) standard blackjack rules payoff at 150% (or 3 to 2) the original bet. For example, betting $10.00 determines the payoff to be $15.00. Doubling down is restricted to 2-card hands, totaling 9, 10, or 11. When the option to double down is available, the software will ask you if you wish to.

After you double down, if that was your choice, the dealer will give you one more card only, and will move onto the next hand. If you have a pair that you want to split, the software will also prompt you to determine what you wish to do. The original bet will go with one card and the software will place an equal amount of chips in the betting box near the other card. You are now playing two hands, each as though they were regular hands adhering to normal blackjack rules, with the exception being that if you have just split two aces, you only get one more card. If it is a ten, that hand's total is now 21 but the hand isn't considered a natural blackjack. That is, you are paid 1:1 and not 1.5:1 as for a natural.

The suit of the card doesn't matter in blackjack, only the point value. With that in mind, paying attention to your potential total on the next card is the main thinking part of the game.

There is no way to win automatically in blackjack; the closest you can get is being dealt a 21 with your first two cards without the dealer doing the same. This of course is simply called getting blackjack, or getting a natural blackjack, or sometimes simply called a natural. If both you and the dealer happen to get blackjack, it's a push and you don't get paid, you just get your money back. If you win on a natural blackjack you are paid a bonus that, as stated earlier, is usually 3 to 2 on your bet.

Part of learning to play blackjack well, or as some call it, becoming an advantage player, is learning when to bet more and when to bet less. Blackjack is a game with a variable house edge, and the amount of money you walk away with isn't determined by unalterable numbers each time (as would be the case in a game of roulette). This house edge fluctuation is only useful if we know how to take advantage of it, and there is one area where most people fall short, that area is doubling down.

Doubling down is the player's ability to increase their bet mid-hand if they feel they have a particularly good opportunity to win. This is the major variable that lets blackjack be played at a low house edge. The problem is that people don't often take advantage of this fact! Without taking advantage of when you should double down, the house edge soars as high as many games you'll be warned to never play. When people are presented with an opportunity to double down it's natural for them to think 'That must mean I have a good chance of winning, and since I'll win either way, I don't really need to double my bet, I'll be happy with just winning, I don't need to risk more'.

Of course this leads to people not doubling down even though it may be advantageous to do so. Keep in mind though that the house edge gained from a good strategy is only attainable if you take advantage of those double down situations. There is no better money-making opportunity than the double down that Blackjack rules offer.

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