Blackjack is one of the most popular forms of gambling out there, probably for two reasons. First, it is very easy to learn. Second, the house has a very narrow statistical advantage over players, assuming that players know the rules. With that, here we go-read below for black jack rules.
Rules of the Game
The fundamental rule of blackjack is that you want to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. Before you receive your cards, you place a bet. The minimum and maximum bets depend on the limits at the table you choose. These can range from a minimum from around $1 up to thousands of dollars. Next, the dealer deals everyone two cards, including him/herself. One of dealer’s cards is dealt face up and one is dealt face down. Face cards are worth ten points, aces are worth either 1 point or 11 points (up to you depending on what is best for you at the time) and all the other cards are counted as what their value indicates (so the 6 of clubs counts as a 6).
You have blackjack when your first two cards are an ace and either a face card or a 10. If you get blackjack and the dealer does not, you are paid 1.5 times your bet (if you bet $10, you’ll win an additional $15). However, if the dealer also receives blackjack, then it is a tie.
Hit or Stand
After you receive your two cards, you’ll have two choices: hit or stand. To hit means to take another card in hopes of getting closer to 21 (without going over, which is known as a “bust”). Standing means that you don’t want another card. If you bust at any point (go over 21), you lose your money right away. It doesn’t matter if the dealer busts later.
Dealer’s Rules/Your Strategy
A dealer has no flexibility/decision authority like you do as a player. That is, the dealer must hit on 16 and stand on 17 in all cases. So, when a dealer has a hand like 13, 14, 15, or 16, he/she is likely to bust in many cases. So, when a dealer is showing a 3, 4, 5, or 6 as the face-up card, he/she is likelier to bust, and this should change your actions as a player. Keep in mind that you win if the dealer busts, no matter what you have. So, if the dealer is showing a 6 face-up, and you have 15, it is best to stay and hope that the dealer busts instead of taking the risk of busting yourself. Many players get confused and think they only will win if they get very close to 21, but this isn’t always true.
Double Down and Splitting
If you receive a total of 9, 10, or 11 on your first two cards, you can double your bet. In addition, if the first two cards you receive are the same (for example, two 8’s), you can split them. This means that the dealer will separate those two cards for you and you’ll end up playing two hands (for twice the money). Insurance
If the dealer’s up cards is an ace, he/she will offer you insurance. This means that if you think he/she has blackjack, you can place an additional bet up to 50% of your original bet. If he does have blackjack, you’ll win 2 to 1 on insurance, thereby coming out even on the hand. Typically, this is not a good bet to make (after all, if it was, the casino wouldn’t offer it to you, would they?)
This brief intro to black jack rules should be a good start to get you going in the game. Any of the casinos listed on this page are great places to play either for free or for real money to hone your skills. Best of luck at the tables!