Overhead view of Blackjack table
Overhead view of Blackjack table

How to Play Blackjack: Rules, Strategy, and Tips

Man playing at Blackjack table
Man playing at Blackjack table

Blackjack, which is also known as 21, is the most popular game in the casino. Blackjack is a card game where each player competes against the dealer. It is easy to learn the basics, though there are plenty of advanced concepts involved within this card game as well.

That’s why we have put together this guide to help both new and experienced blackjack players. We will cover the basics of how to play the game and offer tips to help you get ready to play at WynnBET’s online casino.

Blackjack Basic Rules

All players wishing to play a game of Blackjack must place a wager before cards are dealt. Once wagers have been placed, each player is served two face-up cards. The dealer will receive one card face up and one card face down.

Each player will then have a turn, where the player can receive one or more cards from the dealer. If you make a total score of 21 with the first two cards (a face or a 10 along with an Ace), you win automatically. This is called Blackjack.

The object of the game is to have the total number of your cards as close to 21 without busting. Players who don’t bust have to wait for the dealer’s turn before the game is finished.  

After all players have been served, the dealer turns up the face-down card. The dealer then has the chance to draw more cards to get close to 21, if needed. If the dealer busts, the remaining players on the table win that game. If the dealer doesn’t bust, players only win if their total is higher than the dealer.

Card Values

Now that you understand the premise of the game, let’s get into what each card is worth in blackjack. Unlike other casino-card games, suits have no relevance in blackjack. That means each card has a value based on the number of the card. For example, a six is worth exactly six.

Face cards (King, Queen and Jack) are all worth 10 points. So if you were dealt a King and seven, you’d have a total value of 17.

Aces, meanwhile, can be worth one or 11. This is the only card that has multiple values, and can lead to different decisions based on what a player has in a given hand. An Ace and seven can be worth 8 or 18, depending on what you choose to do.

Face cards are the most valuable cards as a player, but Aces offer players more flexibility in the game.

Card Value

  • Face value: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

  • 10: Jack, Queen, King

  • 1 or 11: Ace

Types of Hands

Multiple hands at Blackjack table
Multiple hands at Blackjack table

Understanding card value is only a piece of the puzzle in blackjack. Knowing the difference between types of hands is a crucial component of playing this game.

Blackjack

Unsurprisingly, the name of the game is the best hand a player can have. Blackjack is an Ace combined with a face card (King, Queen or Jack) when the cards are originally dealt. This gives a player a hand value of 21, which can’t be beaten. If the dealer is dealt blackjack, though, it would be a push and the player receives the original stake back.

Hard Hand

A hard hand in blackjack means the absence of an Ace. A hard hand is obviously more rigid and the player doesn’t have any choices to exercise in such situations. For example, a player with a hard hand of two fives has to hit because that is the player’s only chance of winning that particular game.

Soft Hand

A player that is dealt an ace has a soft hand, because there is more flexibility in the player’s plan of attack. Since the Ace can be 1 or 11, a player has more options in that particular game. Common soft hand examples are an Ace and four or Ace and nine.

Types of Blackjack Bets

Players have to place an original wager before any cards are dealt. After the cards have been handed out, though, the game has started and there are more decisions for each player. Here’s a look at some of those moves to consider: 

Hit — This means a player wants another card. There is no limit on the number of times you can hit. No additional wagers are required to hit.

Stand — If a player is happy with the hand — and wants to finish their turn — they should choose to stand. No more bets can be placed after a player chooses to stand. The dealer and the other players will then draw until all of their final hands are complete.

Double Down — Player can match their original wager for one extra card. A player can not hit again after getting the extra card. 

Split — When a player has two cards of equal value, he or she can choose to split their hand to play two separate hands. A player is required to match their original bet to cover their second hand.

Insurance — A type of side bet that is usually half of your original wager and pays 2 to 1. The only time to pay insurance is when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, and you have a hand of 15 or more. You will receive a payout if the dealer’s face-down card ends up being a face card to make a natural blackjack. You would win your insurance bet and ultimately break even.

Even Money — Cashing your bet immediately at a ratio of 1:1 for payment when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer shows the card is an ace.

Blackjack Strategy

Players can reduce the casino advantage by applying basic blackjack strategy because this game has an element of human choice. You choose to hit or stand when it is your turn, based on what you think is the best choice for that particular game.

There is a lot of math involved in each decision, but the simplest way to get started is by following the basic blackjack strategy chart. Study the chart to have a better understanding of what decision to make with your hand — based on the cards that are on the table.

Conclusion

Now that you have a basic understanding of blackjack, it is time to test your knowledge on the table.

But you might not want to wait until the next time you are at a casino to try blackjack. And you don’t have to! You can play online blackjack games with WynnBET in Michigan and New Jersey. Just sign for an account to start playing today.

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