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How to Play Blackjack: The Complete Guide for Beginners

March 22, 2023

Blackjack is one of the most beloved games in casinos worldwide. Played between players and a dealer at a single table requires skill and strategy to come out on top. The premise involves trying to beat the croupier by getting closer than they do to 21 without going over. If you understand the scoring system, apply a proper strategy, and play with discipline, it is an enjoyable way to make some winning plays. Keep reading and find out more about how to play blackjack in the King Billy Kingdom.

how to play blackjack

The Basics and Objectives of the Game

The objective of blackjack is to have a higher cards count without exceeding 21. The player receives two cards initially and can choose to hit or stay depending on these initial values. A "hit" helps you build your hand with an additional card while staying allows you to remain at your current number and move on to the dealer's turn.

To win in this game, players must accumulate points by getting 21 or any other combination of cards with a total sum under this number. Depending on the variants, additional rules, side bets, or other options may exist.

How Do the Cards Work in Blackjack?

Cards have multiple values and depend on the kind that you receive.

The Values of the Cards in Blackjack

To better understand scoring, here is a comprehensive explanation of values:

  • Ace – Either 1 or 11, depending on how it helps the player.
  • Face cards – 10 points each.
  • Number cards (2-10) – Their numerical value.

How to Calculate the Hand?

Scoring is based on the total sum of your cards compared to those held by the blackjack dealer. If you exceed 21, then it results in an automatic loss (bust). To win, the player must have a point total higher than what the croupier has in hand. If you and the dealer hold an equal sum, then this is called "push", causing no one to win or lose.

How the Outcome of the Game Depends on the Cards Value?

The winner is whoever has the higher point total or "closest to 21" when no one goes over. As a player, exceeding 21 automatically means you lost. As for the dealer, they must hit until they reach 17 (or higher) and stand on any value above that.

Blackjack Rules: Everything You Need to Know

While the game seems straightforward, there are some rules you need to understand before attempting a session of blackjack. Below, we will provide more detailed info about its rules, scoring, and other essential components.

Playing Blackjack: Step-by-Step

Here is how sessions normally take place at any online casino:

  1. Players place their wagers. The limits of each table can vary from $1 to whatever the casino sets as the maximum.
  2. The croupier deals cards to each participant at the table. Each player has their initial "hand" and proceeds depending on that.
  3. Each gambler makes their move (hit or stay). Hitting means receiving an additional card while staying prevents you from getting more cards for your hand. A player who goes over 21 automatically loses the round.
  4. The blackjack dealer keeps hitting until 17 or higher. If he busts, then all players still in the game win.
  5. If none of these situations occurs, cards are compared, and whoever achieved a higher score (without exceeding 21) wins the pot.

After the blackjack deal is finished, each winner collects their winnings accordingly. The new round begins with a fresh new bet and cards dealt by the dealer again.

Blackjack Payouts

Payouts depend on the combination that each gambler possesses. For example:

  • 21 (natural). It happens when a participant receives an ace and any other card valued at 10 points in their initial hand, granting them automatic payouts from 3 to 2.
  • Normal Wins. They occur when a player has a blackjack point total higher than the croupier without exceeding 21. Payouts usually are 1 to 1 or even money (1:1).
  • Losses. They occur with any "bust" situation and represent an automatic forfeit of your bet.
  • Push. Comprised of two hands with the same amount and results in a tie, making all participants keep their bets until the next blackjack deal starts.

Knowing the payouts is essential to bet smart and not be too aggressive with your decisions. Therefore, take some time to analyze each potential situation and act accordingly.

how to play blackjack in casino

Betting Options

Aside from the hit or stand option, players can use other available bets in blackjack to their advantage. These are:

  • Split. It occurs when a gambler receives two blackjack cards of the same value and duplicates the bet by separating them into two hands.
  • Double Down. After receiving two cards, players can double their wager. It is a good opportunity to potentially increase profits if the value is equivalent to 9, 10, or 11.
  • Insurance. If the blackjack dealer has an Ace, players can use this feature to protect their bets against a potential hand from the dealer's part. It pays 2:1 but requires you to make an extra half of the original wager.
  • Surrender. It is an option to surrender and exit the round by forfeiting half of your bet; it comes in handy when the chances of winning are slim are too low.

These options are beneficial if used correctly, so always pay attention to the hand you are being dealt and decide on using them depending on the cards.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

To maximize your chances of succeeding, there are a few strategies you should abide by.

  • Always try to stand on 17 or more and never hit if the hand exceeds this number, as exceeding 21 will result in an immediate loss.
  • If possible, always split eights or aces.
  • Take insurance if the dealer's face-up card is an Ace;
  • Consider doubling down when you have 9, 10, or 11; the upcard is between 2 and 9.
  • Never split tens, as they are considered a strong hand.
  • Use the surrender rule if the dealer's upcard is ten and you have a hard 16.

This basic strategy provides solid general advice for various playing situations but does not guarantee victory. However, the chances of winning the game increase significantly with its implementation.

Blackjack Variations and Side Wagers – Which Options are Available?

The classic variation is the most commonly played one. But other interesting options and side bets can spice up the game uniquely if you look around. Below, you will find several of the most popular variants and side bets that can be wagered.

Variations of the Game

Here are some of the more common variants you may find online:

  • 21+3. This variation provides a special side bet that players can wager on. On top of the cards, you may create a poker combination for a bonus payout.
  • Multihand blackjack. This variation lets to play with several hands simultaneously. It is an excellent way to increase wins when the cards are applied skillfully in your favor.
  • Pontoon. This variation applies different rules than a traditional game and is more advantageous for the blackjack dealer. For instance, a tie results in a win for the house.

These are the three main variations available to play and understand. Now, let's find out more about side bets you can wager.

Blackjack Side Bets

Game variations may include side bets with bonus payouts and other exciting opportunities, such as perfect pairs and 21+3. The availability will depend on the casino you play with, so decide whether these additions enhance your gaming experience.

Side bets usually require a separate wager beside the initial bet amounts. They can provide higher payouts depending on the rules of eligibility outlined before the game start. As with the main bet, assessing risk and expected reward is essential before wagering this extra amount.

How to Play Blackjack for Beginners: 4 Tips to Increase Your Chances of Winning

Now that you know how to play blackjack, let's see some tips and tricks to work out your strategy until you develop that winning instinct.

  • Memorize the basic strategy chart. As a beginner, you should learn basic moves by heart. This ensures you're playing optimally and increases your chances of winning compared to relying on your instincts.
  • Avoid side bets. While they may be tempting, most side bets have a steep house edge, thus reducing your chances of walking away with a profit in the long run. Stick to the classic game and improve your likelihood of success.
  • Place lower bets on the table. Before rushing to bet big, start betting lower amounts and see where it takes you before significantly raising your stakes.
  • Know when you should stop. Whether you have won or lost several hands in a row, it is essential to remember when you should take a break and walk away. This helps bad or good streaks be kept under control at the tables.

Blackjack is a thrilling game, perfect for newbies and more seasoned players. Many variables are at play, and understanding this classic nuance can be rewarding and profitable when done right. Learn how to play blackjack in a casino until you can turn it into a winning venture. His Majesty King Billy, Guardian of the Players, provides many free tables to try – so it might be a good starting point!


How does the game of blackjack work?

It is a card-based casino table game where the player tries to beat the dealer by getting higher points than him without exceeding 21. The player receives two blackjack cards initially and can draw additional ones if needed. The also bets can be side wagers for more excitement, depending on the variant of the game played.

How to win in blackjack?

The objective is to draw cards that result in a total sum closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. This can be accomplished by having 21 or any combination of card values with a higher value than the dealer. The player can hit or stand depending on the cards received, so the best way to win is by employing a proper blackjack strategy.

How does card counting work?

Blackjack card counting is not permitted while you are playing this game at an online casino for real money. It is a strategy where players keep track of cards played to increase the chances of getting advantageous hands. There are various ways to calculate point values, but it requires practice and experience. However, it does not work in online blackjack, as the cards are shuffled after each round.

In which situations should I hit and stand?

Your decision to hit or stand directly depends on the dealer's upcards and your initial cards. Many players over 21 if they drew additional ones when it was not necessary, so consult a chart with basic moves before making any decisions. As a general rule of thumb, if your points are lower than 17, it is usually better to hit versus standing.

What are the advantages of playing blackjack?

It is a thrilling card game packed with strategy and the opportunity to walk out with profits. It can also be found in either land-based or online casinos offering different variations that add even more excitement to its gameplay. If played wisely and responsibly, the game can improve your gaming balance without much effort!

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