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The Fundamentals of Playing Blackjack

You’ve seen the movies, the players in their tuxes, tilting just the corner of their cards and looking up at the dealer saying, ‘hit me’.

That’s Blackjack, the game of 21. Mysterious, romantic and synonymous with card counting. Well at least that’s what we like to think. Once you know how to play the game, with a close on 50% chance you take the hand, it’s a great game to place your bets.

The Aim of The Game

The aim of Blackjack is to get as close to, but not higher than, 21 points in card value. Each card you are dealt has a value and the value of your hand is the total value of the cards you are holding. You can beat the dealer by getting 21 on your first two cards, getting a final score closer to 21 than that of the dealer, or by the dealer exceeding 21 (going bust).

  • Cards 1 to 10 have the equivalent value
  • Face cards or Jacks, Queens and Kings each carry a value of 10
  • Aces can be either 1 or 11 – whichever is best for you.

You will start by placing your bet. You will then be dealt two cards face up and the dealer will deal themselves two cards, one facing up and the other, the hole card, facing down.

Depending on the cards you are dealt you need to make some decisions. If your hand value is low, you can ask for another card to get closer to 21. Ask the dealer for a ‘hit’. You ‘stand’ if you are close to 21 and an additional card could make you go ‘bust’ (over 21).

You can also ‘double’, which is a hit where you receive a card and double your bet, or ‘split’. You can choose to split if you have any two cards of identical value. The dealer will give you an additional 2 cards, one on each side of the cards you already have, essentially giving you two hands. You can then choose to ‘hit’ or ‘stand’ on each.

While you are waiting for the dealer to play their hand you can place some extra bets at eSports betting Australia.

Win or Lose

Once each player has had their turn the dealer will turn over the hole card. The dealer will draw another card if their hand value is 16 or lower. If the dealer has a card with a value of 10 or an Ace, they will offer an insurance bet at half the value of the original bet.

If the dealer goes ‘bust’, over 21 points, then any players at the table that have not gone bust win. If the dealer has less than 21 points, then the person with points closest to 21 wins, or you can get a Blackjack without the dealer getting a Blackjack. However, if the dealer has a Blackjack, the players lose unless they placed an insurance bet.

The Pay-outs

  • 1:1 for a winning hand
  • 3:2 for a Blackjack
  • 2:1 on an insurance bet

Pay-outs vary slightly from place to place, so use the above as a guide line. There are many seasoned players that will argue that Blackjack that does not pay out 3:2 is not Blackjack at all.

Blackjack is an excellent introduction to the tables.

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