Casinos are a great place for people who love gambling. There is no other game where you can win money and lose it all at the same time, but that’s part of what makes blackjack so appealing too. It’s one of the most popular casino games in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo and everywhere else casinos are found around the world.
Blackjack has been around since 17th century France when the first version of the game was played by a group of soldiers stationed on an island near Marseilles. The game spread quickly throughout Europe, and eventually reached America in the 1800s when it was brought over from France by British Army officers. In 1894, the US government declared blackjack a national pastime after several years of study and analysis.
Although blackjack has had its ups and downs over the years, it remains one of the best-known card games in the world. Here’s how to play the game.
How to Play Blackjack Basics
In order to understand the basics of blackjack, you need to know some basic facts about the game. First off, there are two standard decks of cards — 52 cards in each deck. You’ll also need a blackjack table with a dealer (or “shark”) at one end. The dealer will be taking bets and dealing out cards while the players sit at the opposite end.
The objective of the game is simple. Dealers job is to get as close to 21 without going over. Aces count as 1, 2’s, 3’s and 4’s, while face cards are 10’s and 11’s. The object of the players is to beat the dealer hand by getting closer to 21 than he does. If both a player and the dealer end up at the same number, the dealer wins.
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The rules of the game are fairly straightforward. Each round consists of five cards dealt face down to the dealer. After the dealer turns his cards over, the next five cards are turned face up and dealt to the players. Each player receives two cards and then chooses which card to hit or stand on. When a player stands, they simply keep their original two cards and pass the rest to the dealer. Any player who reaches 21 wins.
There are also several betting options available for both the player and the dealer. Players may choose from a variety of wagers such as splitting pairs, doubling pairs, even/odd, hard way or soft way bets, etc. As for the dealer, they are allowed to split any pair of cards, double any ace, and take insurance bets. Insurance bets are made whenever the dealer feels the odds of a player winning are better than 50 percent.
The only exception to these rules occurs if the dealer hits a soft 17. If the dealer has a total of 17, he must draw until he gets either a blackjack or an eight showing. Once the dealer gets a blackjack, he automatically wins regardless of the point value of his hand.
As a rule, the house always wins. But sometimes, the player will get lucky and win more than they bet. This happens because some players use strategies to beat the house advantage. To give you a little insight into these strategies, here’s a look at three common ones.
Strategy #1: Basic Strategy
You’ve probably heard this strategy referred to as the “basic” strategy, but there’s nothing really basic about it. Basically, the goal of the “basic” strategy is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. The basic strategy works like this:
Start with a single card.
If your card is a ten or an ace, double it.
Go back to step 1.
That’s it! All you have to do is follow this formula and you should come out ahead every time. Although this strategy seems pretty easy, it actually isn’t. It requires a lot of practice before it becomes second nature. But once you master it, you’ll find yourself having fun playing blackjack instead of just watching it.
Strategy #2: Hit ‘n’ Run
This strategy involves hitting as many cards as you can and then standing after you’re dealt enough cards to make sure you don’t go over 21. Hit ‘n’ run is very effective against small-time dealers because they tend to be conservative and are afraid of going over. However, because they aren’t used to dealing to big spenders, they often go over 21. So it pays to play this strategy when you feel confident that the dealer is inexperienced.
Strategy #3: Double Down
Double down is similar to hit ‘n’ run except that you’re going to be making multiple plays per hand. Instead of standing after you’ve hit, you’ll play again and again until you’ve gone over 21. With this strategy, you’ll never go bust. And unlike hit ‘n’ run, you won’t have to wait long between hands to see whether you’ll go over or not.
How to Play Blackjack in Practice
Now that you know what to expect when you go to a casino to gamble, let’s talk about what you need to do when you’re sitting at the blackjack table. First off, if you haven’t already done so, you should check the maximum allowable amount of money you can gamble with. The maximum limit varies depending on the state you live in, but most states allow $200 per hour.
After you’ve checked the maximum allowable limit, you’re ready to start playing. The dealer will deal two cards to each player and two cards to himself. Then he deals two more to him and another two to everyone else. He keeps doing this until he has dealt out 20 cards. At that point, he announces the value of his hand and gives the players an opportunity to raise or stay.
If you want to play blackjack for real money, you’ll have to sign up for a blackjack online account with an online casino. Doing so will ensure that you receive the proper licensing and certification required to play legally. Most online casinos offer free trials of their software. They also give you plenty of information about how to play and learn strategy in the process.