Blackjack: All You Need to Know

888Blackjack is a popular card game that has fans all around the world. Namely, players love this game because it has a low house edge compared to other games. Moreover, blackjack promises high adrenaline levels and fast-paced action.

The point of blackjack is to score or get as close as possible to 21 points. Therefore, players often call it twenty-one. Blackjack is played with one or more 52-card decks, depending on the variant and its respective rules. Plus, unlike poker, where players try to beat their competitors, in blackjack they try to beat the dealer. World-class casinos such as 888 Casino and Bwin Casino always feature blackjack and its most popular variants.

Basic Blackjack Rules

The objective of blackjack is to score 21 points. Alternatively, if you cannot score 21, you should at least get closer to this number than the dealer. All cards earn you the number of points you see on them, i.e. their face value. For example, when you get a 5 of hearts, your score is 5.

There are two exceptions to this rule – Aces and face cards. Aces have a worth of either a or 11, while the value of case cards is 10. So, the fastest way to score 21 is to have an Ace and a face card (Jack, Queen or King).

It should be noted that combinations where the Ace counts as 11 are called “soft” counts. For example, a 17 made of an Ace and 6 is a soft 17. Another term to remember is the term “bust” as it reveals when a hand goes over 21.

blackjackBlackjack Gameplay Explained

The game starts by placing an initial bet. Once you do this, the dealer deals two face-up cards to you and two cards to themselves. The dealer’s cards are a combination of one face-up and one face-down card.

At this point, you have several options:

Stand – You have a good, but not great hand. So, you decide not to do anything and wait for the dealer’s move;

Hit – You have a low hand count and want to improve it by adding another card. You decide to hit, i.e. ask the dealer for an additional face-up card;

Double Down –If your hand is excellent, you can double your bet and request one extra card;

Split – You can split a pair of cards with the same face value into two different hands. For this you must add a second bet too;

Surrender – Surrender the game and get half your bet back.

Dealer’s Actions

When you’re in the game, it will be the dealer’s turn to resolve their hand. Depending on the game rules, they will either hit or stand. Their first step, however, will be to reveal their hole (face-down) card to calculate their initial hand count. Generally, dealers hit on soft 17 and stand on hard 17.

Game Resolution and Payouts

In case your hand or the dealer’s hand goes bust at any point of the game, that player loses immediately. However, in case nobody goes bust, you will have to compare your respective hand counts to determine the winner.

The winner is the player that scored 21 or was closer to that hand count. For example, if your hand count was 19 and the dealer’s hand count was 18, you win the game. If you win, then you receive a payout appropriate to your bet. Blackjack usually pays 2 to 1. In case the dealer goes bust when playing their actions, you will get even pay.

Side Bets

Some blackjack games allow players to place side bets. These are bets different than the initial one and spice up the action. For example, you can put an insurance bet that pays 2 to 1. This bet predicts whether the dealer has a blackjack or not and has terrible odds. Another favourite side bet is the Perfect Pairs. This bet predicts that you will get a pair of matching the colour and/or suit. The payouts for this bet are between 5:1 and 30:1, but the odds are quite low.

Blackjack Rule Variations

Blackjack comes in numerous forms and variations. Namely, experts have recorded more than 100 varieties of blackjack, and each one is special in its own way.

Every single rule affects the house edge, and therefore specific variants are better than others. Here are certain things to keep your eye on.

Some decks used. Operators offer blackjack games with one or more decks of cards. The fewer decks, the better odds;

Dealer hits/stands on soft 17. Usually, you can find this rule on the table itself. When the dealer stands on soft 17 you get better odds;

Allowed actions. Many variants allow or forbid specific player actions. These may include resplitting, doubling after splitting, surrendering and doubling on certain hand counts only.

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