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How To Play Blackjack Vegas (Blackjack lessons) VideoThe Blackjack Strategy Guide
Our easy to understand yet comprehensive guide teaches you everything you need to know about the beautiful game of blackjack in a matter of minutes.
We even provide a list of fun blackjack game variants that you can play for free right here on our website.
Blackjack is an extremely popular card game that pits you against the dealer. There are three ways to win when you play blackjack. The second way to win is by scoring higher than the dealer without busting.
The third and final way to win when you play blackjack is to watch the dealer bust by exceeding The simplicity of blackjack rules and a favorable house edge make it a favorite among gamblers.
By using a basic strategy, you can swing the blackjack odds in your favor with a house edge of just 0. Blackjack is typically played with six decks of 52 cards, although it can be played with just one or even more.
The number of decks used by the dealer has a direct impact on the house edge. The house edge is just 0. Blackjack card values be divided into three categories: Aces, faces, and numbers.
Numbers 2 through 10 are worth their numerical value. There are two types of hands in blackjack: a soft hand or a hard hand. According to blackjack card game rules, soft hands contain an Ace that can be valued at either 1 or Busting is possible with a hard hand, which often leaves you with a difficult decision to make.
This means that the dealer must hit when holding an Ace and a six for a total of 17 points. Other blackjack variations force the dealer to stand on 17 regardless of whether the hand is soft or hard.
Shaped in a semicircle, a blackjack table typically holds a maximum of seven players. The dealer can be found sitting or standing behind the table, with players seated around the table.
Each seating position is known as a base, with first base being the position located furthest to the right. Cards are dealt from a shoe in a clockwise direction.
Blackjack rules and payouts are also printed on the felt of the table. To give you a better understanding of how to play blackjack at a casino, we have broken down each step of the game.
Whether you play blackjack at a land-based casino or one of the best online casinos , the first step is choosing a table.
All tables have minimum and maximum bets, so make sure you know what they are before sitting down. Then place your bet to be included in the next hand.
Every player who has placed a bet is dealt two cards, both face-up. The dealer also deals two cards to themselves — the first is always face-up and the second is always face-down.
Your options will ultimately depend on the blackjack rules, but five of the most common actions are:. Blackjack rules dictate whether the dealer must stand or hit, depending on the value of their hand.
The winner of the hand is then announced, and bets are settled. Then why not play our free blackjack game to perfect your skills without risking a dollar?
No signup or download needed! Being aware of some of these rules is extremely important, as they can impact the odds of the game and the likelihood of you winning.
Early Surrender — This rule allows you to forfeit your hand for half your bet before the dealer checks their hand for a natural blackjack.
Saying that, not too many online casinos offer it. You can find these rules on the table layout. The Atomic Wrangler has the worst odds, thanks to its 6 to 5 blackjack payout.
All of the casinos in the Fallout game follow these rules. Each game is dealt with multiple decks which are shuffled after every hand.
So much for using this game to practice your card counting skills. Players cannot purchase insurance, early surrender is not available, and surrender and blackjack payouts are rounded up.
In some casinos, the dealer will also draw to "soft" 17 -- a 17 including an ace or aces that could also be counted as a 7.
The most common soft 17 is ace-6, but several other totals, such as ace or ace, on up to ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace in a multiple deck game, are soft 17s.
Hit: If you hit, you take another card or cards in hopes of getting closer to If the player's total exceeds 21 after hitting, the player is said to "bust" and loses the bet.
In shoe games, the player signals a hit by pointing to his cards or scratching or waving toward himself. In facedown games, the player signals a hit by scratching the table with the cards.
Verbal calls to hit are not accepted -- signals are used for the benefit of the security cameras above the table, so a taped record is on hand to settle any potential disputes.
Stand: If you stand, you elect to draw no more cards in hopes that the current total will beat the dealer. Signal a stand by holding a flattened palm over your cards in a faceup game or by sliding your cards under your bet in a facedown game.
Double down: You may elect to double your original bet and receive only one more card regardless of its denomination.
Some casinos restrict doubling down to hands in which your first two cards total 10 or Others allow you to double on any two cards. Double down by taking a chip or chips equal to the amount of your original bet and placing them next to your bet.
In a facedown game, at this point you also need to turn your original two cards faceup. Split: If your first two cards are of the same denomination, you may elect to make a second bet equal to your first and split the pair, using each card as the first card in a separate hand.
For example, if you are dealt two 8s, you may slide a second bet equal to the first to your betting box. The dealer will separate the 8s, then put a second card on the first 8.
You play that hand out in normal fashion until you either stand or bust; then the dealer puts a second card on the second 8, and you play that hand out.
Insurance: If the dealer's faceup card is an ace, you may take "insurance," which essentially is a bet that the dealer has a value card down to complete a blackjack.
Insurance, which may be taken for half the original bet, pays if the dealer has blackjack. The net effect is that if you win the insurance bet and lose the hand, you come out even.
The dealer has an ace up. Many dealers will advise players to take insurance if the player has a blackjack. This can be done by simply calling out, "Even money" -- because if the dealer does have blackjack, the player gets a payoff equal to the player's bet instead of the normally paid on blackjack.
Dealer has an ace up. Dealer has blackjack. The player's blackjack ties the dealer's, so no money changes hands on the original bet.
As it happens, dealers who suggest this play are giving bad advice. Insurance would be an even bet if the dealer showing an ace completed a blackjack one-third But only Taking insurance is a bad percentage play, no matter what the player total, unless the player is a card counter who knows that an unusually large concentration of value cards remains to be played.
Not all blackjack games are created equal. Some variations in the rules are good for the player, and some are bad. The shifts in the house edge may look small, but they make large differences in a game in which the total house edge is less than 1 percent against a basic strategy player.
Here are some common variations and their effect on the house advantage:. Double downs after splitting pairs permitted: A very good rule for the player, it cuts the house advantage by 0.
In areas where several casinos are within reasonable distance, the player should choose games in which doubling after splits is allowed.
Resplitting of aces permitted: At most casinos, the player who splits aces receives only one more card on each ace. But if the player receives another ace, some casinos allow the resulting pair to be resplit.
This option cuts the house edge by 0. It is rare to find a game that goes even further by allowing the player to draw more than one card to a split ace, an option that cuts the house edge by 0.
Early surrender: When the dealer's faceup card is an ace, the dealer checks to see if the down-card is a 10 to complete a blackjack before proceeding with play.
If the house allows the player to surrender half the original bet instead of playing the hand before the dealer checks for blackjack, that is early surrender.
A great rule for the player, and one that is rarely found, early surrender cuts the house edge by 0. Surrender can easily be misused by beginners who haven't mastered basic strategy.
Late surrender: Found more often than early surrender, but still not commonplace, late surrender allows the player to give up half the bet rather than playing the hand after the dealer checks for blackjack.
This decreases the house edge by 0. Double-downs limited to hard 11 and hard Some casinos do not allow the player to double on totals of less than 10 or on soft hands.
The net is a 0. Dealer hits soft If, instead of standing on all 17s, the dealer hits hands including an ace or aces that can be totaled as either 7 or 17, the house edge is increased by 0.
Blackjack pays Common on single-deck games on the Las Vegas Strip, this game is a bankroll breaker for players.
Now that you know how to play, let's explore some of the finer points of the game. In the next section, you will learn the etiquette and strategy of blackjack.
There's more to mastering any game than a fundamental understanding of how to play. You must also know the customs of the game and how to finnesse the rules.
When you sit down at a table, wait for the dealer to finish the hand in progress. Then you may buy chips by placing currency on the layout, pushing it toward the dealer, and saying, "Change, please.
Do not leave currency in the betting box on the table. In most newer gaming jurisdictions, casinos are not allowed to accept cash bets.
However, casinos in some places allow cash bets with the call "Money plays. If you are betting chips of different denominations, stack them with the smallest denomination on top.
If you put a larger denomination on top, the dealer will rearrange them before going on with the hand. When an Ace is in a hand, it is called a Soft Hand.
With just 4 aces in a deck of cards, most hands are of Hard Hands. There are various charts that have been printed outlining a basic strategy to win at blackjack, such as the one listed here, but most people find them difficult to memorize and may be embarrassed to show them while seated at the blackjack table.
As a result, I have broken these computer based rules into a few easy-to-understand sentences so you can just memorize them. If you want, you can print the chart shown.
Las Vegas casinos permit you to bring these charts at the table. They are completely legal to use by all Las Vegas casinos. Remember, this rule only applies to Hard no Ace hands.
You can then stand. When dealer shows a 7 or better, you must hit. As mentioned, a soft hand is one where at least one card is an Ace which counts for 1 or 11 at your option.
With all other combinations of Ace and another card, always hit because with the 1 or 11 option you can only improve your hand. Once you decide how to use the Ace as a 1 or 11 , it then becomes a hard hand and you can apply the Hard Hand rules previously stated as to when to hit or stand.
You should always split Aces, Nines and Eights. If your two cards are tens do not split them as 20 is a very good hand.
Using a strategy card, or devoting a lot of time memorizing all the split cases will allow you to play better, but again, the advantage is small for the effort.