Whole books can be – and have been – written about playing and winning blackjack. The following is only a basic blackjack education. Review the steps below to learn the basics.
Know the object of the game: to get a hand higher than the dealer’s without going over 21.Know how to score a hand: a king, queen, jack and ten are always worth 10 points each; the ace can be either 11 points or 1 point; and the other cards are their face value – an eight is worth 8 points, for example.
Increase your hand’s value by asking the dealer for more cards, one at a time.Try to stop taking cards before your hand exceeds 21 points. You automatically lose if you go over 21 – “go bust.”
Notify the dealer and the other players immediately by showing your cards if you get a natural 21 – one using only 2 cards, an ace and either a face card or a 10 – a “blackjack.”Win the hand by not going over 21 and by having the same number of points or more points than the dealer has when he or she stops taking cards.
At the Casino – Scope out the available blackjack tables. Each table will have a sign showing its minimum and maximum bets. Look for house rules written on the table’s surface.Find a blackjack table that has a minimum bet in your price range, sit down and place your bet. If a hand is being dealt as you sit down, wait until the next hand to join the game.
Wait until all players have placed their bets and the dealer has given two cards to each player and himself. One of the dealer’s cards will be shown face up.Consider placing an insurance bet if the card the dealer is showing is an ace. An insurance bet is a bet that the dealer has been dealt a 21. If the dealer has 21, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1 and all other bets are cleared from the table. If the dealer does not have 21, the insurance bet is lost.
Ask for another card when the dealer comes to you by saying “Hit me,” tapping the surface of the table with two fingers, or simply responding “Yes”.Pass on taking another card by waving your hand above the cards in a censoring manner or simply responding “No” to the dealer’s query.
Cool Lingo – “Surrender” if you are unhappy with your hand and don’t want to continue playing. Some casinos will allow you to “surrender” the bet – leave the game by giving half your wager to the house rather than staying and losing the entire wager.Tell the dealer, “I’m out,” or, “I’d like to surrender my bet.”
“Double down” to bet that you will win the hand with only one more card dealt to you. Doubling down doubles the amount of the original bet.Simply tell the dealer that you’d like to double down.
“Split pairs” when you are dealt two cards with the same face value. Splitting a pair gives you the option to create two separate hands.
Indicate to the dealer that you wish to split the pair by separating the cards face up on the table and placing another bet equal to your initial wager in front of one of the cards. The dealer will then deal a new card for each hand, and each hand will be played individually against the dealer.