Blackjack 101: The Basic Rules and Strategy for Beginners

The dealer starts to distribute a set of two cards for both of them. After the player looks at his cards, he says hit. The dealer gives the player another card. Everyone is serious and quiet; everyone is waiting for the player to do or say something.

The dealer puts down his set of cards, while the player places his chips away from him. The player sets his cards face up and the numbers 2, 9, and 7 appear with the total value of 18. He looks at the dealer and smiles. The dealer says nothing and remains calm. The player stands up to collect the chips on the table. The dealer sets his own cards face up on the table and lo and behold! An Ace and a Jack for a combined value of 21 – a natural blackjack – appears! The player laughs ruefully, stands up, leaves his chips, and goes out of the casino. The player just lost a hand at blackjack.

Blackjack Basics

Blackjack is a game of mathematics that needs strategy and luck just like the online roulette. This is a popular casino card game that originated from France around the year 1700. However, it gained ultimate renown in the United States.

A player’s main objective is to beat the dealer with a hand that can have a maximum total value of 21; a hand that amounts to more than 21 is a busted hand. Your cards are called a hard hand if you don’t have an Ace. Otherwise; it is a soft or a good hand.

The Ace is the most valuable card because its value is 11, but if that value will cause the hand to be busted, its value becomes 1. The King, Queen and Jack have a value of 10. All other cards’ value corresponds to the number printed on the face of the card. Suits, moreover, do not matter in blackjack.

The dealer deals each player and himself a set of two cards after the bets have been placed. A player (and even the dealer) can request another card after the initial deal if the sum of the two cards is lower than 16. To request a new card, a player must say “hit me.”

Blackjack Strategy

There is a risk, however, every time you hit. Let’s say for example that you have two cards that amount to 16 and you hit. Unfortunately, the next card you got has a face value of 6. Your initial 16 plus this new 6 points add up to 22 – a value that is higher than 21; it’s a bust, in short and you lose the hand.

Instead of hitting every time your cards’ value is less than 16, you may actually stick with your initial cards. You must always hit, of course, if you are holding cards with a value of 8 or less, but if you manage to get a total value of 9 with just two cards, you can try your luck and double your bet – as long as your instinct is telling you that the dealer has cards amounting only from 3 thru 8. It’s only the dealer that you have to beat and you can also see one of his cards (one of the dealer’s initial two cards is set placed face up at deal).

What you need to do is to think first before you hit, double, surrender (forfeit half your bet) or stand (not request additional card) on the game. These are the basic things that you need to remember when playing the game of Blackjack.