The Basics of Blackjack for Beginning Players
Blackjack is probably the most popular casino game in the world today. Casinos offer several different kinds of blackjack to help feed gamblers hunger. Blackjack can be played with a single deck or multiple decks, 21 may automatically win or not, players may or may not be able to surrender, etc. Because of these many different little rule variations, it's important for the player to read the rules of the table to know what game he is playing when he sits down.
The object of blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand without going over 21. Every card in the deck is assigned a certain point value. The cards 2-10 are worth face value, face cards (J, Q, K) are worth 10 points and the Ace may be used as either 1 or 11 points.
Action begins when a player bets an amount on the table. The dealer then deals everyone at the table and himself two cards. The player's cards are usually dealt face up when the dealer has one card up and one card down. Based upon the players own hand and what the player thinks the dealer has, the player may either hit (take an additional card) or stand (take no cards).
In blackjack, the player is trying to beat the dealer's hand without going over 21. If the player hits and goes over 21, that player "busts" and loses the hand. If the dealers busts, all the players at the table who did not previously bust automatically win and are paid even odds on their bets. If the player beats the dealer's hand, the player wins and is paid even odds on his bet. If the player ties the dealer's hand, usually it is considered a push, and the player keeps his initial bet. If the deal beats the player, the player loses.
Sometimes the player hits blackjack. This happens when the player is dealt 21 (an Ace and a card valued at 10). Usually players are paid 3:2 on their bets for blackjacks, so if the bet was $10, the player would win $15 and have $25.
Players may also split cards and double down. Both these options are available once it's the player's turn but before he decides to hit or stand.
Spliting pairs is when the players has 2 of the same card (8 and 8). The player may decided to split his pair (of 8s) by announcing it to the dealer and doubling his initial bet. The cards (8s) are then split into 2 different hands each for the same amount as the initial bet and the player receives an additional card on each. These two hands are then played as any other hand with the player having the option to hit, stand, split again (if he receives another 8), or double down.
Doubling down is when a player likes his hand against the dealers and decides to double his initial bet. This can be done before the player hits or stands. The rules for doubling down vary between different versions of blackjack, but the most common ones are that a player can double down on any to cards and receive one extra card. Applying these rules, if the player has an 11, he may wish to double his bet and hope for a 10 to get 21. Once the player announces that he is doubling down and places his added bet, he is dealt one more card and then is forced to stand against the dealer. Doubling down is a method that most players use when playing blackjack.
If you would like to learn more about blackjack including basic strategy, you can go to Blackjack - Wikipedia
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