Blackjack Gameplay Step By Step
Before heading to the blackjack basic strategy and learning the chart for the actions you can make, it is essential to get familiar with the flow of a 21 table. Blackjack and 21 are two names for the same game, which we can divide into five simple stages:
- Betting and chips – Players place the bets and side bets with their chips.
- First cards – The first players’ cards are dealt, and some may automatically win the game.
- Decisions – Based on the hole cards (hand) and the dealer’s face-up card, the player makes a decision.
- Dealer’s turn – The dealer also gets to make a decision according to the casino rules.
- Payout – The remaining players compare their hands with the dealer’s, and the payments are made.
Let’s see how they occur in detail before you play blackjack on online casinos like 1xBet!
Counting Hands: The Blackjack Card Values
In order to know exactly how many points you have in your hand and what decision to make, you need to learn the blackjack card values by heart! Fortunately, it is quite simple:
- Blackjack cards from 2 to 9 are worth their own number.
- 10, J, Q, and K are all worth 10 points.
- Ace can be worth both 1 and 11.
Due to Ace’s flexibility of value, any hand in which it can have both card values – any hand not higher than 21 – is called a soft hand. The value of blackjack cards is the most basic information you need to understand before learning any of the other blackjack rules!
Make sure to understand that counting those points has nothing to do with counting cards in blackjack! That is a separate strategy that adds separate and fictional counting to estimate the next blackjack cards.
Betting and Chips
Whenever you pick a blackjack table to play at, you will have your money in the form of chips with different values and a place (normally a circle or square) to place them as a bet. When you are playing online blackjack, betting is as simple as tapping on a chip and then on the betting placement.
You must be attentive to the limits, and it can vary greatly from a simple traditional table to a VIP live dealer blackjack, for example. Also, when there are side bets, you need to place your chips on their respective spot after the regular stake. Unless you are playing individual blackjack games online, you must do it within a limited timeframe.
First Cards and Immediate Win
As soon as the bets are placed, each player receives two cards. Unlike other card games, such as poker, you can win blackjack in this first phase. That can be achieved with a natural hand, which is a hand that consists of 21 points (Ace + a card with a value of 10).
Other than that, players need to pay close attention to the value of the cards that they receive. The dealer receives one face-up card, and the second one won’t be known at this stage.
With the two cards, players need to decide what to do next. Your basic options are the following:
- Hit – Ask for a third card.
- Stand – Stick with the two cards only because you think they are enough.
- Surrender – Give up recovering half your bet.
- Insurance – Side bet that is not always available, which allows you to pay extra to receive 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack when the first card is an Ace.
- Double – Double your stake and receive a third card.
- Split – Split the two cards of the same number or letter into two hands. Each hand is a stake of the same value and receives a second card.
As soon as the players make their decision or else the time is over – players who fail to make a decision continue with a “Stand” – we continue to the next stage. If you hit or double and your third card makes your total hand go beyond 21 points, you lose immediately.
After players make their decision, the dealer reveals its second card. Depending on which one it is and how much the total hand is, the dealer might even hit for a third card. If it goes beyond 21 points, the dealer busts the hand, and the players win.
If the dealer has more points than the player, always up to 21, the house wins that round. If it is the other way around, the player wins according to the blackjack payout. In case of a tie, the bet is returned to whoever is still playing.
After all the actions and decisions happen and the cards are dealt, it is time for the payout. Everything occurs smoothly when you play it on online casino sites, thanks to the high-quality and fast software the games are built on. The same applies to live dealer casino games, even with physical cards, due to chip recognition technology.
How to Play Different Online Blackjack Variants?
The variants of blackjack that you find available tend to vary in the following characteristics that could impact how you play blackjack:
- Side bets – When there are side optional bets, you need to check the rules to learn how they are activated and place additional chips to play with them.
- Extra actions – Allowing you to double after splitting cards or the availability of a surrender option are not available in every blackjack game. Those can be good extras to count on.
- Number of decks – The change in the number of decks does not necessarily impact your gameplay. It depends on how long the game lasts with the decks, reducing the probability of some cards when there are only or just a few decks.
Other than that, other variants do not hold any impact on how blackjack is played. Just follow the same steps and adapt to the extra rules, such as a different payout or faster rounds.
What Is the Goal in Blackjack?
In blackjack, the utmost goal is to beat the dealer in terms of blackjack card value. No one can bust the game by having 22 or more points, and you automatically win if you get 21 points, which is known as blackjack. On the other hand, the dealer can also win automatically with 21 points in his cards.
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The Most Important Rules of Blackjack
Aside from learning how to play blackjack, you need to know the rules of blackjack by heart to avoid making the wrong decisions. These are the most relevant ones:
- 21 is the limit – No one can go beyond 21 points without losing, which is why it is important to know when not to go further for an extra card.
- Blackjack pays 3:2 – Except in variants in which the payout is 6:5, blackjack hands with 21 points pay 3:2, while a regular win pays 1:1.
- Dealer hits on 16 – If the dealer has 16 points, he will hit. With any card higher than 5, he loses immediately.
- Double only once – When the player chooses to double, it won’t be possible to hit another card after it.
- Dealer on 17 – If the dealer has a soft 17 composed of an Ace and a 6, each variant might have a different saying on whether he hits or stands.
- Pay attention to the time – Unless you are playing individual blackjack games, you have a limited amount of time to make your decision.
- Dealer’s 21 – If the dealer’s first two cards result in 21 and your hand is not a 21 as well, you lose.
- Blackjack – A blackjack hand is only when the blackjack card values of your two first cards equal 21. When you reach that number with extra cards, that is a regular win.
Familiarizing With Blackjack Tables
After learning the blackjack rules and card values, there is not much else you need to worry about. The blackjack tables are quite easy to understand, even though the layout may change minimally from one variant or place to another. Basically, the chips are placed where indicated, which is also where your cards will go, and the dealer cards are shown on the opposite side.
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Variations of Blackjack Rules
Depending on your choice of blackjack game, there can be some specific rules that vary and may have an impact on the results of your choices or at least give you more options. Let’s get to know them a little better before you play blackjack!
- Doubling After Splitting (DAS) – An advantageous rule (for the player) that allows you to double after you split equal cards.
- Re-Splitting Aces (RSA) – Ace is a very powerful card in blackjack, and being able to split a pair of them whenever it appears is a great alternative. Therefore, the ability to RSA (Re-Split Aces), which means splitting again if the new cards are more Aces, is a good add-on that you can check if your blackjack allows. However, that is still pretty rare to happen.
- Early Surrender – Although not really common, Early Surrender is not an extinguished rule, at least not yet. It allows you to surrender even before the dealer offers insurance or checks for a blackjack hand.
- 6:5 Blackjacks – The rule of paying 3:2 for a blackjack hand gets reduced to 6:5 in some games, which increases the house edge and reduces our payout. Therefore, unless you have a pretty good reason to prefer that 6:5 game, always pick a 3:2.
- CSM Blackjack – Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSM) are used to keep shuffling cards, eliminating the possibility of counting them. Today, with all those blackjack games with frequently shuffled decks, it does not really offer a relevant impact for the player.
- Single Deck/Multi-deck – The number of decks impacts the possible outcome if there are many hands at play or in live dealer games in which the cut card takes a while to appear. The more decks, the more repetitions of the same card. It does not necessarily affect our chances as long as we have other good rules to balance the house edge.
- Deck/Shoe Penetration (PEN) – Just another way of interpreting how deep into the deck shoe the game has gone. Nowadays, it is never enough to make any advantage out of it.
Now you are more than ready to put all that knowledge into practice by playing blackjack on 22Bet!
Although you may count cards, that will most probably be useless with the current blackjack rules and especially if there are multiple decks involved.