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If there ever was a casino game with true American origins, it sure has to be Blackjack. While the game is known as a precursor to Vingt-Un, which has Spanish roots, Blackjack is believed to have originated in North America. Also known as Twenty-One, it is the most popular casino game except for Poker. You should also know that Blackjack and Black Jack are two very different games. Black Jack is a card game mostly played in the UK.
If you are a beginner, it’d be wise to start with understanding Blackjack card values and rules. Read this entire post, and by the end, you’d have mastered the basics.
What is Blackjack?
Blackjack is a card comparing casino-banked game. In other words, rather than competing against each other, all the players compete against the casino or house. Apart from brick-and-mortar casinos, the game is also very popular in online casinos across the world.
To win the game, you need to beat the dealer by getting a hand value closer to 21 without going above 21. 2-7 players can play Blackjack with one or more deck of 52 cards.
Basic Rules of Blackjack
Before getting into Blackjack card values, let us have a quick overview of how this game is played.
The game begins with each player placing their bets and receiving 2 face-up cards. The dealer also gets 2 cards, but one of them is a Hole or face-down card. Once all the players play their hands, the dealer then discloses the Hole card and starts playing the hand. After receiving your 2 face-up cards, you can either go for a Hit or draw additional cards or Stand without drawing any more cards.
Players can draw additional cards as long as the hand value reaches 21 or as close as possible. But in case if the value goes beyond 21, you will go bust and lose automatically. It is very much possible for players to receive a hand value of above 21 and go bust with their first 2 face-up cards.
Here lies a house edge as the dealer only plays after all the players play their hand. So, a few players can go bust even before the dealer reveals their Hole card and starts playing.
What are the Actions Players Can Take in Blackjack?
Once players are dealt 2 face-up cards, they can take these actions:
Players have the option to take a “Hit” or draw additional cards if they are not satisfied with their hand and the total is below 21 points.
If a player is satisfied with their hand, they have the option to “Stand” and not draw any additional cards.
If the 2 face-up cards of a player are of matching rank, the player can ask for a “Split” and place an additional bet that equals the original bet. With this action, the players’ hand will split into two hands. One card from the 2 face-up cards will be spread across two hands, and one additional card will be dealt to each of the two hands.
When players have a favorable hand, mostly with a hand value of 11,10, or 9, they can “Double Down” and place an additional bet which equals the first bet. If the player takes this action, an additional card will be dealt, and the player will then be required to stand in the game mandatory.
Blackjack Card Values
Now that you’ve got the basic setting of the game, here are the Blackjack card values:
- Cards 2-10 have face values
- Kings, Queens, and Jacks have a value of 10 points
- Aces can either be 1 point or 11 points
Ace is considered a 1 point card in case if the hand value goes above 21 if its value is taken as 11 points. So, in case if a player receives 2 Aces as the first 2 face-up cards, the value of one of the Aces will be considered 11 points, and the other will be 1 point as 2 Aces of 11 points will take the hand value to 22.
Also, when Ace is given a value of 1 point, the hand is known as a “Hard Hand.” If its value is taken as 11 points, the hand is a “Soft Hand.”
If the first 2 face-up cards of a player are an Ace and a 10-point card, it is called a “Natural” or “Blackjack,” and it will beat all the other hands. But if the dealer and a player both have a natural hand, the game will end in a tie or “Push.”
Insurance Bet in Blackjack
Many of the offline and online casinos also allow players to place an “Insurance” bet when the first open card of the dealer is an Ace or a 10-point card. Think of this as a side bet you make on whether the dealer will have a Blackjack. This bet is generally half of the initial bet amount. Talking about insurances, with our 50 Free Spins Bonus on Book of Dead bonus you are insured to get the most out of your money when playing with Dream Palace Casino!
Payouts in Blackjack
As mentioned above, the game is tied in case if the hand value of a player and the dealer is equal and below 21 points. If the player has a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer, the player wins the game and receives a 1:1 payout.
If the player has used the “Double Down” action for placing additional bets, the payout will be in 1:1, including the initial bet and the additional bet.
In case if the player has a “Blackjack,” the payout will be 3:2. So, if the initial bet was $10, the payout will be $25 ($10 bet amount and $15 in winnings).
Getting the Blackjack Basics Right
Like any other casino game, it is always better to thoroughly understand the basics of Blackjack before playing. Now that you have the Blackjack card values, actions, rules, and payouts, go through all of it a few times, and you should be ready for practice games.
Get some experience with trial games before you start playing with real money. As Blackjack is a pretty straightforward game, it shouldn’t take a lot of time for you to start winning.