The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the simplest casino games, and is also the most popular of the entire casino banking games. Blackjack is also known as Twenty-one, and has been around for hundreds of years and has since become a staple of casino gambling and has also found a strong audience in the growing trend of online casinos.

The objective of Blackjack is very simple, with the clear goal being to accumulate cards that amount to or very close to 21 without going over that number. Reaching twenty one can be accomplished in a number of ways, with picture of face cards worth 10, Aces worth 1 or 11 (depending on which is needed more) and all other cards correspond to their own numbers.

If a player receives a 10 and an Ace then this is deemed Blackjack and is an automatic win unless there is a tie.

The Game
When you sit down at the Blackjack table you could be playing with up to five other players (making 6 including you). The dealer will be using either eight or six decks of cards all shuffled together, which are then placed in what is called a Shoe.

To win a game of Blackjack you need to reach the number of 21 without going over, this is called busting. The winner of a game is determined by which player gets the closest to 21 with out busting, although getting precisely 21 is perfectly fine.

In Blackjack you bet before receiving any cards. So unlike poker you cannot see your first two cards and make an educated decision, instead you must play the cards and bet before you are dealt in. After the wagers are taken the dealer will give each player two cards which will be dealt face down.

After these two cards are revealed each player can decide to stay (or stick) or can take more cards. A player may decide to stay if they feel they already hold a good enough hand to win, or if the risk is too high of busting if they take more cards. Those who take will likely do so because they do not have a high enough total to win, or want to risk improving an already promising hand.

After each player has decided the dealer will turn up the down card and the rule states that if the dealer has 16 or under then they must draw, but if they have 17 or over they must stick.

If you achieve a Blackjack (21 with a face card and an Ace) then you will win the hand automatically unless the dealer also makes Blackjack. In this event the hand ends as a tie.

The game of Blackjack is easy to play and lots of fun to play. Now you have the basics join us in part 2 to see some of the other bets available in Blackjack.

A surrender is where you “surrender” your hand and only lose half of your bet.

Early Surrender
An early surrender is where you give up your cards before the dealer checks for Blackjack.

Double Down
A double down is where you are allowed to double the amount of your bet after you have seen your two card hand. A rule of a double down bet is that you must take another card to add to the two you hold, but you may only take one more.

If the dealer is shown an Ace on his facing card then you may wager up to half the initial bet that he will then get Blackjack. If the dealer then receives a 10 and makes Blackjack you will win the bet at odds of 2-1, however if he reveals a card of any other numeration then you will lose.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is a side bet that is available on a standard Blackjack gaming surface, and all wagers are decided at the end of the initial hand.

You must be playing in the regular Blackjack game to take part in Perfect Pairs and all bets must be completed prior to the cards being dealt. The concept of Perfect Pairs is simple, you just bet on the outcome of your two hand deal being a pair. For example if you are dealt a pair of 2’s or any other matching pair then you will win, but if there is no pair in the hand then you will lose.

There are three variants of a Perfect Pair bet:

Mixed Pair
A mixed pair is a pair that consists of one black suited card and one red suited card, for example a 6 of Diamonds and a 9 of Spades.

Colored Pair
A pair that is made up of two cards of the same color but of different suits; for example 7 of Hearts and a 5 of Diamonds.

Perfect Pair
This is the Perfect Pair bet that carries the most risk but also the most reward. A perfect pair is exactly that, for example two identical cards such as a King of Spades and a King of Spades (Remember that Blackjack is played with multiple decks of cards).

That concludes our beginners look at Blackjack. This basic guide will give you the stepping stones you need to enjoy this much loved game and experience the thrill of beating the dealer in the race to 21.