The Basics of Blackjack

The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game played on a semicircular table and typically allows for between five and seven players. If there are empty seats at a blackjack table, they are available for anyone to sit in (unless a coat or chips are holding the seat for a player who just stepped away from the table for a moment). If you see an open spot and want to join a game that is already underway, wait until the dealer finishes shuffles before you approach the dealer and tell them you’d like to play.

Depending on the type of blackjack you’re playing, the rules of the game can vary slightly. But most blackjack games are simple enough that the rules will be familiar to most players. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer by accumulating a higher hand value without going over 21. If you have a higher hand-total than the dealer’s, you win and are paid out one time your wager. If you and the dealer have the same hand-total, it’s considered a tie or a push and you keep your original wager.

The dealer begins the game by dealing two cards face up to each player. If you have a pair of the same value, you can choose to “Split” them, receiving an additional card for each. You may only split Aces, however, and you cannot split two matching tens or picture cards. In some types of blackjack, you can also make a side bet by placing an additional bet equal to your original stake. This bet pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has a Blackjack.

You can also choose to buy insurance, which will cover your original bet if the dealer has a blackjack. But beware — insurance bets lose money in the long run because the dealer has a blackjack less than one-third of the time.

Once all the players have decided how to play their cards, the dealer will check her hole card (using a special viewing window in the table). If she has a ten underneath, she will have a blackjack and pay everyone their original wagers. Otherwise, she will sweep the table and begin a new round.

There are many different types of side bets that can be placed on blackjack tables, and some of them offer very high payouts if the player’s hand is successful. These bets range from betting on whether the dealer will have a blackjack to putting money on certain two-card hands to win against the dealer. Side bets are offered at the same time as the players’ main wagers, and some of them can even be made while the dealer is dealing the cards!