Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Its popularity began many years ago and, to this day, it remains a staple of land-based and online casinos all over the world.
Blackjack is a fairly simple game to play, as long as you know the rules. Here at Crazy Vegas, we’re all about making winning as easy for you as possible, so keep reading to find out exactly how to play the world’s most popular table game.
Blackjack is played with one or more standard 52-card decks, with each denomination assigned a point value. The cards two through 10 are worth their face value. Kings, queens, and jacks are each worth 10, and aces may be used as either one or 11. The object for the player is to draw cards totaling closer to 21, without going over, than the dealer’s cards.
The best total of all is a two-card 21, or a blackjack. Blackjack pays 3-2; that is, a two-card 21 on a $5 bet will win $7.50, instead of the usual $5 even-money payoff on other winning hands. However, if the dealer also has a two-card 21, the hand pushes, or ties, and you just get your original bet back. But, if the dealer goes on to draw 21 in three or more cards, your blackjack is still a winner with its 3-2 payoff.
The game is usually played at an arc-shaped table with places for up to seven players on the outside and for the dealer on the inside. At one corner of the table is a rectangular placard that tells the minimum and maximum bets at that table, as well as giving variations in common rules. For example, the sign might say, “BLACKJACK. $5 to $2,000. Split any pair three times. Double on any two cards.” That means the minimum bet at this table is $5 and the maximum is $2,000. Pairs may be split according to the rules described below, and if more matching cards are dealt, the pairs may be split up to three times for a total of four hands. The player may double the original bet (double down) and receive just one more card on any two-card total.
Most games today use four, six, or eight decks. After being shuffled, the cards are placed in a receptacle called a shoe, from which the dealer can slide out one card at a time. Single- or double-deck games, most common in Nevada, but also popular in Mississippi and some other markets, may be dealt from the dealer’s hand.
Play begins when you place a bet by stacking a chip or chips in the betting square on the table directly in front of you. After all bets have been placed, each player and the dealer are given two cards. In a shoe game, all player cards are dealt face-up, and the players are not permitted to touch their cards. In a single- or double-deck game dealt from the hand, cards are dealt facedown and players may pick them up with one hand. Either way, one of the dealer’s cards is turned face-up so the players can see it.
Once the cards have been dealt, players decide in turn how to play out their hands. After all players have finished, the dealer plays according to set rules: The dealer must draw more cards to any total of 16 or less and must stand on any total of 17 or more. In some casinos, the dealer will also draw to ‘soft’; 17; a 17 including an ace or aces that could also be counted as a seven. The most common soft 17 is ace-6, but several other totals, such as ace-3-3 or ace-4-2, on up to ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace-ace in a multiple deck game, are soft 17s.
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