Blackjack is one of the most popular and widely played casino games, both at land casinos and online. It’s easy to see why – each round is relatively short, the rules are easy to follow, and the excitement is nearly unmatched. While Blackjack is a simple game, skill does matter when it comes to establishing a strategy, and experience can help you decide whether to Hit or Stand.
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How To Play Online Blackjack
The goal of a game of Blackjack is to draw cards until your hand reaches a value that is as close to 21 as possible. If you go over 21, that is called “busting.” Players play against the dealer as opposed to competing against one another. The dealer is always the last to act in a round and will thus always have an advantage.
Each round gives players the option to “hit” (draw another card), “double down” (double their bet but draw just one additional card), or “stand” (stay with the cards they already have). There is also “split” – when a player’s initial two cards are of the same value. Splitting allows the player to separate their cards into two separate hands and receive a new card for each hand.
Blackjack Card Values
Number cards (2—10) are played at their pip value (their numerical value). Kings, Queens, and Jacks (also known as “face cards”) are worth 10, while Aces can be worth 1 or 11, depending on what the player’s preferences want it to be. The eponymous “Blackjack” is made up of an Ace and a card whose value is 10, and it beats any other combination.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Stripping Blackjack strategy down to its most basic form, it’s generally good practice for players to hit only when there’s no way they will break. Once you reach a value of 12 or more, your next step should depend on the dealer’s next card. The dealer cannot stand under any circumstances until they hit 17, so it’s a good idea to see if they’ll bust first. Bear in mind that the dealer can get lucky, in which case you’ll lose the hand.
There are some other basic rules you should always stick to:
- You should always hit if the score is below 12.
- Never stand when you have a so-called 7/17 or “Soft 17.” A Soft 17 is a hand that contains an Ace valued at 11.
- Never hit if the score is 17 or higher (and it’s not a Soft 17).
- Never split your hand of 5 and 5. A score of 10 is a great start.
- Never split a hand of 10 and 10. A score of 20 is excellent.