Classic Blackjack 2018 – How to Play the Online Card Game
Blackjack is one of the oldest card games out there. The betting system is perhaps less complicated than in games where a “pot” is on the table. And while strategy is involved, there’s a lot of chance to take into account.
The most basic gist of Blackjack is that the sum total of your cards’ values must be as close to 21 as possible.
You can play classic Blackjack either as an online game, or at a live casino. If you choose to play with a live dealer, you’ll get the added advantage of being able to ask questions.
Rules of Classic Blackjack for Beginners
As with all games, you should be aware of the card values in order to be able to calculate your score. In Blackjack, these are the card values:
- 2-9 = worth their value (so a 2 is worth 2pts, etc)
- Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings = 10pts
- Aces = 1pt or 11pts
What is a “Blackjack”?
A player’s hand is called a “Blackjack” if it’s comprised of an ace and any 10-value card.
If the dealer’s face-up card is a ten-value card, he must announce whether he has a Blackjack or not to the players. If he does, he wins immediately.
The Blackjack Table
When you arrive at a Blackjack table, there are several things to look out for. First of all, there will be the most vital rules of Blackjack written on or around the table itself. You will be able to see:
- Minimum & Maximum Bets
This will inform you of what you can wager at that particular table. Usually at online casinos you’ll be able to know what these numbers are in advance.
This is so you can choose whether you want to play for fun or for higher sums.
- Betting Circles
Each player places their chips on the circle in front of them.
- Dealer’s Playing Rules
This is to remind players of the dealer’s obligations. On most tables it’ll be written “Dealer must draw to at least 16 and stand on 17”, or something to that effect.
The presence of this written rule is probably to dispel any player confusion or bitterness if the dealer is on a winning streak.
They are literally obligated to keep playing if they haven’t hit 16 yet, which means that they will sometimes take bigger risks than the players which might bring them closer to 21 than the players.
Basic structure of a Blackjack game
Once you’ve taken your place at the Blackjack table, here is how the game is going to go. Each round can be quite fast.
Once again, the object of a Blackjack game is to get as close to 21 without going over.
- Place your wager on your betting circle.
- Dealer plays 2 cards to each player face-up.
- Dealer gives himself 2 cards with one face down.
- First round: each player chooses how many ‘hits’ (cards) they want dealt.
- Player waves hand over table to say ‘no more hits’.
- Dealer deals himself ‘hits’. Must play until at least 16, and stop at 17.
- The player with card values closest to 21 wins.
- Bets are paid, cards get swept up. Another game begins.
Now for the finer points of strategy: there are several things you can do when you are choosing how many hits to take.
If you think you have a good chance at winning, you can double your bet before the dealer deals you the extra cards. You only get only one hit if you do this, which is played sideways.
This is only possible if your initial 2 cards are a pair.
You may choose to ‘split’ the pair by making a hand signal (wave two fingers over your cards). The dealer will separate your pair so that you get two separate playable hands
Each card will have the same betted money on them. You will choose how many hits to take on each card. Once again, if the result goes over 21, you’re bust and you lose the bet.
For each hand, you may choose to double down once you’ve taken the first hit.
If you see that the dealer’s face-up card is a ten-value card or an ace, you can bet that they have a blackjack.
This way you can “insure” up to half your original bet. There is a special “insurance line” on the Blackjack table where your insurance bet will be placed.
If the dealer has Blackjack, your insurance bet gets paid 2:1 (so two more stacks of the same amount). If not, you lose your insurance bet.
Blackjack Winning Hands & Payouts
Now for the most important topic: how does the wagering system work in Blackjack? What do you stand to gain from your bets?
Well, as we mentioned, it’s pretty simple. It depends on your winning hand. If you have:
- A Blackjack
Blackjacks pay 3:2. So if you’ve placed a $100 bet, you will get paid an extra $150.
- Card values closest to 21
If you win fair and square by your card values, you will get paid “even money”. This simply means that you get double your bet.
So if you made a $20 wager, you’ll get your money back plus an extra $20.
- Same Hand as Dealer
In this case you don’t win or lose. The dealer makes a “push” signal to show that nobody wins, and you get your bet back.
Dealer always “clears hand” (shows hand to camera) when touching chips