Blackjack rules for beginners

Blackjack School

Blackjack is one of the least complicated gambling games. It has a fixed set of rules, basic strategy that can be memorized by anyone and fixed betting pattern, yet many beginners are apprehensive about the game and believe it requires exceptional math skills which it doesn’t.

Blackjack objective

Blackjack is played against the dealer so the main objective is to get a hand that beats the dealer’s hand without busting out of the hand. The highest hand value is 21. Any hand that has a total value of over 21 gets busted out of the game and cannot be a winning hand.

There is no need to always reach 21 in order to beat the dealer. It is enough to have a hand value that exceeds the dealer’s total hand value.

Blackjack cards values

All face cards; king, queen and jack have a value of 10. Aces can be worth 1 or 11 points, depending on what serves your hand better. All other cards in the deck have the value that is marked on them. So 3 of clubs have a value of 3 points and 6 of diamonds have a value of 6 points. Suits have no bearing on the value of a card.

Basic Blackjack Actions

  • Hit – being dealt another card that is added to your hand total. You can hit as many cards as you wish as long as you do not go bust with a total hand value of over 21
  • Stand – not drawing further cards and sticking to your hand after the initial deal or after hitting.
  • Double Down – double your original bet and get dealt another single card.
  • Split – split two equal value cards of the same rank or different rank. You will need to match your initial bet and will essentially be playing two hands, each valued on its own. You will be able to hit more cards to increase the total hand value of each hand. Some variants of blackjack put limitations on which hands can be split and how many times each hand can be split. For example a blackjack variant that does not allow splitting fives or a blackjack variant that allows splitting hands up to three times so the most hands you can have after both splits is four individual hands.
  • Surrender – after the initial deal you can opt to surrender your hand and get half your original wager back. Not all blackjack variants have an option of surrender.

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