Blackjack Fundamentals

Fundamentals

A huge expanse of maths, science and superstition surrounds this extremely popular casino game, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be a genius in order to play it. In fact, the game is a very simple one, and getting to grips with the fundamentals and the basic strategies are the best ways to keep your player decisions clear and effective.

Objective: To beat the dealer.

The objective of blackjack is a common misconception, as many believe that it is actually to reach ‘21’. This is not the case. The idea of the game is to beat the dealer by either getting a hand of a higher value than the dealer while not going over 21, or by pushing the dealer over 21.

The Round

When a new round of blackjack begins, the dealer will deal 1 card to every player at the table. The cards are dealt clockwise and begins from the player sitting to the dealer’s left. The dealer will receive a card when all players receive their first, and this card is placed face down on the table out of view from everyone else. This is known as the 'hole card' and will only be turned over at the end of the game. Once the dealer has his first card, a second card is dealt to all of the players, and then to the dealer as an 'up card' which is shown to everyone. This allows the players to try and estimate the hand that the dealer has with one face up and one face down.

Game Options

There are several options that a player must decide on what to do with their hand throughout the game. Firstly, they must choose whether to hit or stand on their turn. Hitting is where you receive another card, and standing is to end your play and not taking any extra cards. These options are only executed once everyone playing at the table has taken their cards.

Surrender – In some blackjack games, players will have the choice to surrender and will only risk half of their bet when doing so. The player will then have to wait until the next game in order to play again.

Double/Double Down – A player can choose to double his/her bet in return for one more card and then stand. If the card makes the hand go over 21, then the player immediately goes bust and loses the bet. However, if the player wins against the dealer after doubling down, they can double their winnings.

Split – If the player receives two of the same cards such as two 8’s, or two 6’s, he/she will have the opportunity to split these cards are play with two different hands. The player will have to place a bet on that hand too.

Strategy

When playing blackjack strategy, the first thing that they should know is to look at and get to know the basic blackjack strategy chart. This will help the player to determine what moves to make and when, until making the best decisions come naturally...

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