Online Casino Black Jack Play Guide

Black Jack Guide

Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game where you play against the dealer in a 1v1 scenario.

The basic rules are quite simple – who ever is closest to 21, wins.

Other players can be playing with you at the same time, but there will always only be 1 dealer, and so long as you beat that 1 dealer, you win.

If you go over 21, its called “busting,” and it means you automatically lose.

The rules are incredibly simple, but because there are many different strategies you can use to increase your chance of winning, it is one of the most popular online casino games.

 So how do you actually play?

You’ll need to understand the following points:

Blackjack

Progessive Blackjack

Traditional Blackjack

What the Cards Mean

In Blackjack, your goal is to get as close to 21 as possible, so how do you actually get close to 21?
It depends on which cards you get and what their value is.
In Blackjack, the cards you get have the following values.

  • Any number card from 2 through 10 have the face value of that card (e.g., if you get a 5 of hearts, that card value is 5)
  • Any face card such as Jack, Queen, King are valued at 10 each (e.g., if you get a Queen of Hearts, that card has a value of 10)
  • Any Ace can either have a value of 1 or 11. You get to choose the value (e.g., An Ace of Heart can have a value of 1 or 11)

Aces are great because not only do you get the flexibility of choosing its value (1 or 11), but you can also change your mind during the course of play. We will explain more of this below once we start explaining how you play.
Using all 13 ranks (Ace through King), the goal is to get a combination of cards that gets you the closest to 21 (without going over 21!)

Your Action: What Decisions You Can Make

I’ll use Betway Casino’s Blackjack as an example to explain.
The first step is to place your bet.
Once everyone at the table finishes placing their bet, the dealer deals everyone two cards, face up.
The dealer also gets two cards, but only one card is face up.

Your Action: What next?

Once you are dealt your 2 cards, it is your job to get as close to 21 without going over.
The sum of those 2 cards is your current position value.
My two cards are a “King” and “Five,” so my current value is 15.
You can choose to add another card to increase your position value, or you can keep your current position value and let the next player go.
Remember, if you go over 21, you will “bust” and lose your bet immediately.

Once all the players have hit "STAND"…

Once all the players have finished deciding whether to add another card (or two, or three, etc), the dealer will turn over his card so that both of his cards are face up.
If his position value is less than 16, the dealer will get another card to increase his position value.
The dealer will continue adding cards until their position value is 17 or higher.
If the dealer goes over 21, then the dealer “busts.” Any player that has not yet “bust” will automatically win.
As soon as the dealer’s position value is 17 (or above), the dealer will stop adding cards, and the sum of all of the dealer’s cards will be his or her final position value.
At this point, if your position value is closer to 21, you win.
If the dealer’s position value is closer to 21, then you lose.

Since the dealer has a total of “23” and is over 21, the dealer “busts” which means that the player wins.

What Decisions You Are Allowed to Make

After the dealer has dealt all the players and himself/herself two cards, the player to the dealer’s left will be allowed to decide whether they want another card, or if they want to stay with what they already have.
The three “decisions” or “action calls” you can make to indicate what you want to do is the following.

Your Three Basic Decision Options

HIT

By saying “Hit,” you will be instructing the dealer to add 1 more card to your position value.

STAND

By saying “Stand,” you indicate to the dealer that you are happy with your current position value and you no longer want any additional cards.
The dealer will then go to the next player to your left.

Double Down

“Double Down” is an option where you double your current bet amount and receive only 1 more card.
Since you only get one more card, after you double down, the dealer will then move to the player on your left.

“Double Down” is a risky maneuver, but it can be used very strategically to increase your winnings when you start off with a good position value.
For example, if your first two cards give you a position value of “10,” then getting a face card (J,Q,K) would get you “20,” a very strong position.
If you get an Ace, you would have 21, which is the highest possible value.
In this way, even though you will only be getting 1 more card, you can reach a very strong position, while also doubling your potential winnings.
Once you understand the 3 decision options above, you are already able to play Blackjack.

However, there are a few more decision options you can consider to make the game a bit more interesting.
These options are not always available to you, and are scenario-specific.

SPLIT

If the first two cards you are dealt are the same number, then you can say “SPLIT” to separate those cards, and play each as their own hand.
For instance, if you get a 3 of hearts and a 3 of spades, you have two 3’s, so you can stay “split” and the dealer will separate the two 3’s, and give you an additional card to pair up each of the cards.

Use the “SPLIT” option when you receive 2 cards with the same value, and when you think splitting will give you a better chance of winning. For example, if you get 2 Aces, that is a great time to “SPLIT” since a 10 or a face card would give you 21.
In addition, two Aces together only give you a position value or either 2 or 12, both of which are pretty weak compared to two opportunities to get a 21 if you SPLIT.

Insurance

You can only use this option if the dealer’s face up card is an Ace.
Insurance is an option that you can use to protect yourself in the case a dealer has 21, or Blackjack. Since 21 is the strongest hand you can get, if the dealer is showing an Ace, then there is a chance that the face-down card is a 10 or a face card and will give the dealer 21 which will be a very difficult position value to win against.
That is why some players use the “insurance” option to safeguard against a possible dealer blackjack.
When you use the insurance option, you bet an additional 50% of your original bet.
If the dealer does indeed have blackjack, then that “insurance bet” pays 2 to 1 and you effectively get your original bet back, even if you lose your original bet.

For example, if you bet 100 USD, and the dealer is showing an Ace, you can take “insurance” by betting an additional 50 USD. If the dealer has blackjack, then you will get 100 USD back on your “insurance bet,” thereby balancing out the loss of the original 100 USD bet.
If the dealer does not have blackjack, then you lose the “insurance bet.”

MEMO

Recommendation on Insurance

  • Even if you win the “insurance bet,” your net gain will be 0 since you will be losing your original bet
  • In general, the probability of actually winning an “insurance bet” is quite low so even if the dealer is showing an Ace, it is usually better not to take any insurance.

Following options may or may not be offered depending on the casino and game type

Surrender Option

After receiving your two cards, if you feel as though you will not be able to win the hand, you can call “Surrender” and fold your hand while only giving up 50% of your original bet.
For instance, if you bet 100 USD, and you surrender, then you will automatically lose that round, but you will only lose 50 USD.

For example, if your first two cards give you a position value of 15, then there is a good chance that the next card you get may put you over 21 and lead you to “bust.” In addition, if the dealer is showing a 7, then you might believe that the dealer’s other card is a 10 or a face card, which would give the dealer a 17, and put the dealer closer to 21. The odds of you winning this hand is not very good, so you may choose to “surrender” and cut your losses to 50% of your original bet.

MEMO

Recommendation on Surrender
You can only choose to “SURRENDER” at the beginning of your turn after you have received your first two cards.
If you decide to get another card, you can no longer “Surrender.”
Using SURRENDER can be an effective way to cut your losses. Do not be afraid to use this option if you feel as though your first two cards put you in a rubbish position.

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