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How to Win It: A Quick Guide to Understanding Blackjack

At least once in your life, you heard the game of Blackjack or maybe played a bit sometime with your friends before. Blackjack has been a common household name that is automatically associated with gambling and casinos. Well, who could blame them? Blackjack is currently one of the biggest table games in the casino industry. 

With over a hundred years of history. Blackjack has become a favorite amongst gamblers who like to win using skill and careful planning. 

That said, here’s a quick introduction to Blackjack with easy-to-understand mechanics to get that lucky draw and go for gold!

Getting Started: Introduction

Blackjack’s premise is simple. Instead of competing against other gamblers, your opponent is the dealer itself. The goal is simple, defeat the dealer each round by having more points than him/her or managing your points not to go over 21. 

Getting Started: Card Suits

Starting the game of Blackjacks, you’ll see a traditional deck of cards. It would be best if you were at least familiarized with how they look and ranked.

Firstly, a single deck contains 52 cards with four different suits, and these are Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds. Each suite has its own designated color and symbol, each with its own King, Queen, Ace, Jack cards, and numbered cards from 2 to 13. The Ace card is the number one and also the highest-ranked card in most table games.

Getting Started: Scoring Guidelines

You can play online at FanDuel Casino and other regulated sites, suits are as crucial as the rare occurrences in between rounds. It is essential to know that each rank has four cards (four suits and four ranked cards). Hands are designated a specific score based on their ranks, which follows: 

Ace
Higher ranked card, Usually worth either 1 or 11 points

Face Cards
10 points, regardless of suit and face. 

Numbered Cards
Ranked is based on their numerical value.

In calculating the score, add all cards in your hand and compare with the dealer. The hand which bears the most points wins the round. Although, any hand that totals up to 22 or higher is automatically a bust, which means a busted hand instantly loses the round. 

In conclusion, it’s either the player reaches a higher score, or the dealer gets a bust and instantly hands over the round’s win. 

Getting Started: The Basics

Blackjack is usually played around seven players in a specialized blackjack table with all seven players grouped into one side while the dealer to the latter. Do not worry about competing against the players; they are not directly involved in the game. It’s your hand against the dealer. 

Eventually, you will see some signs plastered on the table. Here are common ones and their definitions:

Blackjack Pays 3 to 2 

Blackjacks are two cards that total to 21, which leads to an automatic win unless the dealer also plays a Blackjack. When this happens, the casino sees this as a draw or push. Bets will be returned to the player, and no one loses or wins anything.

However, if you do not possess a push, you win, and your wager is paid as 3 to 2. If you’ve placed a wager of $20, you will receive a payoff of $30.

Dealer Hits Soft 17

The dealer has to play in a prescribed fashion. Dealers always stand on a 17 or higher and hits when a hand is 16 or lower. This rule usually favors the casino as it changes the odds for both sides.

Insurance Pays 2 to 1 

An optional side bet whether the dealer has a blackjack or not. For most players, this is a sucker bet where the house advantage is always high. Do not count on this bet unless the odds are in your favor.

$5 Minimum, $500 Maximum

These are the typical minimum and maximum wager amounts you can place on the table. Rarely can you find smaller bets in the casino unless you’re playing in online casinos, which also provides an option to bet $1 per hand.

Getting Started: Actions 

One of the core mechanics of blackjacks is for players (and sometimes, dealers) to have a wide variety of options to change their hands to their favor: 

Hitting

You were taking an additional card on the deck, increasing your score. Remember that if your hand reached 22 and above, you’d get a bust.

Standing

This is when you keep your hand and skip taking additional cards. This is a calculated risk since the dealer has odds they can get a card that favors them

Splitting

If a player has two cards of the same rank, you can split and bet on two hands instead of one. You would still need to place a bet for the 2nd hand, and these are played independently. 

Doubling Down

This move limits you to hit one card only while doubling your wager. Should you win after making this move, then the payoff is more significant.

Surrender

This is more like folding in poker. When a player feels he is on the losing side. He folds his hand, gives half of the wager, and drops out of the round. This may sound unpleasant and disadvantageous but see this as an opportunity for players to cut down potential losses.

Do take note that these definitions go at any part of the game, and oftentimes they’re used as strategies to win against the dealer. 

In Conclusion

Blackjack is one of the best games to play for casual and professional players alike. It is also one of the few games that give players total control of their odds, beating the dealer in their unique way. Overall, Blackjack, while a beginner-friendly game, takes practice, tactical reasoning, and luck to win and enjoy the whole experience. 

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