Blackjack

How to play Blackjack

The first two cards are dealt to the player with one card being dealt to the dealer. The player can then draw another card or stand. If the dealer's upcard is worth 10 points and on completion of a given hand the dealerturns out to have blackjack, the player loses, unless he also has blackjack. This situation is a draw and the player gets hisbet back.

When the dealer draws a face-up ace, the player can take "insurance". This is a sidebet that he wins if the dealer's hand turns out to be blackjack. In this case, the player wins the ‘insurance bet’ at a ratio of 3: 2, but he loses his original bet. Mathematically, insurance is more profitable for the casino; therefore it is never used in the basic strategy.

Ak If the player was dealt a pair, for example two 10, he can make two new combinations by splitting his hand. He will then be dealt 2 new cards to make 2 hands. The rule on how many times the cards can be split this way depends on the rules of a particular game.

In the situation where the sum of the player’s cards totals 9, 10 or 11, he can, if he so wishes, double his bet in return for getting just one card. Doubling bets is another variable rule that depends according to whether doubling is allowed after splitting a hand. In some Blackjack types doubling is possible on any total.

A rule used in the basic strategy, if available, is to "surrender". The player has this option after the first cards are dealt. If he surrenders voluntarily, he is refunded half of his bet. The situation when surrendering is the best solution when the sum the player has is 16 and the dealer's upcard is an ace or 9 or 10.

When playing blackjack, the dealer has always an advantage due to his position, since the player always decides first, he can thus be the first to exceed the sum of 21.

The attractiveness of the game can be increased by blackjack tournaments, where players compete against each other and the winner is the one with the most chips after playing a certain number of rounds. When there is a large number of players and buy-in is high, the tournament winner can pick up a really interesting amount of money. In order to win such as tournament, it is not only essential to know the basic strategy but also to choose wisely the size of each bet. I.e. whether to bet low or high or even to play all-in. This decision is influenced by several factors: the amount of chips the player has, the amount his opponents have, and player's position at the table. When playing tournament blackjack it is thus important to have both luck and a deep understanding of the game to win. A player playing this type of the game can come out at the end as a long term winner. Unfortunately, online blackjack tournaments are not very widespread and they are available only in few online casinos.

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