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The basics of blackjack for beginners

Blackjack is a well-known card game that can seem intimidating to beginners. However, it’s actually simple to play. You can even enjoy it with friends whether you’re in a casino or not since its rules remain the same wherever you choose to play. To show you how easy this card game is, here’s a beginner’s guide to blackjack:

What you need to know about blackjack

The objective

Many think that the only goal in blackjack is to come close or hit 21 without going over, but the main objective is actually to beat the dealer. This doesn’t always mean having the best cards. Even if your hand is low, you can still win as long as it’s higher than the dealer’s.

Card values

Aside from understanding the objective, knowing each card’s value in blackjack is important so you know your hand’s total. First is the Ace which could be counted 11 or 1, whichever will benefit the player. Face cards Jack, Queen and King are worth 10 and all other numbered cards are worth face value.

Turn decisions

Before starting the game, you have to place your bet first. Afterwards, the dealer will start handing out two blackjack cards to each player. At this point of the game when you know your hand value, you get to decide what to do with your hand. The following are the actions each player can do depending on their cards:

  • Stand – This means to stay with the original two cards you already have. In other words, it means ‘pass’
  • Hit – This means to draw one more card to increase your card value. You can choose to draw more than one and stop whenever
  • Double down – This is when you double your bet amount since your 2 cards have a high chance of winning
  • Split – This is when your original two cards are of the same value and you want to split them into two hands. This action requires placing a bet amount equal to your ante or first bet

Other blackjack terminologies you should about include:

  • Blackjack – This is when you get a full 21 with an Ace and a 10. This is usually an automatic win, unless the dealer has an Ace and 10 value card as their upcard.
  • Bust – This is when you draw more cards into your hand then exceed 21. This officially means you lose your bet.
  • Insurance – This is an action you can do when the dealer has an Ace. If you buy insurance and the dealer turns out with a blackjack, you win according to the game payout.
  • Push – This occurs when you and the dealer have the same total value of cards and all bets are returned; Neither you nor the dealer win or lose.
  • Surrender – This allows players to only risk half their bet amount. This is usually a good action to do when you’re not sure of winning but do note that it’s only offered in a few online casinos.

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