It’s the first night in your luxury hotel, the bags are away and you are suited and booted, ready to take on the casino downstairs. Now a casino can be a threatening place to the uninitiated so you should look to start off slowly and get your feet under the table before you take on some of the more complex casino games. There is no better place to start than on the blackjack table, a relatively simple game with low risk that can help you to feel more comfortable in your surroundings. To help you feel even more relaxed when you hit the casino floor, here are some of the basics of real money blackjack that you will need to know.
The objective of blackjack, or 21 as it is often known, is to have a higher score with your cards than the dealer, without surpassing 21. The ideal scenario here is that you get 21 on the first two cards that are dealt, this is what we call blackjack.
Cards between 2 and 10 are worth their face value, picture cards are worth 10 each and an ace is worth either 1 or 11 depending on which fits best with your hand, it is your decision as to the value of the ace and you can change your mind as the game progresses.
You will initially be dealt 2 cards and then the dealer will offer you another card each round, it is up to you whether you want to stick with what you have or ‘hit’ and request another card in your hunt for the highest possible score. Remember that you are only playing against the dealer, so whatever others on the table are doing is none of your concern.
Betting in Blackjack
Betting in blackjack is very simple, if you bet $10 and lose then you will lose your stake, should you win however you will get your $10 back plus $10 from the dealer. If you get blackjack you will receive 1.5 times your bet, so $25 in total using the $10 bet example. Most casinos will have minimum betting requirements and they usually have different tables which have higher and lower minimum stakes.
You will run into some jargon when playing which you should be aware of as this can help you to play the game more effectively.
Double Down – When a player is confident that they are going to beat the dealer with their first 2 cards, the bet can be increased by as much as double, this is what is called the Double Down.
Split – If you receive two cards of the exact same value you can split the hand which requires you to double the bet and then play on with two hands rather than one.
Surrender – If you are given a poor first two cards then you can surrender to the dealer and reclaim half of your bet back. For example 15 and 16 are not great numbers to start with so in such a situation it may be better that you surrender.
Insurance – The dealer’s first card will be visible to you so many like to buy insurance if they see that the dealer has an ace, or even a 10-card, which insures against the dealer having blackjack. What happens here is that you place a small side bet that the dealer will have blackjack, helping you to minimize your losses.
And there you have it, your basic toolkit to looking like an experienced veteran when you hit the blackjack table.