Know the variations of standard, Reno and Vegas blackjack VS Canada and non-USA countries.
Learning the rules of blackjack will you get started, combining that with strategy will give you the edge . Blackjack is as easy it goes when it comes to casino games. No wonder it’s the most popular casino banking game in the world. Of course there’s slightly different rules and variations from casino to casino, but for the main part it’s a pit game where the players play against the house only and not against other players.
For standard Blackjack each player receives two cards face up while the dealer has one card down and one card up. In Vegas or Reno it’s one card up and one card down for the dealer.
However in Canada and countries outside of the US it’s only one card up. The odds are quite significant in favor of the house with those rules.
The objective of blackjack is to hit 21 or closest to it while wanting the dealer to bust or go over 21. The dealer has to continue to hit past 17, however the player can stay or hit at any time. Here are the point values of each card. 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, Jack – 10, Queen – 10, King-10, Ace – 1 or 11. Suits doesn’t matter in the game of Blackjack. It’s relatively easy in that regard.
Ace is the only card with two values depending on what the player chooses. Essentially it’s the same with the dealer/casino as well unless they hit a soft 17. This is where they have an Ace + a 6 card which totals to a “soft 17.” Some casinos stand, others are forced to hit or receive another card. This simple slight variation may give the casino an advantage.
Card Counting, Double Down, Split, Insurance, Surrender, Switch and Betting
When learning how to play blackjack, or any card game for that matter, learn the rules and create a strategy. With blackjack the setup is simple, you need a deck of card and that’s it. If you’d like to play traditionally you will need to have a dealer and other players. You can also play blackjack online and go against the computer in a solitaire type format (though blackjack technically isn’t solitaire) or play with other players.
Before playing any game, especially if you are betting, it’s important to be in the right mindset so you can make sound decisions and plan your next move. It’s also a good idea to surround yourself in an environment that you feel comfortable in., etc. Let’s talk blackjack strategy.
If you seen the film 21 then you know all about card counting. There’s a number of systems, but lets go with the most popular one called the plus minus system.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – each of these cards counts as plus 1
Aces and ten cards (tens, jacks, queens and kings) count as minus 1
7, 8, 9 count as zero – just ignore them
When the count is positive the player should increase bets as this signifies that the face cards are in the deck. Once the face cards are dealt out that decreases the chances of the players hitting 20 or 21 along with the dealer busting. That’s when one should lower the wages.
The player can double down anytime which essentially means they are doubling their bets after they’ve received their two cards. Usually when the player has two cards that add up to 10 or 11 they’ll double down. Depending on how advance the player is and what type of card is showing face up for the dealer, the player may also double down with 7, 8, or 9 to maximize their profits.
It can only be done when the two cards dealt to the players are matching. 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, A-A. Most people stand on face cards since it’s a “lock” in winning. Some will stand with 18, but most will split meaning they will have to add an extra wager of the original amount and play a new hand. If the new hand also has matching numbers the player can split again + adding a new wager. Splitting is very important to get an edge against the dealer and to maximize profits.
Rule of thumb is to get insurance when the player has 20 and a dealer has an Ace showing. This means the player is paying half of their wager to the dealer as an insurance in case the dealer already has 21 otherwise it would be a 100% loss. If the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack or 21 then the player loses that money, but frequently wins the other half breaking even since 20 is usually a winning hand.
Blackjack surrender is when the player automatically forfeits half their wager. This is actually a very tactical move to benefit the player if they have a very high wager with poor cards such as 10-6, 10-5, 10-4, 10-3 and the dealer is showing a face card or an Ace. Insurance would be unwise simply because the hand dealt is a losing hand. In a sense it is sort of an insurance, but rather than receiving their entire initial wager back they’re minimizing their loss.
Blackjack switch was created by a card counter, Geoff Hall who introduced this blackjack variation in October 2000 at a Las Vegas gaming convention. It was subsequently introduced to the casinos in February 2001. Hall ended up patenting the game in 2009. It’s now widely played around the world and in Playtech casinos in Vegas. You can learn more about blackjack switch in this article.
Blackjack switch is played with a standard four to eight 52 card deck shuffled together. Rather than playing one hand the player has two hands with two betting boxes. The first cards are all dealt to the players face up including the dealer. Then a subsequent card for each of the players. Blackjack Switch tables typically allow a side bet, called Super Match, which rewards pairs, three-of-a-kind, two-pairs or four-of-a-kind among the four initial cards comprising the players two hands. For a 6-deck game, the Super Match bet pays out 1 to 1 if there a pair is present, 5 to 1 for three of a kind, 8 to 1 for two pairs and 40 to 1 for four of a kind. This seems to mitigate the adverse effect on the player of the case where the two top or bottom cards are identical, which robs the player of a meaningful switching decision, although, like most side bets, playing it increases the house edge.
After the side bet players can opt to switch their top cards with one another. This may sound a little bit confusing, but to simplify lets use two sample hands.
First hand: 3-10
Second hand: Ace-8
10-3 would not be the most favourable hand in any Blackjack situation. To switch the player would have the 8 in the second hand replaced by the 10 in the first now giving the player a total of 11 and a 21 for the second hand. This isn’t considered a Blackjack, but it’s a “lock” which is a winning hand.
After the switch.
First hand: 3-8 (Player should double down now.)
Second hand: Ace-10 (Player has 21.)
Once that’s complete they’re asked to hit, stand, or double down. The objective is still the same in getting 21 or closest to it. In this variation a 22 for the dealer is a push against all remaining players. This gives the house a significant advantage. Most likely the primary reason why it’s readily accepted in casinos. Llike in regular Blackjack depending on the casino rules some dealer stand or hit with soft 17 which is a hand containing an Ace.
Summary of Rules:
All rules are based on conventional Blackjack unless otherwise noted.
Four to eight decks are used.
Depending on the casino rules dealer hits or stands on a soft 17. (Hand with an Ace.)
The player must make two bets of equal size.
Cards are dealt face up.
Dealer will check for Blackjack with an Ace, Face card or ten up. If the dealer has a Blackjack all player hands will immediately lose, with an exception of a player who has Blackjack. That would be a push.
The player may opt toswitch the second card dealt to each hand. For example, if one hand has 5,10 and the other has 10,6, the player may switch the 10 and 6 to have two hands of 11 and 20. The player may also switch cards to form a blackjack.
If the player switches to a blackjack, it counts as 21 points.
Player may double on any two cards.
Player may double after a split.
Player may re-split up to four hands.
Winning player blackjacks pay even money as opposed to 3:2 with standard Blackjack.
A dealer total of 22 will push against any player total of 21 or less. A player Blackjack will still beat a dealer 22.
While the players odds are conceived to increase with the option to switch the top cards having the dealer win with 21 and 22 counterbalances that. Seeing that the creator of the game was a card counter he was most likely aware of the advantages for both the players and house. It’s definitely a game worth checking out if you’re already a Blackjack enthusiast. Whether the player has a stronger edge against the house vs a standard game of 21 remains to be seen. One thing is for certain I wouldn’t bet against the house.
Here’s a quick summary on two popular betting systems. We’ll go over which is more effective and how to place bets with certain hands going over the different scenarios. Overall there’s isn’t a distinct betting system that allows you to win. Understanding the basic rules, then adopting the right card counting strategy is paramount to winning in blackjack. Betting is secondary. If you don’t know what the right strategy is to play the cards against the dealer then how would you know when to make the right bets?
Unlike poker which requires tells, the game of Blackjack can be enjoyed at various online casinos or here at Lucky Lady Games. The only difference is that it’ll be impossible to card count since it’s most likely a continuous shuffle. What that means is that once the cards are dealt out to the players and dealer it’s discarded in another shoe. In some casinos and online it’s placed back in the original deck where it’s reshuffled giving the house a distinct advantage. Thus if you’re looking to play for profit it’s probably a better idea to play in a live game vs online.
Now that you know the blackjack (21) card game rules and a bit about strategy, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Think you have what it takes to crack the bank? Play online blackjack for free or check out our complete online casino game lineup. If you’d like more information about Lucky Lady Games, call xxx, email, or chat with us online right now!
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