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How to Play Blackjack: Ultimate Playbook for Acing the Game

How to Play Blackjack: Ultimate Playbook for Acing Wins

When someone asks you the most common types of casino games, the first thing that comes to mind? Blackjack. It’s one of the most straightforward card games out there, but some people still fall short and make rookie mistakes when playing hands. But never again! In this guide, we’ll be helping you amp up your winning edge by showing you how to play blackjack online.

Our full guide covers everything from card values, hands, and even a few tips and strategies that can increase your chances of snagging that win. Ready to dominate the table? Keep on reading to get the inside scoop on one of the most-played casino games online!

Blackjack Rules: Quick Rundown on How to Play Blackjack

Before you make any big or side bets like rummy in Blackjack, let’s go over the rules that make the very game itself! When you’re trying to understand how to play Blackjack from the get-go, it may seem confusing. All those cards and numbers and letters and bets: it’s just too much for some people.

But fret not! The idea behind blackjack is pretty straightforward—get as close as possible to 21 without going over, and ideally, have a better hand than the dealer. If the dealer goes over 21, that’s what the Blackjack world would call a “bust”, and you win. But if you go over, you bust, too.

Card Values

How to Play Blackjack: Card Values

Now, let’s talk about card values. Make sure to keep this in mind before playing:

  • Those numbered cards (2-10) are worth their current face value.
  • For the face cards such as King, Queen, and Jack—they’re all worth a solid 10 points each.
  • But hold onto your hat for the Ace. Normally, they’re worth 11, but if that puts anyone over 21, they drop to a value of 1.

Player’s Hand

The general gameplay for how to play Blackjack then kicks off with both you and the dealer getting dealt two cards. If you’re playing online, your cards usually show face-up, while the dealer keeps one face-up and one hidden.

Now you, as a player, can improve your hand by understanding the following Blackjack rules:

  • Regular Wins: You’ll get a 1:1 payout when your card value is closer to 21 than the dealer’s.
  • Blackjack Wins: Score a sweet 3:2 payout when your cards add up to 21 exactly.
  • Dealer’s Rule: The dealer has to hit on any hand totaling 16 or below.
  • Hit or Stand: You’ve got the choice to add another card (hit) or stick with what you’ve got (stand) to get as close to 21 as possible. If that doesn’t work for you, try to split or double down.
  • Split: One noteworthy hand to know when understanding how to play Blackjack is to split your pair into two separate hands for a shot at beating the dealer. This comes into play when you’ve got two cards of the same value.
  • Double Down: Feelin’ lucky? Double your bet during the hand, but you’ll only get one more card, no second chances. While it’s usually smart to double down with a 10 or 11, some casinos let you go for it with any hand. Keep in mind though, online casinos might have limits on this move.

Blackjack Hands: Paired, Hard, and Soft Hand

Now that you’ve got the basic rundown of the Blackjack rules, let’s help you understand a few basic Blackjack hands. These hands are crucial when trying to learn how to play Blackjack for the first time, but are also good-to-know again info even for novice players.

Paired Hands

How to Play Blackjack: Paired Hands

Getting dealt a pair in Blackjack is like hitting the jackpot at the tables, but it’s only a win if you know how to handle them like a pro. If you’re learning how to play Blackjack, it’s important to understand when to split in Blackjack. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Pair of 2s or 3s: Split against 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s; hit against 8s, 9s, 10s, and Aces.
  • Pair of 4s: Hit except against dealer’s 5 or 6 if doubling down after the split is allowed.
  • Pair of 5s: Double down against all except 10s or Aces; never split.
  • Pair of 6s: Split against 2s if doubling down after the split is allowed, otherwise against 3s, 4s, 5s, or 6s; hit against 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, and Aces.
  • Pair of 7s: Split against all 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s; hit otherwise.
  • Pair of 8s: Always split regardless of the dealer’s up card.
  • Pair of 9s: Split against every dealer up card except 7, 10, or Ace; stand in those cases.
  • Pair of 10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings: Can be split, but do not split if you wish to keep a competitive hand.
  • Pair of Aces: Always split to maximize the chance of getting two 21s.

Soft Hand

When you’re learning the ropes of how to play Blackjack, it’s also worth noting how a soft hand works. When you start the game and one of your cards is an Ace, you’ve got yourself a soft hand. Why’s it called “soft”?

Well, because that Ace can be either 1 or 11, depending on your other card(s). Having this flexibility gives you more options and generally works out better for you. For instance, say you’re dealt an Ace and an 8. You could count that as either 9 or 19.

How to Play Blackjack: Soft Hand

Hard Hand

Now, if your hand doesn’t include an Ace, it’s called a hard hand. No Ace means no wiggle room—your cards are what they are, no ifs, ands, or buts.

So, if you’ve got two 5s, you’re sitting on 10. And if you’re holding a 10 and a Queen, that’s a solid 20, no questions asked.

How to Play Blackjack: Hard Hand

How to Play Blackjack Online: Step-by-Step Guide

Blackjack is one of the most beloved casino games in India, and pretty much all over the world. It’s a clear-cut game, but it comes with multiple strategies and hands.

Nevertheless, one important key to remember when learning how to play Blackjack is the basic rundown of a whole game. When you’ve got this down to a T, you’ll be more equipped to understand all the more advanced strategies that’ll propel you to success!

Here’s the step-by-step instructions on how to play Blackjack online:

Step 1: Join a Blackjack Game

You’ll slide into a seat at the blackjack table. Or in the case of online casinos, hop into one of the online Blackjack games of your choice. Once everyone’s settled, each player gets dealt two cards face up. The dealer will also get two cards, one face up and one face down.

Step 2: Make a Move

Remember that Blackjack has one of the best casino game odds! So, take a good look at your cards and decide if you want to “Hit” or “Stand.” The goal is to get your hand as close to 21 as possible without going bust. You can trust your gut or check out some tips in our blackjack guide.

Step 3: Feeling Lucky? Hit It!

If you decide to “Hit,” you’re asking the dealer for another card. Do this when you think you can safely get closer to 21 or when you’re feeling bold enough to take a risk.

Step 4: Playing It Safe? Stand.

If you’re happy with your hand, you can “Stand” and tell the dealer not to deal you any more cards. You’ll usually do this when your hand is already pretty high (like over 17) and you don’t want to risk going bust.

Step 5: Check Your Hand

Once you’ve made your move, take a look at your new hand value. As long as you’re at 21 or less, you’re still in the game.

Step 6: Dealer Reveals Their Cards

Once everyone’s made their choices, the dealer flips over their facedown card.

Step 7: See Who’s Closer to 21

If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s—that’s it, you’ve won! But if the dealer’s hand is closer or they hit 21 exactly, they win. If luck’s on your side, the dealer will hand over your winnings, depending on your bet.

Tips on Improving Your Blackjack Gameplay

Tips on Improving Your Blackjack Gameplay

We know it can get a little dizzying trying to explore the nuances of how to play Blackjack. So here are a few tips that we believe can help you improve your gameplay while still keeping it fun for you in the end!

  1. When it comes to splitting face cards, rookie players often make the mistake of thinking it’ll double their winnings. But let’s be real, it’s not the smartest move. You’re swapping a surefire win with a 20 for the risk of losing double your cash if the new cards don’t play nice.
  2. Always split aces and eights. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, really. Holding onto a pair of eights lands you in the dreaded 16 territory. But split ’em up, and you’re banking on snagging at least one face card to save the day.
  3. Never blow all your cash at once. Set yourself a limit before you start playing and stick to it.
  4. As you play, it’s smart to keep a basic guide like our how to play Blackjack piece open on the side. It’ll help you make quick decisions without second-guessing yourself.
  5. Don’t risk everything on one bet. Going all in might seem exciting, but it’s a recipe for disaster. Keep your bets reasonable and avoid losing half your stack in one go.
  6. Even when luck seems to be against you, don’t abandon your strategy. In the long run, sticking to your plan gives you the best shot at coming out on top.

Confident with your skills now that you’ve learned how to play Blackjack? Consider checking out Pragmatic Play’s upcoming ‘Blackjack League’!

Final Words on Learning How to Play Blackjack Online

And that’s about it! Now that you’ve got a handle on the intricacies that come with how to play Blackjack, try putting those new-found skills to the test by trying out our online Blackjack games at 12BET. From live casino offers to your classic Blackjack versions brought to you by premium casino providers like JILI (also specializing in slot games!) and NetEnt, we’ve got it all.

So, brush up on those skills, pop open your favored strategies to guide you, and happy playing!

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