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Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. It is also the game that everyone has been talking about ever since the phenomenon of card counting emerged. So, all of you math lovers out there, if you still haven’t found the time to discover the pleasures of Blackjack, buckle up. This is a short guide to Blackjack basic strategy, bets and rules.

Blackjack Cards

All suits cards that we use for playing the game of “21” have the value of 10. It is a bit different with aces. An ace usually has the value of 11, but it can also have the value of 1.

We must remember that Blackjack basic goal is beating the dealer’s hand.  This means that the player should not push for the total exceeding the dealer’s total. Also, the player should not go over 21 when the dealer does.

Having said that, it is easier to understand the dual nature of an ace.  We count it as 1, when we do not wish to exceed the total of 21 per hand. This is called a “hard hand”. When we count an ace as 11, we have a “soft hand”.  And the goal is to reach 21 building from the first two cards that you are dealt.

What About the Payouts?

The payouts are very important. Players should know the exact payout systems, because it can tell them a lot about how much money they can expect to earn with certain bets.

  • The bet that most players prefer is 3 to 2. It is no surprise, because it enables players to get $3 for $2 wagered, or $15 for every $10 wager, and so on…
  • The most favorable payout is 2 to 1, which does not happen often. If you come across it, make sure to try it out.
  • The unpopular payout is 6 to 5. This payout is possible to beat, especially if you have the skills of counting cards. But this goes beyond basic strategies, and could be the subject of some future posts.

The Betting Rules

There are several Blackjack basic betting rules. We will cover some of the most important ones. Let’s say you bought the chip and started to play. The dealer deals the cards and in case you are not so lucky to hit the “natural 21” at the very beginning, there are things you should know.

  • “The Standing Rule” is there to let everyone know that you are satisfied with your cards, and so you  – “stand” with your cards. You should show this by waving a hand over the cards, palm down.
  • “Surrender Rule“ is there to give players the chance to surrender the first two card hands, once the dealer confirms he or she does not have a Blackjack and before a player draws a card.  
  • “The Hitting Rule” implies that you wish another card from the dealer. You can let the dealer know this by simply tapping the table gently behind your cards.
  • “Doubling Down Rule“ gives you the chance to double the initial bet. In return, you will receive one draw card.
  • “Pair Splitting Rule“ allows players to split two same cards in their possession. This also implies that players will now continue to play two separate hands. In this situation, a player should make a new bet equal to the original one. Splitting aces means that a player can draw one card each.

Side Bets or Not?

Although not part of the Blackjack basic rules, side bets are the most talked about types of bets. It is still debatable whether they are profitable. When deciding on a side bet, you should take into consideration how skillful you are in this game, as well as what the house edge is.

Although, Blackjack generally has low house edge, make sure to check this out before start. You can also check the available online calculators.

Side bets can have the highest payouts and this is their main advantage. If you are playing at the single-deck table, the payouts can be 3 to 1 for an Easy Match, for example. Otherwise, the Royal Match has the payout of 10 to 1.

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