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Introduction to Blackjack

Blackjack or 21 is one of the most popular table games offered in casinos. If you want to challenge your skills in gambling, Blackjack is the best choice, because it demands a blend of skill and and the result is not solely dependent on the luck. Basically, the goal in Blackjack is to get the highest hand without going over twenty-one. However, the variations can be a bit intricate.

How to Play Online Blackjack

Playing Blackjack online has its own advantages but conceptually it is the same game as in land-based casinos. In online Blackjack there is one dealer and between one to five players. Players fix their bets down on the table before the dealer begins to deal. The minimum and maximum wagers vary from one table to the other and are generally clearly mentioned on the table. The game begins once all the players have put down their bets. The “Deal” option is then selected. After that the bet amounts can not be reduced. However, the bet can be increased by selecting options like “Double Down,” “Split,” or “Insurance”.

Then each player receives an initial hand of two cards. The basic purpose of Blackjack is to get a hand value higher than the dealer’s but not exceeding 21 (called busting). The ace counts as 1 or 11, the 10, jack, queen, and king count as 10, and the other cards count from 2 to 9 after their face value. If nobody goes bust, the highest hand wins. In case of a tie, no one wins. The hand is a “push”.

Blackjack Terminology

Hit: Take another card.
Stand: Take no more cards, also “Stick” or “Stay”.
Double down: Receive only ONE more card, and double the bet.
Split a pair: In case the first two cards make a pair they can be split into two hands and two separate wagers (one initial and the second of the same amount) is placed on each card.
Surrender: This is an option to surrender before the dealer. This can be done both before and after the dealer checks for her 21 (called early and late surrender respectively).
Soft Hand: A hand that contains an Ace counted as 11 is called a Soft Hand
Hard Hand: A hand without an ace.
Insurance: Players wishing to take an insurance can bet an amount up to half of their original bet. The bet is placed separately on the table. This side bet is offered only when the dealer’s exposed card is an ace. Generally, it is considered to be a poor bet and is not recommended.

Common Blackjack Strategies

Through time serious players have developed several Blackjack strategies. They have a clear general strategy that can be used by anyone. The following can be considered as a more digestible summary that is easy to remember.
Never split your 10s.
Hit a soft 17 if the dealer’s up card is a 10.
Stand on a hard 12 if the dealer is showing a 4, 5 or 6.
Hit a hard 12 if the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 7 or higher.
Always split aces and 8s.
Never take insurance..

Summary

Before taking the plunge into online Blackjack you should learn the rules thoroughly. They may appear intimidating in the beginning but in fact they are easy to adopt. Drawing as much fun as possible out of the uncertainties of Blackjack can always be the ultimate goal.