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Blackjack 101 – Beginner Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most exciting games offered at any casino and with many sites offering the game to be played online, players from all over the world can enjoy great action and have the best chances to win. The game offers some excellent odds for the player, which is why many players will head straight for the blackjack section of an online casino.

By practicing the game and employing some basic strategies, the house edge is only 0.5%, so it is clearly evident that players have an advantage and have excellent opportunities to collect payouts when playing different blackjack variations. When playing online, players will have the ability to play for real money or for free and will be pleased with the selection of games, with some sites offering 10 or more blackjack variations that can be enjoyed.

Objective of Blackjack

Many players believe that the objective of the game is to come close to obtaining a hand that is valued at 21. This is not the true objective of the game. The ultimate goal is to beat the dealer and this can be done with many different hand values. It is possible to beat the dealer and win with a hand that is valued at just 13, so the 21 aspect is not the true objective. Since the dealer can bust, players will often win with low valued hands. Players need to remember that the goal is to beat the dealer, either by having a higher valued hand that is below or equal to 21 or having the dealer bust.

Card Values

There are different types of hands that are created when playing blackjack and players will use all of the cards in the deck, ranging from Ace to King. The cards are valued as they are in poker, but the main difference with blackjack is that the Ace can be worth 1 or 11, whichever will benefit the player. All other cards are worth face value and Jack, Queen and King are worth 10.

  • Hard Hand – When playing blackjack, players will hear the term Hard Hand. This means that the hand does not have to contain an Ace, but it can. The value of the ace will be 1 instead of being 1 or 11.
  • Soft Hand – With a Soft Hand, the Ace can be 1 or 11 and players will have more chances to draw and beat the dealer. With a soft hand, the Ace will usually count as 11, so a hand with an Ace and a 5 is considered a soft 16.

Single Deck and Multiple Deck Blackjack Games

Online casinos offer different types of games and players will find blackjack games that use a single deck of cards and those that use multiple decks. Whenever possible, it is beneficial for players to choose a single deck game. The reason for this is that players will get more blackjack hands when playing with a single deck. It can also benefit those that count cards since it is easier to keep track of just 52 cards in play. Unfortunately, most online casinos offer games that use multiple decks.

With multi-deck games, players will see casinos using between 2 and 8 decks on most blackjack games. The number of decks used will vary based on the blackjack variation that is selected. 2 deck games are rare, but when players can find them, they are beneficial to play. The most commonly found 2 deck game is Vegas Downtown Blackjack. It is always beneficial for players to play blackjack games that use the fewest decks.

The Play

The game begins with placing a bet on the table, which can vary per casino and pr game, so always check the game minimum and maximum bet amount. Once bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to each player and two to himself, one face up and one face down. Based on the value of player cards, they can choose to do different things. The game choices are explained below and each of these options can be used to enhance the chances of winning.

  • Blackjack/21 – If players are dealt an Ace and a face card or a ten, they will immediately receive a payout as this is a blackjack.
  • Hit – If players desire, they can hit and take an additional card to increase their hand value. This can be done as many times as needed.
  • Stand – When players do not wish to make any more moves, they will choose to stand and their turn ends.
  • Double Down – With the double down option, players will double their bet amount and take only one more card.
  • Insurance – If the dealer card is an Ace, players can take Insurance. This is a side bet on whether the dealer has a blackjack. The bet offers even money in return, but there is a high house edge, so players should avoid taking insurance.
  • Surrender – The surrender option allows players to only risk half the bet amount. This is a good option when players are sure they will lose the hand, but it is not offered in many online casinos.

Using A Basic Strategy

To benefit from the low house edge and have the most success playing real money blackjack, players should learn and always employ the basic blackjack strategy. There are tables offered online that offer players information on how to play every hand combination. While it can be difficult to memorize all actions, players can refer to these charts when they are playing online, but will not be able to reference them if they are playing at a land based casino.

A basic strategy will tell players when to hit, stand, double, split or surrender. Using this strategy will reduce the house edge to the lowest of 0.5% and will provide players with the best opportunities to win.

Practice Blackjack for Free Online

Not every player is familiar with the rules or strategies of blackjack, which is why free games are beneficial. These games require no wager, so there is no risk to the player. However, they will be able to play multiple hands of blackjack and practice their skills and strategies to prepare for when they start to play for real money. Most online casinos offer an array of free games so that players can test out different variations and learn the rules of the games before betting.

Our team at BlackjackGala have listed a nice selection of free Blackjack games, courtesy of a few prominent online casinos, that you can play without any download or installation. Go here to see the full list of free blackjack games that you can start playing in just in a matter of a few seconds.

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Trivia & Facts
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