Blackjack is a classic game, like chess or even football, in that learning the basics does not take a lot of time, but becoming an expert can take years, or even a lifetime. Nevertheless, it’s not all doom and gloom. You can learn to play online blackjack, and play it well, by reading our blackjack breakdown and applying some of the basics, which can help you start winning from the word go.
It’s really not difficult to master the basics. Once you’ve done that, you’re in at the bottom, and it’s only up from there. So, if you’ve ever asked yourself the question, “How do you play blackjack?” we’ve got the answers for you right here!
Try blackjack here
Basic blackjack instructions
As you’re no doubt aware, the point of blackjack is to get a hand worth 21 points, or the closest to 21 points, without “busting,” or going over said 21 points. You only play against the dealer, who is bound by quite a few rules and restrictions that the average player is not. This potentially gives you a slight edge. If you learn blackjack and get the basics, you can play the system and win something from this fun game.
Depending on the specific casino, the dealer is typically required to stand on 17. This means that, when his score is equal to 17, he can’t take another card. However, this depends on the specific rules of the casino, as sometimes the dealer will have to take a hit (draw another card) if he has a soft 17, which means that he has an ace worth 11 points in his hand. So far, so good? Let’s check out some slightly more complicated instructions for blackjack, then.
Although the aim of blackjack is to beat the dealer, you can also lose the hand or tie with the dealer. If you “push,” or get the same score as the dealer, your bet is returned, meaning that you break even on your bet. You also sometimes have the option to double down, or double your bet before your first and only hit, or you can split your hand if you have 2 cards of the same value (subject to some restrictions, depending on the casino), meaning that each will have its own bet and its own result.
Not too complicated, right? That’s the basic black jack instructions done. Let’s take a look at some of the nuances, though.
Learn casino blackjack
This is where you can actually put the rules of the game to good use and get some useful wins out of your bets. Although these are hints, rather than definite “instructions” for playing casino blackjack, they do work well, as they were tested by the famous MIT Blackjack team. If they did it, you should probably follow their lead.
First off, it’s advisable to always hit a soft 17 (or an ace-6 hand). You should also split hands where you’re dealt aces or 8s. Remember that you can double down, but only do it if you are dealt 11. Finally, act like the dealer, and stand on a hard 17 or greater. So that’s a set of simple casino blackjack instructions for you to follow.
Other beneficial instructions for playing casino blackjack include not splitting on 5s or 10s, not standing on anything between 12 and 16 if the dealer has a 7 or higher, and, most importantly perhaps, never playing when you are drinking, tired, or if you’ve been gambling for a long time. This isn’t just for blackjack instructions for beginners, but for tips and strategies for every casino game. In fact, it’s just common sense.
Similarly, beware of the gambler’s fallacy. If you’re trying to work out where to play blackjack, online or in a land-based casino, be careful of looking for lucky tables, cold dealers, or other such things. Numbers don’t lie, superstitions don’t work, and you’ll win or lose just as much as you would normally.
Instructions for dealing blackjack
The dealer in blackjack has a bit of a difficult job, especially if he’s a gambling aficionado. The reason is that he has to play by very strict rules indeed, so he can’t just start taking hits and splitting hands. That would kind of defeat the point of the game, after all. But here’s how to deal blackjack. Instructions are basic, as it’s not a complicated game, but to avoid any confusion, here’s how it works.
The hand starts off with players placing bets. Once everyone has placed his bet, the dealer gives one card to each player, going from his far left to his far right, before dealing himself a card face down, and then he deals another card to each player, and this time gives himself one card face up. Thus far, our casino blackjack dealer instructions look the same as any other card game. So here’s where it starts to differ.
If the dealer has an ace in his hand, the players can take insurance, which, if the dealer then turns out to have blackjack (ace and 10), they will win 2-to-1 on their initial bet. If the dealer doesn’t have an ace, the players are free to hit, stand, double down, or split, again, playing from left to right. Once all the players have finished, the dealer plays his hand. Instructions for Blackjack include that the dealer cannot split, double down, or take insurance (obviously), and he has to stand on 17 or higher (or hit on a soft 17, if that’s what the rules say). If he busts (goes over 21), the players win. If he doesn’t bust, then the players who have a higher total than him (without busting) win 3-to-2, those who get less than him lose, and those who have the same score push, or tie, getting their bets back.
If you follow our instructions for dealing blackjack, you can start playing in the comfort of your own home with your friends. But what if you want bigger wins?
Instructions for playing blackjack online
Playing online is obviously slightly different to playing in real life, but there really aren’t that many differences in the basics. If you want to know how to play blackjack online, it’s very easy. Have a look at our list of carefully vetted online casinos, choose the one that’s best for you, and start playing online. You can choose between live dealers or video blackjack, but the result will be the same if you follow our instructions – incremental wins that could add up in the long run! Good luck!