The most popular table game in the casino is blackjack. And the reason for this is because the game gives you the best chance of beating the casino. Your fate is in your hands when you play blackjack your success depends more on your decisions than sheer luck. There are several options with each hand of cards. And this will determine if you go home with a prize or empty-handed
I regularly see people avoiding blackjack in the casino as they feel out of place at the tables. But you see, the game is fairly simple to understand. With just a few lessons, strategies, and practice, you can stroll to blackjack tables with swagger and confidence.
In this article, I’ll be talking about the basics of the game and all you need as you step into the world of blackjack.
The Basics Of Blackjack
The objective of blackjack is simple and clear – you try to beat the dealer. The game is just about you and the good-looking dealer sitting across you. Not your neighbor to the left or the gentleman to the right. And you have three ways to beat the dealer.
– You win when you receive a blackjack, which is a hand consisting of a 10 and an ace totaling 21 points. Should the dealer also end up with a blackjack, it’ll be a tie.
– If the dealer’s hand exceeds or in blackjack lingo ‘busts’ 21, and your hand doesn’t.
– if your hand, while not exceeding 21, is higher than that of the dealer’s. For instance, if you have 18, and the dealer has 17.
Blackjack becomes more appealing when you consider the fact that the game has some restrictive rules that favor the players. More information about this will come up later. These favorable restrictive rules along with some simple strategies will massively boost your chances of beating the house.
The Blackjack Scene
You may be familiar with blackjack even without ever stepping into a casino. Remember the movie Savant where Raymond Babbit was crushing blackjack tables at Caesars Palace? Good times.
Blackjack uses a semicircular, felt table that can accommodate about seven players on the half-moon side of the table. The tables are usually together in the Pits which you will usually find in the center of a casino. The other element of the game are the cards. And blackjack uses anywhere between one to eight decks. There is also the chips which you’ll be using to bet. Small placards indicating table limits, maximum, and minimum bets will be put on each table.
Cards and their value
Cards have value in blackjack which is equal to their face value or pip number. This means a 4 will count as four points while an 8 counts as eight points, and so on. However, there are few exceptions as all 10s and face cards will count as 10 points. Also, an ace can count as either 11 or 1 depending on how you use it. I must mention that aces are the most important cards in the deck. Combining an ace and any ten-point card (which could be a 10, king, jack, or queen) results in a natural, or blackjack.
Finding a Blackjack Table: Strategic Seating
The first thing to do at a blackjack table is to select a seat. Any empty seat is available for use unless you find chips or a coat holding the spot for someone. Some casinos allow you to join games in progress while others do not. In this case, you’ll have to wait until the shuffle before you can join the game.
I’ll advise you to join a nearly full table when playing blackjack for the first time. I must mention that a barely full table doesn’t necessarily have any effect on your chances of winning. But you have more time to think when the table is nearly full. The game is faster with fewer players.
Seeking single-deck tables
As a general rule of thumb, the fewer decks a casino uses, the better for you. And a single-deck table will improve your chances of winning. However, casinos worldwide now use about six decks or more. The reason for this is to thwart card counters which are very skilled players that keep track of cards).
There are still several casinos in northern Nevada that still use one deck of cards at their blackjack tables. Should you be uncertain about the number of decks a casino uses, all you have to do is ask.
Tables with favorable rules and bet levels
Don’t join a blackjack table without knowing the rules. Some rules favor you and boost your chances of winning. Be sure to ask the dealer about the specific rules of the game. Also, find out the maximum and minimum betting limits of the table before you sit down. You can find this on a small sign usually placed to the right of the dealer.
Purchasing blackjack chips
You probably know that most casinos don’t allow you to bet with cash at the tables. Your cash must first be converted into chips. It s the chips that you’ll bet with at the tables. It’s advisable for you to start with a small amount of chips if you are new to the game. You should also ensure not to cash in more than 25% of your daily bankroll for chips.
Familiarizing with blackjack house rules
The rules of blackjack are fairly consistent worldwide. However, there may be some variations depending on the casino you are visiting. It’s common to find casinos putting placards on the tables to inform players of some specific rules. You can always ask the dealer about what the house rules are at any time.
A rule that tends to differ among casinos is about whether the dealer hit on a soft. Another is about whether you can surrender, an option that allows you to give up and collect half of your initial bet.
I’ll be talking more about the rules of blackjack in the second part of this article. So keep an eye out for the second part.