Before you can learn how to play black jack, it is important to realize that there are many different types of blackjack out there. How to play black jack and which strategy to follow will therefore vary from table to table. Even games labeled “Classic Black Jack” can have widely varying rules and be played very differently from each other. It is therefore important to find out the rules of the specific black jack table you wish to play at.
With that said, virtually all types of black jack have one thing in common – your goal is to get a better hand than the dealer. Blackjack is played with one or several standard 52-card decks (French deck). Each face card (king, queen, jack) is worth ten points. The ace can be worth 1 or 11 points depending on which value that is most beneficial for the hand. The remaining cards (2-10) are worth the same number of points as the number printed on them. A 5 is hence worth five points, a 6 is worth six points, a 10 is worth ten points, and so on.
The best possible hand is 21 points, the second best hand is 20 points, and so on. A hand worth 22 points or more is discarded; this is commonly referred to as “going bust”.
A hand consisting of an ace + any card worth 10 points (i.e. king, queen, jack, 10) is a blackjack. At some blackjack tables, a blackjack will beat other 21 point hands. At other tables, it will be a tie.
What can I win when playing blackjack?
The payment rules outlined below are very common in casinos online as well as offline, but there are casinos that employ other rules so it is always important to find out the rules for your specific table if you want to learn how to play blackjack successfully.
If your hand is better than the dealer’s hand, you win 1:1. A $10 wager will thus result in you keeping your bet and getting another $10. You will have $20 in front of you and your profit will be $10.
An exception to the above rule is when you win with a blackjack, because blackjacks pays 3:2 in most casinos. A $10 wager will therefore result in you keeping your initial $10 and getting another $15. You will have $25 in front of you and your profit will be $15.
If you tie with the dealer, you get to keep your wager. (Please note that some casinos will take your money if you tie with the dealer with a hand below 20.)
If your hand reaches 22 points or above, you immediately lose your bet. It doesn’t matter if the dealer eventually also exceeds 21 points, your money has already been lost and it will not count as a tie.
Some casinos will give you a bonus for getting a 21 point hand comprised of three 7’s.