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The basics of Blackjack

What is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a popular table game in casinos which brings in most of the casnos revenue. It attracts all types of player because it has a simple method of playing the game.

There is only two ways to win the game:

  1. You must have a higher score than the dealer without going over 21.
  2. By having the dealer go over 21 while you don’t.

Card values:

In blackjack it is important that you know how to value your card as this will cause you to win or lose.

The following explains how your cards are valued:

  • Cards 2 through 10 are valued according to face value.
  • Jacks, Queens and kings are all valued at the number 10.
  • Aces can be valued either as 1 or 11, depending on the player’s preference.
  • Suits have no value.

Hand Values:

The hand value is determined by simply adding the card values together. For example if you add a jack and queen together, you will have a hand value of 20.

Special nomenclature at the blackjack table:

Blackjack: A total of 21 with your first two cards. It gives you the title of blackjack and a 3 to 2 payout.

Stiff hands: Stiffs refer to a hand that has a chance of busting with one more card. Usually it is a hand containing the value of 12 or 16.

Pat hands: Values of 17 through 21 are called pat hands. The other nomenclature is hard hands.

Soft hands: a soft hand has an ace that has a value of 1 or 11 without making the hand bust.

Push: push is the gambling word that means tie. Any hand that has an equal value to the dealer’s hand is a push.

Bust: A hand which has a value that exceeds 21, is recognized as a bust.

Dealing of cards:

The dealer performs a specific methodĀ  of shuffling the cards, according the the casino’s regulations. The player who is dealt the plastic cut card during the previous hand, has the honor of cutting the cards after the shuffle.

The dealer divides the deck at theĀ  randomly selected point where the player inserted the cut card. He then takes the front cards and place them behind the last cards of the stack.

With the cards properly arranged, the dealer takes the cut again and places is between two cards in a predetermined spot in the pack.

The dealer has a last thing to do before you start playing: burning or discarding the top card.

With all the cards shuffled, arranged and all the bets in place, the deal begins. The deal and the play always starts at the seat directly to the dealer’s left (also called first base) and ends with the seat directly on the dealer’s right (called third base).

The dealer deals card in one sweeping motion to all the players and then himself. One of the player’s cards are face-up (called the upcard) and one is face-down (called the hole card)