Being the fact that this is a strategy game, you must learn how the game works and how you best play it before you get started. Otherwise, you run the risk of making unnecessary and potentially costly mistakes. Knowing the game will also make it more enjoyable since you’ll know what you’re doing.
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18+ | T&C's Apply | Responsible Gambling is advised. Casino, Betting and all forms of gambling is an entertainment form that comes with a considerable risk of losing your money. Never play with more than you can afford to lose.
To help you with this, we have created an in-depth guide on how to play blackjack. It’s mainly aimed at beginners that are looking to learn the absolute basics, but we also share a few very useful tips for seasoned players, including strategy.
The idea with this post is to educate you enough so that you can start playing blackjack in India on online casinos and even on land-based casinos.
The basic rules of blackjack are surprisingly easy. As mentioned, blackjack is played against a dealer – in this case, referred to as “the house”. Your goal is to get a hand worth 21 points or closer to 21 than the house. However, you cannot exceed 21 points because then you go bust and lose the round.
If you the first two cards you’re dealt are worth 21 points, you get a blackjack which means you automatically win. Unless the dealer also has a blackjack, that is. Then you get your initial bet back.
The game is commonly played with between six and eight decks of standard playing cards. The fewer decks that are used, the easier it is to win. Therefore, it’s recommended that you try to find blackjack tables with as few decks as possible.
What makes this game many different from many other card games is that the cards have special values, ie. they represent different points. Naturally, you have to understand this clearly before you start playing.
The Cards in Blackjack
As you probably know, a standard deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards, split into four different suits with 13 cards per suit. When playing blackjack, the suits don’t serve a purpose so you can ignore them.
- Cards 2-10 are worth the value that’s on the face of the card, meaning a 3 is worth 3 points, an 8 is worth 8 points, etc.
- The face cards – Jack, Queen, and King – are worth 10 points each.
- Ace is worth either 1 or 11 points depending on the value of the other cards on your hand.
To recap, your goal is to get a hand worth 21 points and a blackjack consists of one face card (or a 10) and one ace.
How to Play Blackjack
To better explain how the game of blackjack is played, we’ll walk you through a standard round of blackjack. Note that there can be more than one player seated at the same blackjack table and that all players play at the same time. However, the goal is not to beat the other players. Instead, each player has to beat the dealer on their own accord.
A round of blackjack can be divided into the following 6 steps.
Each player buys into the game by placing their initial bet on the table in front of them.
With all the bets placed, the dealer deals one card facing up to all the players as well as one card facing down to themselves. Then each player, as well as the dealer, gets one card facing up.
Now, each player has to calculate the value of their hands. At this point, you can have a hand worth between 4 and 21 points. As mentioned, a hand worth 21 at this point is a blackjack meaning you’ve won.
Next, all the players that didn’t get a blackjack will get a chance to play and there are a few options to choose from.
- Hit – If you want a new card, you choose to hit. The new card is always dealt face up.
- Stand – If you don’t want a new card because you might exceed 21 points, you choose to stand, hoping that the dealer has fewer points than you.
- Double Down – If you think you have a good chance of winning, you can choose to Double Down before playing, meaning you double your bet.
- Split – When dealt two identical cards, you can split them into two separate hands and then get one new card per hand. When you do this, your original bet is automatically doubled.
- Surrender – In some versions of blackjack you have the option of surrendering or folding and get half of your bet back.
When each player has made their decision, the dealer flips their face down card to reveal their hand. If the dealer has 21 (blackjack) the house wins and everyone else loses (except for players that already had a blackjack). Otherwise, the dealer follows predetermined rules on how to bet.
In most blackjack games, the dealer has to take a new card if the hand is worth 16 or fewer points, and they have to stand if the hand is worth 17 or higher.
If no player has won at this point, another round of playing is conducted following the rules from point 4.
And that is it. As you can see, a round of blackjack is not that long or difficult and as long as you know the basic rules, the gameplay is straightforward.
Unique Situations in Blackjack
In addition to the regular gameplay, there are certain situations that can change the way the game is played.
- Dealer Gets 10 – If the dealer’s card facing up is worth 10, he plays his hand before the other players. In case that the dealer has a blackjack, the round is over and every player that doesn’t also have a blackjack loses.
- Insurance – In some blackjack variations, the players have the option of getting an insurance if the dealer has an ace facing up. The insurance is a side game worth half of your initial bet and it protects you in case the dealer gets a blackjack. In other words, the insurance is a way for you to bet on the dealer getting a blackjack.
- Dead Hand – In the unlikely case that all players go bust before the dealer shows the second card, the game is terminated immediately.
How to Play Blackjack Online
Playing blackjack online in India works the same way as playing at a land-based casino. At least in terms of the rules.
If you want to play blackjack online you have two options to choose from. Firstly, there are simple blackjack tables that operate similar to online slots, meaning you’ll be playing against a computer and without other players present. Many of the online casinos that we recommend offer this feature.
Even though this can be a fun way of playing blackjack, it’s far from the best or most authentic way to do so. Instead, we suggest you play blackjack at a live casino.
When playing blackjack online at an Indian live casino, you will be playing just like you would at a regular casino. The only difference is that you can do it using your smartphone or computer without ever leaving your home.
Live casinos are exciting because you get to play with a live-streamed dealer and with other players at the same table. This also means that you can apply real black jack strategies and increase your chances of winning.
Blackjack strategies is an important topic that you have to study. When talking about strategies in blackjack, most people talk about two different methods. We’ve highlighted them below.
- Blackjack charts
Blackjack charts is a tool that you can use to determine which move is the best one to make based on the cards that have been dealt. Better yet, a blackjack chart is just a simple chart that anyone can read and understand.
The use of blackjack charts is banned at regular casinos because the casinos don’t want you to get too much of an advantage over the house. That means that you have to memorize the chart to apply the strategy when playing at casinos.
When playing at blackjack at an online live casino, on the other hand, nothing is stopping you from using a chart to optimize your chances of winning. In fact, we would suggest that you use a blackjack chart when playing online because – why wouldn’t you?
- Counting Cards
You might have heard about the concept of counting cards before. It’s a concept that’s well-known all over the world and that they have made many movies and written several books about.
Technically, counting cards is considered cheating, but only if you get caught. And, once again, there is nothing that stops you from doing that when you play online. Just remember that you can only count cards as long as the decks aren’t shuffled between each round, which they often are when playing at live casinos.
Learning how to count cards is not easy. It’s rather the opposite. It requires you to be able to count extremely quick and your knowledge in math has to be well over average. Because of that, we won’t go into any details about card counting.
Similar to many other card games played at casinos, blackjack is based around a betting system. That means that you can’t really play it without money. You could, of course, set up a table at home and play with friends using something else than money as your currency, but then you’ll lose the excitement that the game offers.
On certain online casinos, you can play against the computer instead of a real dealer, and these games often have a feature that lets you play blackjack for free with virtual money.
Even though it’s a good way to practice, it will most likely get boring pretty fast.
If you found this how to play blackjack guide helpful, CasinoBetting.Live has many helpful resources on games such as Poker and lottery. There are also guides on subjects such as casino bonuses in India and Free Spins.