How to Play BlackJack

Blackjack is one of the most complex casino games, but it can be incredibly rewarding for players who understand the game. Blackjack rules themselves are not particularly complex; what adds depth and dimension to the game are the many different blackjack tips and strategies that exist. There are many different techniques for how to win at blackjack. Which one will work best for you? Practice blackjack for free and find out!

Basic BlackJack Rules

The aim of blackjack is to get all the cards in your hand to add up to 21 without going over. If you can't reach 21, you want your hand to be high enough that it beats the dealer's hand. Typically, each number card will count for the number on it (for instance, a five of diamonds is a five, a two of hearts is a two, etc.) Face cards (kings, jacks, queens) count as a 10. Aces are either a 1 or an 11, depending on which would be more beneficial to the player. In virtually every type of blackjack game, your hand has two cards in it, so basic blackjack strategy trainer methods all focus on optimizing these two cards.

There are many combinations of cards that could result in a total of 21. For instance, you could have a face card, a nine, and a two or a ten, three, and an eight. Payouts for blackjack vary from table to table. Typical payout is 3:2 but Las Vegas has begun adopting a 6:5 payout resulting in less monies paid to a dealt blackjack which consists of an Ace and a face card or ten.

How To Play Blackjack: Basic Strategy

The game begins with all players dealt a hand of one card. The dealer then deals himself a card and deals each player another card. In most cases, all player cards are visible to everyone at the table. The dealer's first card will always be visible. One of the most important rules of blackjack is that players are not competing against each other; the only competition is the dealer. After the first two cards have been dealt, the dealer will go around the table offering players a chance to make their moves. Players have five options:

- Hit: Accept an additional card, but without changing the bet.
- Stand: Do nothing, ending the turn with the same cards and wager as at the beginning.
- Split: When two cards of the same value exist in the same hand, one can be split off to create two separate hands.
- Double Down: The player doubles his or her bet amount, takes a single card, and is finished playing.
- Surrender:Give up, withdrawing from the game and losing half the initial bet amount.

Once all players have finished playing, the dealer will complete his hand by adding cards until reaching a value greater than or equal to 17. If the value is between 17 and 20, any players with higher hands than the dealer win. If the value is equal to 21, any other players with blackjack get their wager returned. If the dealer goes over 21, all players win.

Blackjack Card Counting & Tips

As you can see, blackjack odds are highly math-based. Because the game is such a question of probability and most of the cards can be seen by all players at all times, learning how to count cards in blackjack can be a key to becoming a successful player. Unlike many other card games, counting cards in blackjack is not against the rules, provided you don't use any outside aids such as calculators to determine your numerical predictions.

A blackjack strategy chart can be helpful for beginning players who are learning the game for the first time. A typical blackjack chart will provide guidance for what to do in a situation by evaluating the current total of your hand, and the current card shown by the dealer. The blackjack cheat sheet is a useful learning aid, but is not permitted for reference in most casinos and would be considered cheating. Don't take a blackjack strategy card, or even the most simplistic blackjack basic strategy chart, into a casino or blackjack game without first checking to ensure that it's permitted for use there.

Ultimately, you don't need any kind of blackjack trainer to be successful at the game. The best training comes from repeated blackjack practice, which will teach you how to remember the rules and patterns without any kind of guide. Whether you're interested in practice or in playing for fun, DoubleDown Casino offers free blackjack with no download and no commitment.