How to Play Blackjack

How to Play Blackjack Video Script

By Heather Ferris

Hello and welcome. I’m your host, Heather Ferris and I’m going to teach you how to play blackjack, starting from the moment you walk up to the table until the time you leave. This tutorial was brought to you by, where you get all of your blackjack news, information and access to free games. So let’s go give it a try and turn that cash into clay… Clay chips that is.

Sitting Down at a Blackjack Table

The first thing you’ll do, after walking up to a blackjack game, is place your gambling money on the table so the dealer can exchange it for chips. Decide how much you want to bet, then take those chips and place them in your designated betting area. Some players, if they’re on a winning streak, will bet for the dealer as well. If you want to tip the dealer, then place the tip right in front of your bet, outside of the betting circle. Once the cards come out, you’re not allowed to touch or alter your bet. That’s when the game begins.

Blackjack Card Values

Blackjack is played with a normal 52 card deck. The player will start off the game by getting 2 cards. The Jack, Queen and King have a value of 10. Aces can be either 1 or 11 and all other cards are face value. Because aces can be either 1 or 11, this creates a “soft” hand, where the value of the ace will always be beneficial to the player. So if the player’s first two cards are an ace and a 3 then the value of their hand can be either 4 or 14. If that player receives a 10, then the value of their hand is 14, because the other option is 24 and that would be a loss for the player.

Blackjack Payouts including Why to Play 3:2 Blackjack

The object of the game is for the player to get closer to 21, then the dealer, without going over. The best way to do this is to get a blackjack, but unfortunately for the player, this doesn’t happen every hand. A blackjack occurs when your first 2 cards are an ace and a 10. The player will automatically get paid the amount of their bet plus a bonus. Blackjack typically pays 3 to 2, which means that you’ll get paid the amount of your bet plus half, or 1.5 times your bet. So if the player has a $10 bet and they get a blackjack, then they’ll get paid $15, or 1 ½ times their bet. Blackjacks never lose, they only push. So if both the player and the dealer get a blackjack, then the hand will be pushed and the player will receive no money, however they do get to keep their original bet. If the dealer has a blackjack and the player had any other hand, then that is an automatic loss and the dealer would take the player’s bet. Casinos offer tables with 6 to 5 blackjack; however it’s highly unadvisable to play on one since they’re exactly the same game, except the player gets paid less money on a 6 to 5 game then they do on a 3 to 2 game. Do yourself a favor and stay away from blackjack tables that pay you 6 to 5.

Blackjack Moves

If the player doesn’t get a blackjack on their first two cards, then they’ll have to work at getting to 21. Depending on what your hand is, you’ll have several options that you can choose from. If your original 2 cards equal 17 through 21, then you would stay. This means that the player will choose to do nothing, keeping the hand that they have and hoping that it’s larger than the dealers. Because players aren’t allowed to touch the cards and dealers aren’t allowed to accept verbal requests, then that means the player must make hand signals in order to communicate what they want. If the player wants to stay then the hand signal they’ll make is to slightly shake their hand back and forth.

Blackjack Hit Hand Signal

If the players first 2 cards equal 2 through 17, then they may decide to hit. “Hitting” means that the player will add 1 card to their collection, adding to their total. If the player wants to hit, then the signal they’ll use is scratching or tapping the table with their forefinger and middle finger. Normally, they’ll keep hitting until they reach 17 through 21 or until they bust. You know, there’s several different meanings for “Bust”. In Blackjack, the word “Bust” means that the player went over 21. So if the player hits a 15 and gets a 10, then they bust because they got 25 instead of their goal, which was 21. When a player busts, their bet is lost and their money is taken.

Blackjack Double Down

If the player’s initial cards are a 9, 10 or 11, then they may choose to Double Down. If they do, then they’ll have to put up an additional bet equal to their original wager. If the player wins then they will win both bets, but if they lose, then both bets are lost. The player will only receive one card and they are not allowed to hit after that. If the player wants to Double Down, then they’ll place an equal wager next to their original bet and hold out their forefinger pointing towards both wagers.

Blackjack Split

If the player’s original cards are of the same face value, then they may choose to split. The player will place an equal wager next to their original bet and give the appropriate hand signal, similar to the letter “V”. The dealer will split the player’s original two cards, so now their playing two hands instead of one. The player is allowed to hit, double down or split again, but they’re only authorized to play one hand at a time. If the player wants to split again, then on their initial hit they must have received a card of the same face value. The player can split up to 3 times, which will give them a total of 4 hands. If the player splits aces, then they’ll only get one card for each hand. If one of those cards is a 10, then remember that this is not a blackjack, it’s 21. Blackjacks can only occur on the player’s original two cards, that is why the player doesn’t get paid 1 and a half times their bet for this.

Blackjack Strategy Card – “Playing by the book”

Normally, this is a bit confusing for someone who is learning how to play the game and that is why the casino allows players to use the blackjack strategy card at the table. This card is also known as the “Book” and it will tell players when to hit, double down or split in a way that gives the player a better house edge. You can find this card in the casino gift shop or online.

Blackjack Insurance

There will be times when the dealer will have an ace showing and they’ll ask the table if they want “Insurance”.  In order to know if you want Insurance, first you’ll have to know what Insurance is. Insurance is a voluntary side-bet that the players can take if they think the dealer has a blackjack. If the player decides to bet on the Insurance Line, then they’ll need to add an additional wager that is half of their original amount. If the dealer has a blackjack and you win the insurance side bet, then that payoff is 2 to 1, which means that you keep your insurance bet as well as your original bet. If the dealer didn’t have a blackjack, then the player would lose the Insurance bet.

If the player has a Blackjack and the dealer is asking for Insurance, then the player has the option of taking Even Money. Taking Even Money is the same thing as taking Insurance, except it’s called something different, because the player has Blackjack. The bonus that the player would get paid for Blackjack is the same amount needed to take Insurance; that’s why the player only gets paid even money. Players do this because it is a sure payoff. If the player didn’t take Even Money and the dealer ends up having a Blackjack, then the player’s Blackjack would push and the player wouldn’t get any money.

Dealers Blackjack Hand

Once all of the players have finished with their hands, the dealer will go last. Dealers are only allowed to hit or stay and they must follow certain rules. If the dealer has 16 or lower, then they must hit. If the dealer has 17 or higher, then they must stay and if they go over 21, then the dealer busts and the players win. Depending on the casino, some dealers will either hit or stay on a soft 17.

Blackjack Win

The dealer will compare their hand with the player’s hand and whoever is closest to 21 wins. Players are only betting against themselves and the dealer, they are not playing against any of the other players. If the player wins then they’ll get paid 1 to 1, which is the same amount as their original bet. If the dealer wins then the player will lose their bet. If the total value of the player’s cards is the same as the dealer’s cards, then this is called a “Push” and the player will neither win nor lose their bet. Everything will stay the same.

Cutting the Deck in Blackjack

Eventually, the dealer will shuffle the cards and after they’re done shuffling, they’ll offer one of the players a plastic yellow card. This is called the “Cut Card” and it is the player’s responsibility to stick that card somewhere in the freshly shuffled deck. This is called “Cutting the Deck” and sometimes for fun, you’ll see players kissing this yellow card for good luck.

Just a quick reminder that the cards and chips are never washed and plenty of players with all sorts of nasty habits love putting their filth all over everything, including the cut card, so please before you kiss the cut card, do yourself a favor and first visualize what nasty bodily goo  might be on there.

When you’re done with the game and you want to leave, ask the dealer to color you up as you push all of your chips towards them. The dealer will take all of your small chips and exchange them for one or two large chips. This will make it easier for you as you approach the cage. The cage is where you go to exchange your chips for cold hard cash.

Well, those are the basics for how to play Blackjack. For more information visit where you can play blackjack for free and improve your skills as you learn. I’m your host, Heather Ferris, and if you have any questions or if you have an interesting blackjack story, then share it with us in the comments section below. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, remember to subscribe and as always, thanks for watching.

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