The game of blackjack or 21 is the most popular table game offered in casinos.
If you are unfamiliar with the rules of casino blackjack or simply need some clarification on the finer points, you’ve come to the right place!
I will tell you everything you need to know to play the game, and also explain the few rules that can differ from one casino to another.
If you are new to casino table games, it can be a bit intimidating the first time that you sit down at a blackjack table. Follow along, and you’ll know exactly what to expect at the table. The basic premise of the game is that you want to have a hand value that is closer to 21 than that of the dealer, without going over 21. Your hand competes only against the hand of the dealer.
Everything seems to move so fast, and more importantly, everyone else sure seems to know what they are doing! The rules of play for the dealer are strictly dictated, leaving no decisions up to the dealer.
Therefore, there is no problem with the dealer or any of the other players at the table seeing the cards in your hand.
In fact, if you're playing at a shoe game, the player cards are all dealt face up. It is assumed to have the value that makes the best hand, and that may change as more cards are added to the hand.
In any event, when you're just learning to play, don't hesitate to show the dealer or other players your cards and ask questions. This hand is valued at 7 or 17, also known as a "soft" 17.
The suits of the cards do not have any meaning in the game. A soft hand is any hand where an Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11 without going over 21.
The value of a hand is simply the sum of the point counts of each card in the hand. Any hand that goes over 21 "breaks", or is "busted", and is an automatic loser. The name reflects the fact that the hand can't break if you draw another card. Let's draw another card: Now our hand is 17, since 1 6 10 = 17.
Some examples: 5 7 9 = 21, so this hand has a value of 21. We no longer have the option to count the Ace as 11, because that would go over 21.
(This hand is now a hard 17, despite having an Ace in it.)Let's back up, and draw a different card instead: Now our hand is "10 or 20", a soft 20. Once all the bets are placed, the dealer will deal the cards to the players.