Blackjack Basics

Alright perhaps I should have started with this post instead of waiting so long. Since I am learning to play Blackjack there are probably a few other people out there that don’t know how to play this fun game and would like to start but do not know where to begin. Let me fill you in with the basics of Blackjack.

There are many different variations of Blackjack and all have subtly different rules but the basics of the game remain the same for all these variants. This is what I going to cover in this post, the basics of Blackjack.

The game of Blackjack is very simple and can be quickly summarized in a few quick points:

  • Each player is dealt two cards, usually face up.
  • The dealer is dealt two cards, usually one face up and one face down (hole card).
  • Each player in turn will decide which action they wish to take regarding thier hand.
    • Hit - To take another card
    • Stand - To stay with the current hand
    • Double - To double the wager and hit only one card .
    • Split - To separate a pair into two separate hands, requires an additional wager equal to the first.
    • Surrender - To fold the had and give up have of your wager (not always available).
  • The goal is to get you hand total as close to twenty-one without going over while beating the dealers hand.

That in a nutshell is the game of Blackjack. Of course actual game play is a little more complicated but not much more. The first question I had was, “How are hand values calculated?” It is pretty straight forward, the value of card is determined by it’s face. A 2 of clubs would be worth 2, a 10 of diamond is worth 10.
Face cards like the Jack, Queen and King are also worth 10. The Ace is a little tricky as it is worth either 1 or 11 depending on whether your hand would bust with the Ace being worth 11. I’ll explain the Ace later on in a detailed post on soft hands.

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