Want to learn how to play blackjack for beginners? This article will show you how to play blackjack in casinos and reveal some of the main blackjack superstitions.
How to: Blackjack for Beginners
One of the most amazing, logical, and highest-paying casino games is blackjack. You will find this game in literally any online or ground casino, and you can play it alone or with friends. Blackjack comes in many variants, but they generally share the same rules. This bare-bones card game was the favorite of nearly everyone from rugged Wild West cowboys to French revolutionaries.
If you happen to be a new player, this how to play blackjack for beginners guide will outline the basics of blackjack for beginners. It will reveal how to play blackjack to not waste your bet. What can one do if the card is an ace? And what is a soft 17? This guide has the answers.
Also, for those who believe in the supernatural, we will explain some common superstitions that you should avoid while playing this classic game. You could unknowingly do some things that could leave you with empty pockets. In case you thought you were safe at blackjack tables, think again. Even though blackjack relies on a strategic approach and less on chance and luck, there are some things you could do to anger or please the spirits. And if anyone has ever told you that you should never enter the game between shuffles, we’ll reveal the explanation to that and many more superstitions below.
Blackjack is a classic table game which requires a 52-card deck. We’ll show you how playing blackjack is actually easier than it looks. It’s a single deck game and playing it is quite easy.
The deck of cards features 4 suits — spades, diamonds, hearts, and clubs. Plus, hearts and diamonds are the red cards while clubs and spades are white. The Ace (A) is the first card, but it’s not always counted as 1 since sometimes it can stand for the highest. The next cards have a range between 2–10. Of course, then there are the J, Q, and K — the Jack, Queen, and King, which are also named face cards.
Here are the blackjack card values:
- Face cards are 10 points.
- 2–10 cards have a value equal to their rank. (e.g., 6 is 6 points).
- Aces can be counted as 1 or 11.
And how do we count the score? Well, to get the score, simply add up the cards.
First, the classic variant of blackjack is essentially a one-on-one standoff between you and the casino dealer. Even though there may be more players at a table, the dealer is always your one and only opponent.
Furthermore, both the dealer and the player always have their cards in one hand. From there, it’s quite easy to guess who the winner is: the player who is holding a higher total. The highest hand is when you have 21 points for two cards — also known as the Blackjack. The thing is, hitting 21 or the Blackjack is not as simple as it sounds. And how do you lose in blackjack?
Well, when you get a combination of 22 and more, you always lose. It’s called a bust or a dead hand in blackjack. Also, you won’t get lucky if you have less than 21, and the dealer has a hand that is higher than yours. Even if you are only missing one point, the blackjack dealer will beat you, and the house will win. If the player and the dealer get 21 in the same round, the game ends in a draw.
Those were only the basic rules of blackjack. As you can see, when you get the hang of them, they are pretty simple. Let’s elaborate and show you some more rules you need to know.
Firstly, the table can hold 8 people in total — 7 players and a dealer. The blackjack dealer will only draw up to 16 but will stand on any combination of 17. Blackjack generally pays 2:1 when you win, which can lead to large prizes if the house edge is low. But when the result is a draw, the bets will be returned.
In case of the insurance, you might be asked to place a side insurance bet, claiming that your dealer will get 21. Therefore, if you lose, you will get an insurance win on your wager.
Other key things to watch out for are the blackjack table minimum and maximum betting amounts. Namely, there could be a minimum amount of $5 and a maximum of $500. With this betting range, when you wager $5 in one round and the payout is 2:1, you can get $10 for each $5 bet.
How to Start
In a casino, players will first swap out their cash for chips. When they get to the blackjack table, they will see a specific spot for those chips on which they can place their wager.
After you place a wager, the game of blackjack can start. Your opponent will now begin to deal, and both players will get two cards. Generally, the cards are dealt face up or down. But when it comes to the dealer’s cards, one of them is always face down, while the other is fully revealed.
Now comes the main question — to hit or to stand?
If you haven’t heard these terms before, a hit means that the blackjack dealer will give you another card, while the stand is the opposite. On top of these, there are three other options. You can surrender, split, or double down.
Double Down or Split
To split, the player has to get a pair of cards that have a matching rank. Then, the player can choose to split two cards. The player adds another bet to the card that has been split. After that, the dealer will give out two cards. Essentially, the player will have two hands of two cards to play with. The good thing about splitting is that payoffs and wagers are independent for both hands.
And if you are wondering about the double down blackjack move, it’s quite risky, but it can be exciting. The gist of it is that you can increase your wager x2 while playing, and you will get one card in return.
Win, Lose, or Surrender?
When you want to surrender, the rules may depend on the specific game or the casino. You have the option to give up before your dealer looks at their cards or after. In both variants, you will have to give your dealer half of the original bet.
In order to win, you can brush up on the main blackjack strategies and tactics which are easy to grasp. The key is to have an understanding of hard (Ace is 11) or soft hand (Ace is 1 or 11). Then, you should always keep an eye on the face-up card of the dealer. Additionally, it’s important to investigate side bets to see if they can really pay off or not. Those are some things to look out for, but there are countless other blackjack strategies. If you get really good, you can also figure out how to count cards.
Flow and Superstitions
A blackjack table is commonplace in a casino that is full of mystery. First, many superstitions surround the game, including lucky or unlucky numbers, charms, and some things you should never do. If you are a believer or a skeptic, these superstitions will surely be amusing and informative.
One of the main casino superstitions surrounding blackjack is the concept of the flow. Some believe that the order or flow of cards should never be disrupted. That’s why it’s often frowned upon or outright forbidden to join a table between the shuffle (also called a mid-shoe). It means that the card order will be disrupted and the table will be unlucky. New players might not be aware of this blackjack superstition, and it’s important to mention that some casinos forbid it. However, it’s forbidden for another reason, and that’s to get rid of players who are card counters. Either way, joining the casino table between the shuffle is just not tasteful: think of it like sitting at the movies in a single seat between two couples. Awkward.
Bad Players Bring Bad Juju
Did you ever notice that people at some blackjack tables appear to be crankier than others? Well, the belief here is that if there’s one terrible player, the entire table will experience horrible luck. When one player keeps making mistakes consistently, many players believe the whole blackjack table will suffer.
New Card Dealers
There is a common blackjack belief that dealers can also affect the flow. Namely, when card dealers change shifts, and a new one arrives at the table, the luck reverses completely. That means if luck is not on your side and a new dealer arrives, it’s time to smile. But if you are winning and the dealers change, you might have to end the game as soon as possible.
Remodeling = Horrible Mojo
Many believe that luck builds up in a casino as the establishment ages. If the gaming floor undergoes some big renovations, it could seriously disturb the mojo. When some US casinos in Las Vegas were remodeled, tons of players noticed an eerie, unlucky atmosphere. This is especially true for new blackjack tables where players complained about big losses.
The Southpaw Curse
If you are a lefty, you might have to change your hand in blackjack. Namely, playing blackjack with your left hand is considered to be extremely bad luck. So, you should only play with the right hand.
Never Curse at the Dealer
Additionally, don’t swear or say anything mean to the blackjack dealer. It will backfire and bring some terrible luck your way. Plus, it’s just not polite casino etiquette.
Always Use the Backdoor
While some may prefer to take all the action in the front, gamblers generally like to take things from the back. And by that, we are indeed referring to the casino entrance. Namely, there is a belief between blackjack players that entering through the main door will jinx them. That’s why you should pick an alternative way to enter the casino if you are aiming to play blackjack or any other game.
We hope you enjoyed our beginner gambling guide for blackjack. As you can see, it’s simple to learn how to play blackjack for beginners. Also, now that you know some of the main superstitions, you should keep them in mind. If you don’t believe in them, we hope you had a good laugh. Either way, now you know all the main blackjack rules, and it’s time to visit a casino and start playing! With our guide, you will surely beat the dealer!