Beginners Guide To Playing Live Blackjack24th Nov 2016 |
Blackjack is a very popular card game in both land-based and online casinos. While it is easy to learn, it can be hard to master. The game has several variants. Read on for our guide to the game’s basics and its betting rules.
Live Blackjack - the Basics
Live Blackjack is usually played using eight card decks. Wagers are placed and players and the dealer are each dealt 2 cards. The aim is to ensure that your cards’ total beats that of the dealer, while being as close, or equal, to 21.
Aces count as 1 or 11. All face cards count as 10 and numbered cards at face value. If you’re dealt an Ace and a card with a value of 10 as your first two cards, you get a winning Blackjack. Scoring over 21 sees you go bust.
Live Blackjack - general rules
Playing Live Blackjack pits you against a real dealer, all from the comfort of home. Tables will have different bet limits, so ensure you choose one to suit your budget. Depending on the Blackjack variant, you may also have the option to place a range of side bets.
After the first 2 cards are dealt, there are options to take further cards. In this guide, we’ll explain the various rules. Do note, there’s no surrender in Live Blackjack. So, read on, and you’ll soon know when to hit, stand, split, double down, take insurance, and more.
Once the first 2 cards are dealt and scored, there are several options for your next move, depending on the value of yours and the dealer’s hands. Taking a hit means asking for another card to increase your hand’s score. There are rules to help you decide.
Some Tips for When To Hit
- Your hand scores 11, dealer’s first card is an Ace: hit
- Your hand and the dealer’s score 10: hit
- Your hand scores 9 or less, dealer has 7-9: hit
Standing is the exact opposite of hitting. You don’t take another card. Instead, you stick with your hand. This can happen with your first two cards, or after you’ve taken one or more hits. Again there are a few rules to guide you.
If you were dealt a natural blackjack – a 10 value card and an Ace – stand. If your hand scores 17, stand. If the dealer’s first card is 6 or less, and your hand scores 13 or more, stand. If you have a pair of face cards or 10s, then stand.
Splitting Your Hand
If you have a pair of cards, such as two 9s, you can split your hand. You must match the bet made on your original hand on the new hand. You can then hit on each hand, giving you a chance to win double the amount.
You should only split low-value cards (2s-3s) if the dealer’s first card is 4-7. Don’t split fives. Instead, hit or double down when the dealer’s card is an Ace or 10. If the dealer’s first card is less than 6, and you have sixes or sevens, split them.
If your initial hand equals 9-11, you can double your bet before taking a hit. You are gambling that your next card will be a 10 or face card, giving you the chance to hit 19-21. Once you make this play, you can’t hit again.
A push is essentially a tie. If the dealer’s hand totals anywhere from 17 to 21, and the player’s hand has the same score, that’s a push. When this happens, you will not win or lose but your wager will be returned to you.
Blackjack and Bust
Blackjack is achieved when the first two cards dealt make a total of 21. If you score a blackjack you’re paid out at odds of up to 3:2. However, if you score 21 using 3 or more cards, and the dealer gets a blackjack, then the blackjack still wins.
If you or the dealer take a hit and the value of your cards, or those of the dealer, exceeds 21, this results in a bust. When you bust, you will lose your wager. However, when the dealer busts, you will win the wager automatically.
Some casinos give you the option of taking an insurance bet. This happens when the dealer draws an Ace as their first face-up card. What you are doing is insuring your bet in case the next card drawn is a 10 or face card, causing a natural blackjack.
When you’ve been dealt a Blackjack and the dealer’s first card is an Ace, the Even Money rule will be activated. When you take the even money bet, you will be accepting an immediate pay off instead of waiting for the dealer to expose their hole card.
The aim of this rule is to guarantee the player a 1:1 payout. In fact, it is another form of insurance, as there is the possibility that the dealer may also have a blackjack, which would result in a draw. This rule only applies to players with a Blackjack.
Bet Behind and Side Bets
Playing Live Blackjack comes with a few more betting options than virtual or land-based games. Live Blackjack tables usually have 7 seats. If they are all full, players can still enjoy the thrill of the game by making a Bet Behind any one of the table seats.
There are also side bet options available, depending on which Live Blackjack variant you are playing. It’s always worth looking at the specific rules before you join an unfamiliar game. Optional side bets usually include Perfect Pairs and 21+3, each coming with a range of wagering options.
If you are to be successful in Live Blackjack, you need to know when to hit, split, stand, double down or take insurance. Choose a Live Blackjack variant with table limits that suit your budget. Follow the wagering rules and you will enjoy success in the game.