How to Play Blackjack

Last Updated: 11/12/2020

How to Play Blackjack

Contents

One of the most common errors that new Blackjack players make is going into a game with the belief that they have to get as close to 21 as possible. However, this isn’t the case. The aim of Blackjack is to beat the dealer. It helps to be as close to 21 as possible, but your strategy should not revolve around high-value cards. Here is an in-depth how-to guide which we hope can turn even an amateur into a master before they play at the Slot Boss online slots site. So let’s start off with the basics.

Blackjack Basics

Blackjack Card Decks

If you’re looking to play Blackjack, knowing card decks is so basic, it’s self-explanatory. That said, it’s a good place to start if you’re a new player. The values 2-10 are represented by the number value on cards. However, there are four cards that aren’t numbered, and these are the Ace, Jack, Queen and King cards. The three face cards are the equivalent of the 10-value card; meanwhile, the Ace card can be valued at either a one or an eleven, depending on what the players wish.

Example: If players are dealt an eight and an Ace, they will have a soft 19, which means that they can choose to either play with a 9 or a 19.

We recommend that players learn the differences between soft hands and hard hands by clicking a link further down this blog as soft hands are crucial for in-depth strategy guides.

How do you Play Blackjack?

Blackjack Chips

Blackjack chips

If you’re playing at an online casino such as Slot Boss, you’ll notice that all chips are clearly marked with their value. This means that a knowledge of Blackjack Chip colours isn’t necessary. However, in a land casino, this can be quite difficult to determine if you’re new to the game. If you’re unsure on how much a chip is worth, you can find the value printed on the chip. Most casinos; however, follow this basic set-up.

White & Blue Chips - Usually signifies £1.

Red Chips - Usually signifies £5, referred to as “nickels” in American Casinos.

Green Chips - Usually signifies £25, referred to as “quarters” in American Casinos.

Black Chips - Usually signifies £100, referred to as “blacks” in American Casinos.

Blue & White Chips - Usually signifies £500

Yellow Chips - Usually signifies £1000

So as an example, if one of our players wished to bet £630 at an American Casino, they would place down a blue & white chip, a black, a quarter and a nickel. In the modern-day as a safer gambling precaution, a lot of online and land casinos have set table limits.

Blackjack Cards

You can’t play Blackjack without a set of cards, but you can lose a game of Blackjack by not knowing the typical format of Blackjack cards in a casino. So, once everyone has set their bets, a dealer will deal cards from what is called a dealing shoe. Each shoe contains anywhere between 200 and 1000 cards. So, don’t be surprised if you find five of the same card on the table. The dealer will have two cards, one facing down and one facing upwards. The dealer’s up-card is crucial to any strategy. If you’re playing a hand of Blackjack without considering the dealer’s hand, you’re playing the game wrong.

Blackjack Etiquette

If you’re looking to play Blackjack in person, knowing the etiquette behind the game is vitally important, which is why we’ve compiled a list of rules of Blackjack etiquette below.

  1. Never hand money directly to the dealer.

If you’re situated in a land casino, the last thing you wish to do is hand money directly to the staff in the casino. This can be a completely innocent move but can be perceived as an illegal activity. With all of the security cameras in the venue, we implore all players to convert their cash into chips before sitting down. Alternatively, place your cash down on the table and move your hand away from the money; this will allow the dealer to spread out the cash and slide you the chip equivalent.

  1. Please pick up your cards with one hand and never remove them from the table.

In Blackjack you will be dealt two cards which are placed down on the table, you must pick up the cards with one hand. If you use both, it could be perceived as card tampering as with both hands, the view from cameras could be skewed. In alignment with this, never lift your cards off the table, there simply isn’t any need to do so, which means if this happens, you’ll look suspicious.

  1. Once cards are dealt, never touch your chips.

Once again, there is no reason for you to touch your chips after your cards have been dealt, which means any movement towards the chips will be deemed as intentional and could land you in hot water. Collect your chips at the end of the round if you have won or tied, but you can not touch your stake until the end of the round.

  1. Use signals, not speech

Again, this is for security purposes more than anything else. As security cameras are manned at all times, players must indicate not just to the dealer but to the cameras what they intend to do. If you don’t know the signal, just ask. Dealers will be more than happy to let you know all of the signals. It is perfectly fine to ask the dealer questions during the game; the dealer isn’t paid to beat you, he is paid to ensure the game is fair and even for all participants.

  1. Treat the dealer how you would wish to be treated.

Remember, the dealer is just a person like you. They would much rather see you win than see you lose, but if you do lose, remain calm and collected. If you win, why not give your dealer a tip? They are no different from a shelf-stacker in your local supermarket or a random guy from the office; this is their job. It doesn’t have to be a certain amount, but the equivalent of your minimum bet is a good guide.

Versions of Blackjack on Slot Boss

European Blackjack

Play European Blackjack

This is the most common version of Blackjack and follows the standard set of rules you would expect to see in a traditional Blackjack game. If you’re more familiar with the American Blackjack version, then you should know that European Blackjack has five main differences including fewer card decks, dealer restrictions and slight tweaks to doubling down or splitting. Generally, European Blackjack is the less aggressive variation.

Blackjack Poker & Pairs

Play Blackjack Poker & Pairs

Blackjack Poker and Pairs is a game that brilliantly combines two unique casino games into one brilliant game. Also known as “Perfect Pairs”, players can play using up to three hands at once and tailor their bets to separate hands. If you’re looking to play a Blackjack game with a generous Poker paytable, there is simply nothing else like this IGT creation.

First-Person Blackjack

Play First Person Blackjack

Evolution Gaming have created one of the best casino gaming experiences possible with their first-person games. Providing the ultimate experience, First Person Blackjack follows the traditional gaming profile of European Blackjack.

Power Blackjack

Play Power Blackjack

Power Blackjack is unique. That is for certain. There are three major differences between this game and others:

9’s and 10’s are removed from decks, meaning there are 64 fewer cards, which completely negates the majority of standard strategies. Players also have the option to triple and quadruple down instead of the basic doubling down, so if you’re incredibly confident on a certain hand, you can make it count. Another improvement is the inclusion of side bets, which can turn a good win into a great win.

Relax Blackjack

Play Relax Blackjack

This game is Blackjack in its most basic form. If you’re looking to play Blackjack for real money in a single-player environment, look no further than Relax Blackjack from Relax Gaming.

Bankroll in Blackjack

Bankroll In Blackjack

If you ask any professional Blackjack player what is the one thing that amateur Blackjack players fail to do, it would be setting up a bankroll that suits them. Professional players like Bryce Carlson, Russ Hamilton and Edward O. Thorp have all spoken on the importance of a bankroll, as it suits their patient approach. Setting up a bankroll takes patience, but this attribute is arguably one of the most crucial in any of our live casino games. In our opinion, it is the most important in Blackjack. Want your patience to be rewarded? Find out how to pick your ideal bankroll in Blackjack based on the criteria of expectations, time and reality.

Check out our tips to setting your bankroll in the image above

Dos and Donts of Blackjack

Blackjack Dos and Donts

How to Play Blackjack Moves

Once you find yourself in a situation with two cards, up against the dealer, two things should go through your mind. How does the dealer’s hand look, and how does my hand look? These are just as important as each other, as dealers must always have a hand of 17 or higher. There are three options that players will have 90% of the time when they play. They are:

Hit, Stand & Split

To begin with, you’ll likely have two options, Hit or Stand. These are the two set options at the start of every game and will determine if players receive another card or whether they stick to their current total. Select ‘hit’ to receive another card and select stand to keep your total and take on the dealer. Now, as it stands, those two options are relatively simple, right? So, let’s move on to splitting, which is a different challenge.

How to Play Blackjack: Splitting

How to Split in Blackjack

If you’re looking to find out more about splitting in Blackjack, you should click the blog above to find out all the need to know information. However, if you’re looking for a quick refresher, the information below is all you’ll need.

If players have two cards of the same number or letter, they have the option to split. To do this, players must double down on their stake and another one card will be placed next to each split card to provide their final values. A warning here is that players can only draw one card for each, so while it is worth splitting when you have two 10s, it definitely is not worth splitting if you have two 2’s. Players will also have the option to Double Down in some games. This will end up quadrupling the players’ stake and double the bet of both sets of cards, naturally doing this should be on the basis that the dealer has a poor upcard as there is no point in splitting and doubling down if the dealer has a good chance of winning. Unsure on what or how to double down? Check out the section below.

Doubling Down In Blackjack

Doubling Down in Blackjack

In the modern-day, doubling down sounds much worse than the Blackjack reality. Outside of Blackjack, it is associated with greater risks than that of the Blackjack strategy. The Blackjack strategy is the only doubling down that we recommend, but it is important that players understand how to use the feature strategically to ensure that Doubling down is the calculated risk it is supposed to be rather than a shot in the dark effort. If poorly calculated, this can ruin all players chances of a successful Blackjack experience; however, if done correctly, this can quadruple the player’s winnings. If you wish to learn more about Doubling Down in Blackjack, be sure to click the image above for our in-depth guide to Doubling Down in Blackjack.

Blackjack Soft Hands

Whether it’s in our Live Blackjack or in single-player games, the aspect of the game that seems to confuse players is Soft Hands; we have seen a tonne of different situations where players have lost rounds simply because they’ve misplayed their soft hand. Which has led to our expert providing an in-depth description on how to play individual soft hands as well as the facts and figures of different hands, if you’re not quite sure on how you would play a soft 14 or a soft 18, then take a moment to check out our guide. Here are just some of the figures you will see in this section:

Chances of Landing

Total Chances /169 Percentage
Soft Hands 17/169 10.1%
Blackjack 8/169 4.7%
20 16/169 9.5%
19 8/169 4.7%
18 9/169 5.3%
17 10/169 6%
16 11/169 6.5%
10-16 80/169 40.8%
4-9 21/169 12.4%

To find out more about Blackjack Soft Hands, check out our blog below

Blackjack Soft Hands

Blackjack Quiz

Just to make sure you’re keeping track, here are a few quick questions to ensure you’re up to date on the information above.

1. Cards are dealt, you have a total of 16. The dealer’s up-card is a six. Should you hit or stick?

2. You have been dealt two cards, they match. You have a total of 8 from two fours, should you split?

3. How many chips would I need to put down to bet £535?

Answers

1. On the basis of statistics, it’s a bad idea to hit. The player has 16, so the dealer needs two cards with a total value between 10 and 15. Meanwhile, the player would have to draw a five or lower just to ensure they stay in the game.

2. Definitely not. In most casinos when you split, you receive one card to pair with each of yours, so even on your greatest day, you would only finish on 15.

3. Four chips. A barney, a quarter and two nickels.

If you got those right, fair play. They were fairly standard, but you need to know the basics before you play at our online live casino.

Blackjack Origins

The true origins of Blackjack have been debated for centuries, but most researchers have come to the conclusion that the game originated in French casinos during the 18th century under the title “Vingt-et-Un”, which translates to the number “twenty-one”. As card games were massively popular in 18th century France, this theory has a lot of substance behind it. However; there is also a theory that the Romans were the masterminds behind this game, as it is believed that they played a very similar game with wooden blocks. As the final fall of the Roman empire was in the 15th century, we struggle to believe that this game was virtually unknown for two and a half centuries. The Romans loved to gamble, but in this case, the 18th century France theory has a lot more substance in our opinion. Funnily enough, it was French colonists who helped the game develop in America and it found its way into gambling halls around the country in the 19th century. During this time, rumours of legendary dealers arose and players from around the country would travel days at a time to take on the best of the best.

Vingt-et-Un would soon undergo a name change to Blackjack, which is how we know of the game today. However, this was only changed for marketing reasons. Americans believed the French wording had prevented some players from playing the game and wanted to market the game as an American masterpiece. At this point, they added the idea that if players landed a black Jack and an Ace, it would be an automatic victory and subsequently named the game Blackjack.

Why is Blackjack popular?

The game is incredibly basic but still enjoyable.

The difference between Blackjack and most gambling games is that if you played Blackjack and removed the element of money, it is still an enjoyable game to play. It is also the casino game that most players choose to play first, as online Blackjack has a very basic set of rules in comparison to online Roulette, which can be complicated to new players. The simplicity of being dealt two cards and simply deciding whether you think you can get closer to 21 or not is incredibly basic, but still very, very good.

Low House Edge

In contrast to a number of online casino games, Blackjack has a low house edge which means that players have a better chance of victory. Fortunately, when playing online, the house edge is even smaller! In land casinos, there is typically at least a 2% casino edge, but when you play at Slot Boss, the RTP is around 99.5% - giving the player a fairer chance of victory.

Differences Between Playing Online and on Land

There are a lot of rules that apply to land casinos that you won’t find when you play our live casino games or any of our online slots. They are:

- No handing money directly to the dealer.

- Do NOT touch your cards if they’re laid upwards.

- If your cards are laid facing down, use ONE hand to touch them.

- Cards must remain on the table at all times.

- Use hand signals instead of speaking to the dealer.

Slot Boss Casino Slots

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How to Play Blackjack Online

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