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Blackjack Basics
Written by Jennifer Bates   
Thursday, 18 September 2008 11:34

Blackjack can be easy once you've become accustomed to playing, but still most players choose to read a few rules before playing, which is a good idea. The rules of Blackjack can change. In fact, they can switch from one game to another depending on variables which had been chosen by the House before starting the game. You can choose to play Blackjack in both online and land based casinos, but before deciding upon it you should take into consideration a few facts.

Usually, each player plays only against the blackjack dealer, also called "House" or the "Bank". Your goal as a player is mainly to beat the House and win all their money by calling cards until the total of your hand is as close as possible to 21 without going bust. If the value of the first 2 of your cards sum 21, then you obtained the best possible combination, called Natural Blackjack. If the dealer's hand is closer to the magic number 21 than yours, then the house wins. The dealer has to follow a well defined set of rules that apply only to the game of the House, and to know what the dealer can do is just as important as being aware of what you can do to win.

It is much easier to learn the rules of playing blackjack on the Internet than playing in a real casino. In a real casino you will not only feel the pressure from people that gamble near you and from the dealer, but must also bet nice sums of money to learn while practicing. This is something that you should avoid. If you choose to play online, you can avoid this situation, because you can play Blackjack for free at virtual casinos before making any real money bets.

The rules of virtual Blackjack are the same as at land based casino Blackjack, which, as mentioned above, can vary from casino to casino. It is very easy to play over the Internet. Since the program does not let you make any mistakes, playing is as easy as a simple mouse click. Open the software to learn the names of the chips with which you can gamble, and to make a bet click the tab with that name. The program will automatically tab in the area of betting chips. To cancel your bet, click the right button in the area of chips betting. Blackjack regulations stipulate that standard values of playing cards are the following: 10, J, Q, and K having as value 10, an Ace values either 1 or 11, while the other cards have the same value as their number, e.g. a 5 has as value also 5.

The rules that the Blackjack dealer follows are quite simple, in case the dealer’s hand has the value 16 or below that, then you should take another card. When the value of the Bank’s hand is 17 or above that, then you should stand. You have to keep in mind the fact that in some casinos the rules allow the House to continue to take cards when a hand is not firm, so this gives a small advantage to the house. Fortunately at some casinos the dealer stands whenever you have a 17 either firm or not firm. The strategy of the Bank is usually fixed and can not be changed during the game to beat the player.

The player can ask for the cards he/she wants (this procedure is also called hit) and can stand anytime, no wonder why the game is often referred to as Hit or Stand. According to the agreed rules, when a player gets a Natural Blackjack (when its first two cards are the following: Ace and 10) then he/she will be paid 150% (3-2) related to the original stake. For example, if you bet $10, then it will pay $15. You can only double the bet when the total of the first 2 cards is a 9, a 10 or an 11. When you have the option of cracking, the program asks if you want to do it or not.

As you can see, Blackjack isn’t at all difficult once you get familiar with its basic rules and terminology. You don’t need to be a card counter or math genius in order to win at 21; all you need to do is to find a decent place where you can gamble as you please. A good suggestion may be to play online and try out the free games offered by the best casinos, and this way you will gain some experience as well. So what will be your next move, hit or stand?

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