When playing blackjack, the gambler plays against the dealer. The goal is to have the highest value of two cards, which shouldn’t go above 21. There can be five to nine players on the table, and all of them play against the dealer.
But, before you do anything, you have to learn how to play blackjack. At the beginning of this article, we will focus a little on the instructions, so we can help you understand how to bet, and what to expect once you have the cards in your hand.
The dealer has 52 cards, and the goal is to get a higher value than the dealer. So, first, you need to put down the bet. You can decide on the amount alone, or you should follow the casino rules. If you play it online on services like the lucky creek, you need to follow their rules for sure. Once you do that, the dealer will give you two cards (or the random system will deal with two cards). The dealer should show one of the cards at this point. Now it’s time to place the side bet, which is known as “insurance”. You can bet on pairs, colors, etc.
The next thing you have to do is to decide if you hit or stand. If you hit, you will get more cards, so you can increase the value in your hands. But, if it goes over 21, you lose at the same moment. So, make sure you are aware of the risks. Once you are satisfied with the value, you can hit or stand, and the dealer won’t deal more cards to you.
Also, you need to pay attention to how the others. See how they behave, and what they are planning to do. Now, it’s time for the outcome. There are a few possible scenarios:
- You have a value lower than 10 (for example, your cards are 2+3+4)
- You have a higher value, like 16 or higher
- Your value equals 21
Surely, you may have more than 21, but that’s not an option in blackjack, which means you lose.
So, what can we say about the highest value?
It can be 21, which is consisted of an A, plus 10, or any of the “pictures” like K, Q, or J.
Sometimes, no one can get close to 21, so the highest value is the winner. Also, keep in mind that you don’t play against the other players, but against the dealer. So, if someone has 21, and you have, for example, 17, but it’s still a higher value than the dealer’s, you are still a winner in this game.
Best cards and how to play them
Blackjack is considered the hand of two cards that gives a value equal to 21. As we already explained, the ultimate 21 is when you have an ace (A) and ten, K, Q, or J. When you have this one, chances are you are the winner, even though it’s possible for the dealer to have the same value. You end up tied in this case.
The next best hand is 20, which means you have two cards for which a sum is 20. You have about an 80% chance to be a winner, and we suggest not splitting the cards into different hands in this case. Sometimes players are tempted to do that, thinking that they can still get an ace with the next deal.
We also suggest sticking to the value if you have 18 or 19. But, it’s all up to you, and if you think you should split your hands, or ask for another card, probably nothing will stop you in your intentions.
At this point, we will mention the worst hands. For example, the worst combination to start is a cumulative value of 16, especially if the dealer has one card that is high, like ten or ace. Surely, nothing is lost at this point, because the dealer may have 10 and 2, for example.
Also, if you have 13 or 14 at the start, you still have a chance to get up to 21, but also to go a lot over it. The decision depends on the dealer’s card too. We can’t predict any outcome, because even the dealer can go over 21.
As you gain more experience, you will learn how to read the body language of the other players, or even count the cards, so you can estimate your odds. You can hold onto your theoretical knowledge on blackjack, or you can choose a practicing mode using online games, or even play against a friend, until you get the routine, and see what you can do about it.
How to estimate which combination is the highest value?
The players who have a higher total with the initial two cards rank better than those who can get the same result, but after the split. So, don’t be surprised if someone who had a better result with the first cards gets a bigger payout than those who needed to split their cards, and ask for more.
Also, you have a pretty good chance to have a really low result, but the most common among them is 11 since you can get it as a combination of 2+9, 3+8, 4+7, and 5+6 (any color).
In general, we suggest you proceed if you have 19 or 20 in your hands, and even 18 is a good result. But, if we don’t risk, where is the fun in that?
Now, when you understand how to play blackjack, and know which combinations are considered high values, you are ready to install an online casino on your smartphone or to play it using your laptop. Or, you can even go to land-based casinos, and see how it’s played there.
So, to wrap the whole thing up: 21 is the highest possible sum you can use in blackjack to win against the dealer. But, you shouldn’t underestimate the values of 18 and above too. It’s up to you to decide, so we hope you will do that nicely and precisely.