Card games have been around for a long time – both for fun and money. Blackjack is a prominent name in that category. It originated in French casinos in the early 1700s and is still being enjoyed by thousands of players in different continents. So, this guide on how to play blackjack for beginners will not lose any relevance any time soon.
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In the modern age, blackjack found its way not only into people’s homes but also their computers. The rise of digital platforms shifted many games to online versions. That said, not everybody knows basic blackjack rules. Our beginners’ guide to blackjack is here to help you figure out this game with a long history behind it.
What Is Blackjack?
Many people refer to blackjack as Twenty-One so you might be already familiar with the term. The main thing you should know about blackjack for beginners is that players collect a better hand of cards than a dealer without exceeding twenty-one. The participants aren’t competing against each other but against the casino itself.
Blackjack gained massive popularity in World War I, but its roots go back a century and a half before that. It was originally called Vingt-et-Un, which is French for twenty-one. After its introduction in North America, the rules slightly changed, and gambling houses started offering bonus payouts. One of them was for having an ace of spades and a black jack. As you can see, this black jack bonus payout was the game’s namesake.
In the 1950s, four men began analyzing Blackjack from a scientific point of view. They discovered the best “Basic Strategy” for the game, which soon gained worldwide renown after its publication in the Journal of the American Statistical Association. The men, Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbet Maisel, and James McDermott are referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and were inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2008.
Essential Terminology to Know
Before we discuss blackjack rules for beginners, it’s time to focus on the meaning of the most commonly used terms. There are so many of them that it’s easy to get confused. Essential terminology includes:
- Bust – Getting more than twenty-one.. If you stand on less than twenty-one, but the dealer has more, it’s still a loss.
- Hit – Asking for another card. Players do it after they receive two opening cards and think that an additional card would put them in an advantageous position.
- Stand – To stop asking for additional cards. This occurs when you’ve reached a high total and don’t want to be dealt any more than you need.
- Double – Doubling the bet you’ve already placed and asking for another card. This move can only be made at the start.
- Split – Playing with the same cards separately. For instance, two 10s can be divided into two different hands so you can put up a bet for each one.
- Surrender – Abandoning your hand while losing only 50% of your bet.
- Push – A tie. If you and the dealer have an equal hand total, no one wins (provided both hands are not over twenty-one).
- Hard hand – A hand that doesn’t include an ace or if the ace is already assigned a value of one.
- Soft – Any hand that includes an ace
- Natural – Getting an ace and a ten-card with your first two cards. To put it differently, it’s twenty-one or blackjack.
Is it Possible to Win at Blackjack?
The short answer is yes. The truth is no player is going to be winning every time but the possibilities are still undeniable. There are hundreds of techniques that help you master this game. Some of them focus more on the statistical elements of the game, others are more about betting styles. We think that there is a chance to win with any method if you use it appropriately.
The basic rules of the game are easy to learn. The difficult part is actually guessing the most likely card that will be dealt next. Casinos add their own rules to minimize player’s chances of winning. Therefore, you need to react instinctively to the cards on the table. Knowing what you can do and what you should do depends on the particular situation you’re in.
Make sure to bet in consistent patterns. If you start big, you might quickly lose it and you’ll simply walk away disappointed. There is a widely known piece of advice telling you to constantly increase your bets. If you add a little subtlety in your betting patterns, you will receive psychological boosts that will keep you going.
Starting small and slowly increasing your pace is the best way to approach blackjack. So, you can indeed win. But you should trust the process without relying on big winnings straightaway.
Learning the rules is not enough. There are unspoken rules in blackjack for beginners and other casino players. Remember that if you break a rule by accident, it’s not going to be the end of the world. If you want your experience to run entirely smooth, keep these points in mind:
- Use hand signals. No one forbids you to say your decisions out loud, but you should also indicate them with gestures. The moves are intuitive. For example, if you decide against hitting, show it with your hands. The reason is that the dealer has to be absolutely certain about your next move, and they might hear something different in a noisy environment.
- Don’t give your money directly to the dealer. Casinos have cameras to prevent any cash transactions. For this reason, everyone always operates in a way that is observable to the camera. Giving them money will be considered cheating.
- Never touch chips when the bet is placed. As an extension from the previous point, chips should be kept in one place. If you fail to meet this rule, you risk having troubles with security. Plus, there is no reason for you to touch them, so it shouldn’t be hard.
- Keep advice to yourself. Even if you see someone making a stupid decision, suppress the urge to comment on that. After all, it doesn’t matter how well others are doing. If you try teaching them how to play blackjack, it’s simply going to change the social dynamic but won’t help you in any way.
- Don’t ask other players questions. Another scenario is that you might be sitting next to a professional player. You might be itching to ask for their opinion, but it’s better to wait until they finish playing. You’re free to do so afterward if your curiosity is strong enough.
Playing Blackjack Online
Online blackjack for beginners is a step forward from traditional casinos. The biggest perk you’re gaining is convenience. You can enter the game and leave it at any time without having to physically move. You eliminate the need to drive to the casino and spend many hours there to justify such a long trip. Especially with mobile devices, you have full casino functionality at the palm of your hand.
Also, learning how to play blackjack for beginners at home is significantly easier. You have plenty of online resources to refer back to. For example, if you have a losing streak, you can log off and study educational material available for free. You can open our guides on another browser tab and check the rules from time to time. The more prepared you are, the better your odds of winning will become.
Land-based casinos aren’t known for favorable odds, payouts, and house edges. Moving to the web versions ensures better conditions since they’re more diverse and have a bigger pool of players. Also, they have fewer expenses so they can offer better deals without it causing them financial trouble.
Online blackjack platforms are not that different from a regular set-up. Practically all the rules still apply, so if you’ve had some experience playing in a casino, it will also give you an advantage online. Because of the digital format, the processes will run more quickly. Even though professional dealers don’t take a lot of time to draw cards, the speed of an online game is unmatched.
The only downside is there is no possibility of card counting. If you take the time to learn how to count cards in blackjack for beginners, you will not be able to apply this knowledge in an online casino. Unless you’re an absolute genius, your attempts at card counting will be unsuccessful.
Useful Tips and Tricks
How do you win at blackjack as a beginner? Even if you use the right technique, your success often comes down to your mental attitude. We’ve gathered some tips for blackjack beginners that aren’t about the specific rules of the game. Instead, we want you to focus on how you behave:
- Accept your losses. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to always beat the casino. It’s statistically impossible to win every time, so you have to be prepared for that. The good news is that it’s statistically impossible for the house to always win as well.
- Study educational materials, but don’t psych yourself out. There are tons of resources with all kinds of techniques and strategies. Find a balance between applying professional advice and trusting your gut. At times, they will be contradicting each other so approach every bet on a case-by-case basis.
- Keep it entertaining. Obviously, it’s nice to gain profits along the way, but it shouldn’t be the only driving force for playing blackjack. People rarely make smart decisions out of desperation, and you will only hurt your chances of winning.
- Don’t rush. There is no pressure to act extremely fast. You should think over your decisions, assess all possibilities, and act only after that. This rule is especially easy to follow with online gaming when there are no other players putting pressure on you.
- Don’t drink too much. It’s normal to indulge yourself with a drink. But you can quickly lose your focus if you go overboard. As you’ve just learned, there are a lot of moves and combinations to keep in mind.
- Eliminate the distractions. Just like with drinking, you should pay close attention to what’s happening. Otherwise, it’s very easy to make devastating mistakes. If you’re in a land-based casino, don’t try to peak at what other people are doing at the table or over the bar. If you play online, make sure no one’s bothering you.
Why Blackjack Is One of the Best Casino Games
With either online or brick and mortar, blackjack remains a popular choice for many people. There are many reasons for why the game has remained a player favorite for so long. Let’s take a look at the top three:
- Blackjack is a quick game to get a hold of. The blackjack lessons for beginners are easy to understand. The main idea is also simple: you have to beat the dealer without going bust. Even though the game can become more complicated if you go into details, it doesn’t have to be. Even the most novice players have a great time.
- Blackjack is available for low stakes. The game is accessible for those of you who aren’t willing to spend a lot of money. It’s up to you to stay within $5 or $10 betting minimums betting limits or go further. You can still make a decent profit, but you also don’t risk blowing all your money.
- Blackjack changes with strategy. Players have an impressive level of control over the game. Depending on your skills, you can influence your outcomes and leverage the house edge in many different ways. Play at your own pace. As you pick up more refined techniques, slowly start implementing themt during the game.
Now that you know the basic rules of blackjack for beginners, it’s time to try your knowledge on Bob Casino. With our welcome bonus and an intuitive interface, your experience will undeniably be positive. Sign up and use the tricks you’ve just learned in practice.