How To Play Blackjack, Guide For Newbies

If you’ve been wondering how to play blackjack, this is the guide you want to read. Blackjack is one of those casino games that come with immense potential to win big if you know how the Blackjack rules work.

In this guide, we’re going to cover the history of the game very briefly, explain the key blackjack terms, and tips to win. If you’ve fallen in love with the game by watching other people play in movies, you might want to try it for yourself. Educating our readers on blackjack is the sole purpose of our endeavour.

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History of Blackjack

It’s really hard to draw a perfect timeline for blackjack. It’s a very debated topic even among historians. However, most agree that it was invented sometime during the 1700s, in France. Another theory concludes that blackjack was invented by Romans. It does hold its ground because Romans are historically known to love gambling.

When Blackjack made its way into France, Vingt-en-Un was the name. The rough translation of the term in English would be 21. This is why Blackjack is popularly known as 21 in many countries around the world.

French people loved to enjoy various versions of Vingt-en-Un. Historians believe that the cards to play 21 were derived from Chemin de Fer, another very popular card game in France at that time. In fact, this game was played in the French Royal Court!

During the 18th century, 21 made its way into America thanks to the French colonists. They brought their Vingt-en-Un cards with them and introduced them to the natives. In 1820, legal gambling halls started to pop up in New Orleans. Surprisingly, Blackjack was one of the offered games in these halls.

We can’t complete a section about the history of the game without mentioning the legend of Eleanor Dumont. It is believed that she migrated to America from France. She was supposedly a very skilled dealer and had her own gambling hall in Nevada. Only the rich and the most esteemed people from the society were allowed inside her den.

Now we don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but the venue Eleanor owned was named Vingt-en-Un.

Blackjack as we know it now started to come alive during the 20th century. Although it was still known as 21 in Nevada, the rest of the country knew it as Blackjack. The name came from the marketing promotions gambling halls did back in the day. They offer a bonus payout if one of your cards were a black jack, meaning a jack from either the clubs or the spades.

The bonus payout is not there for a black jack anymore, but the name has become official.

What are the Differences Between Online and Offline Blackjack?

Blackjack is one of the most played casino games all over the world. As this game involves the element of skill as well as luck, it didn’t take long for casino players to pick up on this game. The trend continued even after the game was adapted to online casinos.

So, what are the basic differences between the gameplay at brick-and-mortar casinos and online casinos?

  • Number of Decks

If you’re playing a table variant at an online casino, the number of decks is irrelevant to the players. The RNG algorithm will shuffle the cards before every round. At live dealer blackjacks and physical casinos, the number of decks matters. The fewer the decks, the better for the players.

  • Speed

If you’re at an offline casino, you can’t take very long to decide what to do with your hand. Because there are other players with you at the table. It’s true to a certain extent for live dealer blackjack as well. The dealer will encourage you to make a quick decision. The online version, however, lets you all the time in the world think about what step you should take.

  • Convenience

Convenience is a huge factor for modern-day casino players. There was a time when people used to drive across the country to visit casinos. With the introduction of online casinos, you don’t have to do leave the comfort of your home anymore. For many, the coziness of their couch ranks higher than the chaotic environment of a brick-and-mortar casino.

  • Strategy Assistant

This difference is more targeted to the players. When you’re playing online blackjack, you can take help from the free resources on the internet to understand what the game is all about and what you should do with different hands. At physical casinos, however, you can’t get the same level of assistance because everything is quite a rush.

What Do Terms in Blackjack Mean?

Let’s look at the most common terms used in the game.

  • Blackjack: The hand that has a 21. It’s the most perfect hand in the game. If the dealer or any of the players get this hand, they automatically win the round.
  • Bust: If a hand goes over 21, it’s a bust. Both the dealer and the players can go bust.
  • Double Down: If you have a promising hand, you can double your initial wager.
  • Split: You can split the bet into two if you get two identical cards. So, you’ll be playing with 2 hands instead of 1.
  • Hit: If you’re not satisfied with the provided 2 cards, you can hit to get another card.
  • Up Card: When the dealers deal cards for themselves, they put one card facing up. That’s the up card. It gives you an idea of what the dealer’s hand might look like.
  • Anchorman: The last player to call before the dealer is known as the anchorman.
  • Burn Card: This is the card the dealer throws away before dealing. It’s a failsafe measure to stop the players from counting cards or predicting what the top card might be.
  • Hand: The cards you’re holding for the round. A blackjack hand usually has 2 cards unless you Hit.

Blackjack Winning Tips

Hit Below 11

The first of our blackjack tips for you would be to always hit if your hand equals 11 or less. Because you won’t be able to beat the dealer with 11. Even if you get an Ace, you won’t bust from 11.

Stand if You Have 17

If you can see the dealer’s up card and it’s 7 or less, you should stand. Standing is keeping the two cards you’ve received during the deal. Also, your hand should be at least 17 in this case. The idea here is that even if the dealer has an ace, you’re more likely to win.

Stand if the Dealer is About to Bust

If the value of your hand is between 12 and 16 while you suspect that the dealer might go bust, you should always stand. You can predict the possibility of the dealer busting from the up card.

Hit if the Dealer is not About to Bust

This is somewhat connected to your previous blackjack basic rules. If your hand is between 12 and 16 and the dealer is showing an up card of 7 or less, you should always hit. Although it increases your chance of going bust, it increases your odds of winning as well.

Stay Away from Insurance Bet

The insurance is a side bet offered when the up card is an Ace. You basically get a shield against the dealer’s blackjack hand. In general, you should stay away from this bet because if you lose, you’ll lose both the main bet and the side bet.

Split the Aces and 8s in Half

Aces and 8s offer the most optimized hands for splitting. So, if you happen to get 2 Aces or 2 8s in a hand, you should always split it.

Avoid Splitting 4s, 5s, and 10s

Picture cards along the 10 are valued at 10. You should never split them. Also, never split the 2 4s or 2 5s. Having two 10s is already an amazing hand. Also, you can’t expect anything good from splitting 4s or 5s. Instead, do a hit.

Don’t Double Down from 8 or below

Doubling down on a hand with 8 or less is suicidal in Blackjack. You can’t expect to beat the dealer even if you hit. So, it’s always better to double down from 9.

Final Words

So, what did you learn today? We’ve tried our best to represent Blackjack for beginners. We’ve covered the basic rules and shared a few blackjack tips. We love blackjack because it’s one of those titles you can master at a casino. It’s just as much dependent on skills as it is on luck.


Article by
Milana Dyson
Milana is our pokies and other games section writer. She does her best to keep our visitors informed about the latest trends in gambling. Except for pokies, she is interested in new technologies and cute cats.