I have extolled the virtues of blackjack—how it is one of the easiest casino games to play (the only thing easier is slots and I am not going there today) and how it offers the easiest yet most effective strategy. But what I have never touched about is how to learn how to play blackjack. Because you cannot very well play if you do not know how to learn.
First you need to learn what the basic rules are, like what the objective is—the true blackjack objective I might add—and what the basic plays are: hit, stand, double down and splitting a pair. Hitting is when you take another card to increase your hand total; standing is when you do not want any more cards; double down is when you double your wager and receive only one more card; and splitting a pair is, again, when you double your wager and split the two cards with the same value into new hands.
You also need to know how a round of blackjack is played. First players make their wagers. Then the dealer deals two cards to each player; those two cards are your starting hand and they, along with the dealer’s up card, will determine how you play out the round.
After all of the players have their cards the dealer then deals himself one card face up—the up card—and one card face down—the hole card. Starting with the player on far right, if you are playing in a brick and mortar casino, each player will take their turn to play out their hands attempting to beat the dealer without going over 21.
Once the last player has made played out his hand, it is the dealer’s turn to play out his hand. House rules will dictate how he plays. For example, he has to stand on a hand of 17. So even if, as an individual, he wanted to hit, he could not. He also cannot double down or split a pair—those are advantages left to players. He also has to hit the hard hands that players usually stand on.
When the dealer reaches a total that he has to stand on or busts payouts are made to players who have won and wagers collected from players who lost. Unlike in poker, it is possible for more than one player to win a round. While seven players might be sitting at the table, blackjack really is a player-versus-the-dealer kind of game. What the other players do and whether they win or not has no impact on your own hand, especially know that third base has no impact on you despite what you might read or hear.
Reading up on the game and its rules and flow are how you learn to play blackjack. It is important to know the basics before sitting down at a blackjack table. Knowing how to play blackjack, its rules and flow of a round, helps you to play better and keep from losing more money than you would if you came to the blackjack table unprepared.