The basic Blackjack playing rules and terms for a perfect Blackjack game

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    Jul 16, 2013
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The basic Blackjack playing rules and terms for a perfect Blackjack game Photo by Clifton Tibbitts

If you are serious about trying your luck in playing Online Blackjack then you need to familiarize yourself with the basic terms of Blackjack first and learn how the game is played. This way you will understand the Blackjack playing strategies much better because you speak the "game language" if you will. Let's take a quick look over the most common terms used in the game Blackjack, also known as simply "21", and the basic set of rules:

Most common terms in Blackjack

Card values - Tens and face cards always count as 10. Aces count on either 1 or 11 depending on what you choose and all other cards have a count that is equal to their face value (card with two spades counts as 2 and so on).

Gameplay - All players play against the dealer, not against each other like in Poker. Each player makes a bet and then the dealer deals two cards to every player and two cards to himself. The second card that the dealer deals to himself is faced up for everyone to see. Then, starting with the player to the dealer's left, each player has the choice of standing (not drawing any more cards) or being dealt additional cards. Play continues with that player until the player stands or "busts" (gets a card count that totals more than 21). After all players have made their decisions (or busted), the dealer draws additional cards to either reach a total of 17 or higher (when they must automatically stop), or bust. If the dealer doesn't bust, all remaining player's hands with a higher card total win, and those with a lower card total lose.

Doubling down, splitting bets and insurance - In the game there are three different bets you can make after the first two cards have been dealt:

1) Doubling down means that you can double your bet after you receive your first two cards, you then receive one and only one additional card.

2) Splitting pairs means that when you receive any pair on your first two cards, you can split them into two separate hands and play each one separately. Keep in mind however that you need to add your original bet amount to the newly created hand.

3) Taking insurance means that if the dealer's up card is an Ace, you can wager an additional amount equal to half your original bet as "insurance" in case the dealer has a blackjack.  If the dealer has a blackjack, you lose your original bet but your insurance bet is paid at 2 to 1, so you break even.

Hard hands and Soft hands - In any Blackjack strategy we use these terms so it's important to learn them. First you must remember that an Ace can count either 1 or 11 depending on your choice. A Soft hand is for example a hand composed out of an Ace and 6 and is called a Soft 17 ( 11 + 6 ). A hand that has no Aces or has an Ace that is counted as 1 is called a Hard hand. For example a hand that has a 7 and 10 is called a hard 17. When you have a hand, let's say, that has an Ace and a 5 then it's called a Soft 16 ( 5 + 11 ) but if you now happen to get a 7 card, you need to count the Ace as 1 otherwise you will bust (11 + 5 + 7 = 23 ). So this will leave with with a hard 13 instead ( 1 + 5 + 7 ).

Now that you know exactly how the game is played why not go ahead and try it yourself? You should also consider my other Articles that go over different strategies of Blackjack playing.

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