Guide for Playing Blackjack

Blackjack is the most popular card game since the invention of casino games. Unlike other card games where players compete against other players, in blackjack, you play against the dealer. As such, your primary goal is to ensure you have the edge over the house. The game uses the traditional deck of 52 cards, which are divided into four suits- the clubs, spades, diamonds and hearts. Cards on each suit have a particular symbol. The article highlights useful blackjack tips for beginners.

Blackjack Basics

The value of cards 2-10 is equal to the face value. Jacks, Kings and queens have a value of 10 while Aces are used as 1 or 11. The objective of the player is to draw cards close to 21 without exceeding the dealer’s cards. The sum of all the cards in hand amounts to the score for a hand of blackjack. As such, the hand with the higher score is the winner. Hands with a total of 22 are considered a bust hence, a dead hand, which loses immediately.

Common Phrases Used in Blackjack Game

A blackjack table consists of 7 players on one side and a dealer on the other where you will find phrases like those mentioned next.

3-2 Payoff

A winner is declared if he has a two-card hand worth 21. If the dealer has a blackjack too, the casino considers this result a push. As such, your initial bet is returned in the ratio 3:2. Thus, if you had placed a bet of 20 GBP, you will receive 30 GBP.

Hitting the Soft 17

Both players and dealers are allowed to hit. However, dealers play according to the set rules, i.e., he must stand when he has a total of 17 or more and draw to soft 17. The most common soft 17 occurs when the dealer has ace-6 in the form of six aces, ace 4-2 or ace 3-3. The rule adds 0.2% advantage on the house.

The 2:1 Payoff for Insurance

It is an optional side bet that increases the house edge. It is a risky bet as players can lose the insurance bet. An example is if you place a bet worth 10 GBP and you are dealt cards, but the dealer offers an option of taking an insurance bet (worth 10 GBP) if he has a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, you lose your first bet of 10 GBP but win the insurance bet.

How to Play Blackjack

The game begins once all the players are dealt cards and they have placed bets. Some online casinos deal the cards face up while others deal them facing downwards. You place a bet by putting the chips in a specific spot in front of your seat. The dealer is also supposed to deal himself cards though one card remains face up. If the card facing up is an ace, you can take an insurance bet. Here are common blackjack for beginners strategies.


In the case, the player takes an additional card or cards in a bid to increase the value to 21. However, if the amount exceeds 21, it is a bust. The player signals a hit by waving, scratching or pointing to his cards. This is because verbal signals are not allowed in games.


Here the player vows not to take another card hoping that the current total beats the dealer. In a facedown game, slide the cards under the bet to signal a stand. If you are playing a faceup game, hold a flattened palm over the cards.


Players can only split when the first two cards have the same denomination. The player makes a second bet equal to the first and splits the cards. For example, if the player receives two 8s, he may make a second bet, and the dealer separates the 8s by placing a second card on the first 8. The player continues playing normally until he busts or stands.

Doubling Down

In this case, you place an additional bet and take one more card at the same time. Some online casinos restrict players to doubling down when the first two cards equal to 11 or 10 while others allow the player to double down on any two cards.


It is the same as folding in poker only that in blackjack online, the player agrees to give up half his bet. Players have the option of surrendering early or later. An early surrender allows players to drop out before the dealer checks his cards while a late surrender enables the player to drop out once the dealer checks for a blackjack hand.