Blackjack for rookies

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Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around, but if you don’t know the rules you won’t be able to appreciate the thrill of it! Whilst it is fairly simple to grasp, there is more to it than other popular games such as roulette and spinning on the slots.

Which is why we’ve created this guide for all you blackjack rookies out there. Whether you’re looking to play it for the first time, or just want to improve your limited knowledge, this will help.

Understanding blackjack

Firstly, if you’re playing through Lucky Nugget’s mobile casino or sitting around a table at a packed casino, the rules don’t change. It’s always just you against the dealer, any other players are irrelevant.

When you are ready to play it will be from a traditional deck of cards, meaning there are 52 cards available, with 13 from each suit and all contain a value.

– Ace can be worth one or 11
– All face cards (Jack, King, Queen) are worth 10
– Every other card is worth whatever number they are. Such as nine will score nine, eight will score eight etc.

You will then be dealt two cards initially and the aim of the game is to get a total of 21, or as close to it as possible, without going over. The dealer will also be dealt two cards, but only one of them will be available for you to see. If you ever go over 21 you are bust and it results in an immediate loss.

However, as the aim is to get closer to 21 than the dealer, after you’ve been dealt two cards, you can ask for more if necessary, which is known as a hit. For instance, should you end up with a three and a five, eight is a very poor score. In this instance you would hit.

This will see the top card pulled from the deck and given to you. If it was another low scoring card, you can hit again. In fact, you can hit as many times as you want, but remember if you go over 21 you lose.

Alternatively, if after your initial eight you pulled out an ace, which could give you a total of 19, you may logically decide that’s good enough. This means you stop asking for more cards and is known as a stand.

In any scenario, you will play your hand before the dealer. Once you have finished, be it by going bust or stopping with a score, the dealer will then play if necessary. They will then hit for cards themselves until the winner is determined. It may sound more complicated than it is, but the game is very quick and is simple to catch on to.

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Payouts

Before the game starts you will lay down your bet, and in order to explain how the payouts work, we will use a $10 bet.

As we hope you’ve realised from the value of the cards, the quickest way to win would be through a card valued at 10 and an ace (which can be worth 11). This is known as blackjack and you will immediately win with this hand. Should this situation arise, you will be paid out at 3:2. So, our $10 bet would return $25 and then you can get ready to play again.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always as easy as that! Should you beat the dealer with anything other than a blackjack, the payouts will be 1:1 meaning a $10 bet is doubled and will return $20.

Key terms

Blackjack also has a range of terms that describe events in the game and other scenarios that may arise. Here we will detail some of the most common and what they mean, including some we have already mentioned.

Blackjack: The name of the game and the best possible hand. A card valued at 10 and an ace will see you hit the magic 21 and receive a bigger payout of 3:2.

Bust: If you go over 21 you are bust and unfortunately it means an instant loss!

Double down: After your initial hand you can decide to double your bet in return for one single card. No matter what the value of that card, it’s all you’re getting but it could lead to a bigger win. Is it worth the risk?

Hit: To ask for another card and you can do this as many times as you want until you go bust, but it’s all about beating the dealer.

Insurance: If the dealer has an ace on show it means they are only one card away from blackjack. In this situation you can place an insurance bet which covers that outcome, and will pay at 2:1. However, if they don’t have blackjack, the game continues as normal and your insurance bet has lost.

Push: When you and the dealer have the same total, so nobody has won, it’s known as a push. This will see your initial stake returned. Nothing lost, but nothing gained.

Split: When you are dealt a pair of the same card, you get the opportunity to split. It will separate the two cards into two hands and will require you match your initial bet on the new hand. From there, the two hands will play against the dealer. However, it’s not always beneficial to split, so think things through!

Stand: To stop asking for more cards and sticking with what you have.

Split in blackjack

It may take you a while to get up to speed but this blackjack for rookies guide should help any of you out there. It requires a combination of luck, skill and strategic thinking which is why it’s one of the most popular casino games around. Check out our great table games for the chance to put your new knowledge of the game to the test.