How to become the best player of this classic table game

Blackjack is one of the oldest card games in the world with origins dating back to France in the 1700s. Its real origins are still under debate but there is no denying of its persisting prevalence in modern recreation. If you are interested in learning how to play then you only need to follow these five steps. Afterwards, you are free to challenge your friends or participate in various minigames inspired by blackjack.

Step 1: Find a single-player blackjack game

You will need a game that will let you play alone. Some are available on app stores and playable on mobile devices but some are free to access using any web browsers. There are hundreds of options available for you to try. Any game that appears on your first Google search will suffice.

Why is it important to use a video game? Blackjack has a few simple steps that you can learn after going through the next few steps below. However, the best way to learn how to play blackjack is to use an automated system. Using real cards will either require you to find another person to host the game for you or put you in an awkward situation where you manage both sides of the table.

Step 2: Understand the table arrangement

A blackjack table has two sides namely the dealer and the player. The dealer will have the deck on the side where they draw cards one at a time alternating between your side and theirs until there are two in each. Cards on your side are in your hand and they are facing upwards.

The dealer’s hand has one card facing down and the other is upwards. Once the table is set, it’s time to take action. Each card is worth points equal to the number on it like 2 of hearts mean it’s equal to 2 points. Jacks (J), Queens (Q), and Kings (K) are each equal to 10. Ace is 11 but it will be 1 if the total points of your hand is over 21.

Step 3: Know the words and actions

Actions in blackjack are divided into two types. Your main actions include hitting which means you are asking to draw for another card. Hitting means you ask for another card to raise the value of your hand using new cards. If you are satisfied with your hand, then you should stand, which means passing the turn to the dealer.

The dealer’s hand also follows the same point system. Your goal is to have a higher hand than the dealer without going over 21. Otherwise, it will end in a bust then pass the turn to the dealer. Unlike you, the dealer has to keep hitting until their total reaches 17 or higher. You win a draw if the dealer ends in a bust as well.

Special actions are only available at the start of the game. Doubling down is hitting only once then simultaneously standing. Another special move is splitting only available if your starting cards are of equal points. Using this action will split the two cards into two hands and each one gets their secondary card automatically. You can play both hands for two chances of winning in one round.

Step 4: Identify which action is best in a situation

Your starting hand and the dealer’s revealed card give you a unique situation when deciding to either hit or stand. Ideally, you should only hit as long as your total is only 11 and below. You should be cautious when playing against a dealer whose one revealed card is between 10 to Ace because the down card could also be a 10. If that happens, then you will lose to blackjack.

A blackjack, where the name of the game comes from, is getting a natural 21 points. This means the two starting cards are exactly a combination of 10 and an Ace. It is typically considered higher than getting 21 points from three or more cards with the only way to avoid losing is to cause a draw using another blackjack.

Step 5: Practice at your own pace

Learning the rules is only the beginning of how to play blackjack. Your goal in practicing is to get used to the actions available to you and guessing your odds of winning upon seeing the starting cards. Blackjack is a fast paced game if you begin participating in online multiplayer versions where you only have 10 to 12 seconds to make a decision. Identifying your options quickly means you have more time to make a decision.

Thankfully, you can play it for free using many options available today either at browser-based gaming platforms or using mobile apps. The best way to master it is just to repeat rounds until you gain an intuition that helps you choose your next move. Just keep in mind blackjack is a game of chance so alternating between winning and losing is part of the experience.