Blackjack is quite possibly the easiest casino table-based game to play. You can play in any casino or online if you prefer. You can pick up the basics in a matter of minutes and there are no complicated rules to memorise. Basically you are trying to make a hand with your cards to total a maximum of twenty-one but no more than that. Let’s take a look at how to play blackjack.

No matter how many other players are at the table with you only have one person to beat – the dealer. If your hand beats the dealer’s hand then you win. Each card you are dealt has a value according to what the card is. All cards two through ten are valued accordingly. A three is worth three, a seven is worth seven and so on. The exceptions are jacks, queens and kings which are worth ten and aces which are worth either one or eleven (if dealt in your first two cards) or one if your third or later card.

Simply add up the total of your cards to know what hand you have. For example each hand starts with you being dealt two cards. If you have a seven and a nine then you have a total of sixteen. You can stick there and draw no more cards or you may ask the dealer for a further card. However bear in mind that anything over a five and you “bust” because your total will be more than twenty-one.

If your first two cards consist of an ace and a ten (or a jack, queen or king) then you have made what’s called a blackjack. You stick there and unless the dealer mates that you win the hand at slightly better than even odds.

The rules are essentially the same at all casinos (online or offline) though there can be subtle variations from casino to casino therefore do familiarise yourself with any house rukes before playing. If you do play the dealer will first deal you two cards. Your next choice is whether to stick (no more cards) or hit (ask for another card) in your quest to get as close to twenty-one without going over that and beat the dealer’s hand.

Other considerations are whether you can split or double down after your first two cards. If you are dealt two cards of the same value, for example two nines, two kings, you have the option to split them and play as two separate hands which means placing another bet on the new hand. Double down means you can double your bet in return for one more card. For example your first tow caards total eleven, you double down for doubling your bet and are given one more card and you may draw no more cards.

That’s about it for an overview of the rules of blackjack. All that’s left is for you to get in there and play a few hands. Playing online is the most convenient method. Select a reputable online casino, do some research and look at what’s on offer by way of an introductory bonus. Their web sites will almost certainly have tutorials and practice tables. When you are ready to play for real money please stick to stakes you are comfortable with and never, ever use money you cannot afford to be without.