Although the rules of Blackjack may be the easiest to understand of all card games, there are some variations on the basic game that can result in a more complex and challenging game. Don’t worry though. The blackjack tips that you’ve learned throughout this site are still effective with most variations.
The basic simplicity of a game that does not utilize the suits of the cards and in which the numerical value of the hand constitutes the winner, naturally lends itself to creative interpretations around the world. In fact, there are about 100 different Blackjack-based games with origins in several different countries. However, the rules of Blackjack as it is played in American casinos can be found in every casino in the world.
Rules of Blackjack in America
The game of Blackjack is played against the dealer. The goal is to have cards with a higher total value than the dealer. Each player tries to get as close to 21 without going over. A hand totaling more than 21 automatically loses which is called a “bust”. The deal begins with each player receiving 2 cards out of a 52-card deck. The dealer also receives 2 cards, with one facing up and one facing down.
Cards are valued as their face indicates for those ranging between 2 and 10. The king, queen and jack are valued at 10. The ace is valued at either 1 or 11. After the initial deal, players choose to “hit” (receive another card in order to make the hand closer to 21) or “stand” (continue the game with only the 2 cards initially dealt). Players can continue to hit until they either decide to stand or they bust.
Another option is called the “split”. If a player receives 2 cards of the same value in the initial deal, they can separate them to form two hands with an additional card to go with each from the dealer. This player must place an additional bet to go with the second hand formed. A player also has the option to “double down”. In this case, the player doubles their bet and receives only one more card.
After all the players have completed their hands, it is the dealers turn. In the most common variation of blackjack, the dealer must continue to hit until he or she has reach 17 or higher. If the dealer busts, then all players that are still in the game (who haven’t busted themselves) are winners. If the dealer has 17 or higher, then only the players with higher hands win. If one of the players also has 17, then that is called a push and the player keeps the original bet. There are slight variations for the rules of blackjack in different casinos. Make sure you are aware of these variations before sitting down at a table. The same goes for online casinos as well.
How the Rules of Blackjack differ from Spanish 21
Spanish 21 is a variation of Blackjack in which the 10s are absent from the deck. This produces a 48-card deck. The basic rules of Blackjack remain the same as does the object of the game and card values. In casino games, players can get bonuses based on suits. As with regular blackjack, there are also different variations of Spanish 21 to be aware of.
Rules of Blackjack Switch
Another variation of Blackjack is Blackjack Switch. In this version of the game, each player is dealt 2 hands and can switch cards between them in order to form better hands. Only the second card dealt for each hand can be switched. The basic rules of Blackjack still apply as do the card values. For a person used to the standard rules of Blackjack in America, the variations can be confusing at first. Always double-check and make sure you are aware of the rules of blackjack for the specific variation you are playing.