How to Bet on Blackjack | Casino Blackjack Betting
Blackjack is a popular game at casinos around the world, although in some countries the name differs. In the UK, it is known colloquially as pontoon (although in British Casinos it is Blackjack), and in French speaking countries, it is vingt et un, meaning twenty one in French).
The game is played with a standard international deck of cards, i.e. 52 cards with no jokers. There are often several decks used, shuffled together and stored in a “shoe”. The number of decks of cards used varies, from as little as two up to sometimes as many as eight. The number of decks reduces the need to shuffle. Different numbers of decks and frequency of shuffles are various methods that the casinos employ in an attempt to foil the use of card counting techniques.
Even within a casino, each table may have individual rules; these are clearly posted on each table so players are fully aware. Games are played using chips having distinct worth and each chip has its own distinct color (although in some casinos these may be different).
- Black is worth $100
- Green is worth $25
- Red is worth $5
- White is worth $1
Unlike slot machines and other games of pure chance, blackjack has both the element of chance combined with an element of skill.
A table will usually have both a minimum bet and a maximum bet. You can choose any amount you wish between these two limits. The amount you bet has to be decided before the deal takes place. There are four possible outcomes to any hand;
- You lose
- You win – you will an equal amount to you bet.
- You get a blackjack – you win 1 ½ times what you bet. For example if you bet $5 you will win $7.50
- The result is a “Push” in other words a draw – you keep your bet.
Although several players can play at a table at one time, you are only playing against the dealer. What other players are dealt is irrelevant to your hand.
At the start of every hand, each player and the dealer are dealt two cards. You and your fellow players’ cards are dealt face up, whilst the dealer has one card face up and one face down. If you are dealt a Blackjack (an ace plus a 10 or any face card), you automatically win unless the dealer also has a Blackjack. In this case, it is a push as mentioned above.
When you are dealt your cards you may keep asking for cards to increase your total as long as you don’t go over 21 (bust). Whereas the player can stick with whatever score he wished, the dealer couldn’t stick at less than 17, if the dealers hand is 17 or over they will stick. If the dealer busts any players who has not themselves bust wins.
In addition to the basic rules mentioned above there are several additional rules commonly known as Side Rules.
What are Blackjack side rules?
Insurance – It should be noted that many guides to the strategy of playing Blackjack advise against using insurance. In essence what insurance is, if you have a very bad hand you can take out insurance equal to you original bet. You are betting on the dealer winning and you losing. Insurance bets pay out at odds of 2 to 1. Therefore, when you lose, you lose your original bet but get paid twice your insurance bet. In other words, you finish the hand even.
Splitting – When the original two cards that you are dealt are of the same value you can split the two cards and place an additional bet of the same value of your original bet. Note; cards of the value of 10 i.e. a 10 or any of the face cards count as the same card and can be split regardless of the fact that they may be different). In many casinos, the payout for getting 21 after a split will not be the 1 ½ payout but just a normal win payout.
Surrender – If you judge that, your hand will be worse than the dealers you can surrender before the dealer shows their second card. You lose 50% of your bet. Some casinos will not allow a surrender if the dealer hits Blackjack.
Double Down – If you feel pretty sure that the hand that you have been dealt will beat the dealer’s hand you can double your original bet. Many casinos have variations to the rules for Doubling Down, so it is advisable to make sure you are aware of the particular rules applying to the casino in which you are betting. Should you choose to Double Down, you would only get one more card dealt to you.
As with every game, that you are new at, start playing for low stakes until you learn the game and don’t bet with money you can’t afford to lose.
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