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Online Blackjack Guide An Introduction to Blackjack

Blackjack, also known as “Twenty-one,” is one of the most popular table games offered in casinos. Played in exactly the same way as in a land-based casino, online blackjack is no exception.

Its popularity is due to several factors. It’s a fast paced game, which holds a person’s attention and offers quite a bit of excitement. It is also a fairly simple game in its most basic form, which means it is easy for people to learn. It is a skill-based game, but luck is involved as well. And because the players play against the dealer, not each other, there is often a camaraderie that is absent from other games.

If all this sounds good to you and you’re interested in playing blackjack online but are new to the game, it might seem a little intimidating at first, but have no fear. This basic blackjack guide will get you started in no time.

Basic Rules
Blackjack is played with a standard 52 card deck. A typical blackjack table is semi-circular and seats between 5 and 7 players.
The basic premise of blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand in one of two ways. Either by drawing cards until your hand exceeds the dealer’s hand without going over 21, or by not drawing cards (“standing”) and letting the dealer hit until he “busts,” or goes over 21.

Card Values
An ace is valued at either 1 or 11
Cards 2 through 9 are valued at their face value
The 10, J, Q & K cards are valued at 10
The suits do not matter.

Once bets are made, the dealer will now deal the cards. He’ll make two passes around the table (from left to right) so that each player and the dealer will have two cards each. The dealer will flip his second card over, revealing its value.

Once the cards are dealt, the players pick up their cards with their right hands and play proceeds around the table.

The dealer starts with the left most player (also called “first base”) and asks him how he wants to play his hand. If the player is satisfied with his two cards, he waves his left hand horizontally, indicating “stand.” If a player wishes to draw cards, or “hit,” he makes a quick, slight brushing motion with the cards.

The dealer will then deal a card, face up. This continues until the player is satisfied with the total card value, or he “busts” – goes over 21.

When everyone has played their hand, it’s now the dealer’s turn. There are two basic rule variations that the dealer must play to. Look at the table when you sit down, and you’ll see what variation is being played. They are as follows:

“Dealer stands on all 17s”
The dealer must continue to draw cards (“hit”) until he reaches 17. Aces always count as 11 if possible, if his current total is under 21. For example, if a dealer is holding an Ace/7, the value of his cards is 18, not 8, and he will stand.

If the dealer is holding an Ace/5, the value of his cards is 16 and he will hit. If the dealer then draws an 8, the value of his cards is now 14 (the Ace is now valued at 1) and the dealer will draw again.

“Dealer hits soft 17”
This is identical to the above, except when the dealer has a soft 17. Examples of a soft 17 hand include Ace/6, Ace/3/3 and Ace/5/Ace. In the previous variation, the dealer would stand. In this variation, the dealer hits these hands and stands on soft 18 or higher, or a hard 17.

In either variation, the dealer must play until he reaches at least 17 or busts (card value totals over 21). When all bets are paid out or collected, the hand is over, and a new hand is dealt.

Now that you have read through this online blackjack guide and have the basics down, there are a number of tutorials and training games online where you can practice your new found skills before trying your luck with the real money blackjack games

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