How to Play Blackjack for Beginners

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and one of the most popular card games. People love to play it because it’s easy to learn, it’s a fast-paced game, and there are many opportunities to win. It’s so popular that people often play it in home games with friends and online. The next time you visit Boot Hill Casino, use this guide on how to play blackjack for beginners to help you find a blackjack table and join in on the game.

How Does Blackjack Work?

Blackjack, sometimes also called “21,” is a simple yet exciting card game that combines a bit of skill, a bit of strategy, and a bit of luck. The objective of the game is simple: Get a hand that totals 21 or closer to it than the dealer, without going over. The fastest way you can meet that objective is with two cards, which can be given to you on the first deal with a little luck, making you an instant winner.

How to Play Blackjack for Beginners

1. Get to Know the Game

Before you sit down at a blackjack table, you should orient yourself by learning the rules and terminology of the game. Blackjack is typically played with one or more decks of standard playing cards, with each card having a point value. Number cards are worth their face value, face cards (kings, queens, and jacks) are worth 10 points each, and aces can be worth 1 or 11 points, depending on which value benefits your hand more.

2. Buy Chips

To play blackjack, you’ll need to place an initial bet. To make bets, you’ll need chips. You can get them by buying them from the casino cashier or directly at the blackjack table.

3. Find a Seat at a Blackjack Table

Once you have your chips, find an empty seat at a blackjack table. You’ll usually find a dealer standing behind a semi-circular table with spaces for multiple players. If a game is ongoing, you can sit at the table and wait. You’ll be dealt in on the next game.

4. Place Your Bet

Before your cards are dealt, you’ll need to place your initial bet. You’ll do this by placing your chips in the designated betting circle in front of you. Each table will have minimum and maximum bets, so make sure you know them before placing your bet.

5. Receive Your Cards

Once all bets are placed, the dealer will distribute two cards to each player and then to themselves. Players receive their cards face-up, while the dealer typically has one card face-up (known as the “upcard”) and one card face-down (known as the “hole card”).

6. Calculate the Value of Your Hand

Your goal in blackjack is to get a hand value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it – and to get closer to 21 than the dealer does. To calculate your hand’s value, simply add up the point values of your cards. For example, a 7 and a 5 would give you a hand value of 12.

7. Decide Your Move

Once you’ve received your initial two cards, it’s time to decide whether you want to “hit” or “stand.” If you choose to hit, the dealer will give you an additional card. You can continue to hit as many times as you like, but be cautious not to exceed 21, as that will result in a bust, and you will lose your bet. If you’re satisfied with your current hand and believe it has a good chance of beating the dealer, you can choose to stand. This means you won’t receive any more cards for that hand, and you’re signaling that you’re ready for the dealer’s turn.

8. Dealer’s Turn

Once all players at the table have made their decisions, it’s the dealer’s turn to reveal their hole card and make their moves. Usually, the dealer must follow a set of “house rules.” For example, the dealer may be required to hit until their hand reaches a certain point total, often 17 or higher. Once the dealer reaches or exceeds this point total, they must stand.

9. Determine the Winner

After the dealer has completed their turn, it’s time to determine the winner of the hand. If your hand’s value is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without going over, you will win and receive a payout equal to your bet. If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 than yours, or if you bust (exceed 21), the dealer wins, and you lose your bet. If both you and the dealer have the same hand value, it’s a push, and you get your original bet back. No one wins, but you also don’t lose your bet.

Beginner-Friendly Blackjack Strategies

While blackjack is a game of chance like all casino games, there are some strategies beginners can use to make more informed decisions and improve their odds.

  • Start with Low Stakes: If you’re new to blackjack, it’s a good idea to start with lower bet amounts until you become more comfortable with the game. Once you have a better feel for the intricacies of game play, you can make bigger bets more confidently.
  • Avoid Insurance Bets: An insurance bet is a side bet that the dealer has a blackjack. It’s generally recommended for beginners to avoid these bets as they have a high house edge.
  • Don’t Always Split or Double: While splitting pairs and doubling down can be advantageous in certain situations, they are not always the best choices. Learn the optimal times to employ these strategies, usually when you have favorable cards.

Play Blackjack at Boot Hill Casino

Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to play blackjack and some beginner-friendly strategies, you can put your knowledge to the test at Boot Hill Casino. We have a comfortable and exciting table game room where you can spend hours enjoying this fun game and meeting new people. When you’ve collected your winnings, you can eat a delicious dinner or enjoy celebratory cocktails. Visit us today to try your luck!