Blackjack Basics

Make 21 your favorite number.

In blackjack, there is only one goal - to get cards with a value, if you're lucky, to 21. Unlike other games, you don't have to consider other player's card because you're cards will just be up against that of the dealer's. So, don't worry about what cards the other players might have - all you have to think about is whether your cards are better than those of the dealer's.

Numbered cards, like cards from numbers 2 to 10, carry the same value. The following cards are valued at 11 and these are the Jack, King and Queen. In blackjack, the Ace card could either have the value of 1 or it could be 11 depending on you. For example, if you have an Ace and a 4 that could be a 15 or a 5. If you choose for it to be 15 and stop at that, that would be called a "soft total" because you can count the ace card as either being 1 or 11 without going beyond 21.

Now if you decided to get another card and you are dealt with a Queen, then you would have a "hard total" because the Ace card should only be valued at 1 so as not to go beyond 21. In blackjack, you don't have to worry about the suits of the cards that you have. It doesn't matter for in the end, you're cards will be judged simply according to the sum of the set.

Now it's time to learn about how cards are dealt in blackjack. After getting all the bets, the dealer will start at his left and pass one card to each player until he makes two passes - thus giving you two cards to start with. But before you make a big mistake in the playing table, you have to notice first how the cards were dealt. If the dealer had opened one card of each player, then that is a shoe game.

You cannot touch the cards which is good for beginners since you wouldn't have to worry about the cards and just enjoy betting. If on the other hand both cards are face down, then that is a hand-held game and you can pick your cards up. Just remember that only one hand is allowed to touch or hold the cards and those are the only cards that you can hold. If you are dealt with another card, then that card must be left on the table. Also, always keep your cards near or over the playing table.

After dealing, the dealer will proceed with the play starting at the person seated on his left. This is called the first base. Each player will have a turn on how he wants to play his hand until it comes to the dealer and he decides how to play his hand.

One last basic thing to remember, you cannot say that you have a blackjack if for example your cards are 10, 5 and 6. That would just be a total of 21. Blackjack is when you get 21 with your first two cards - so a combination of an ace and any 10-value card. Like poker, the blackjack is on top of the hierarchy of sets. A blackjack would always win over a total of 21.

So these are the most basic things to know about blackjack. If you are new at this, try playing this out with some friends first befor you start hitting the casinos.