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Rules: How to Play Blackjack?
Almost everyone thinks they know what Blackjack’s aim is. Many people think it’s to get as close to 21 as possible. However, the actual aim is to achieve a higher total than the dealer’s without going over 21.
When playing Blackjack, it’s important to remember that the only person you’re competing against is the dealer.
Order of Play
- When you start playing, you will be dealt two cards face-up.
- Once all the players in the game have been dealt two cards, the dealer will deal themselves two cards: one face-down and one face-up.
- Now you will be given the chance to choose what you’re going to do:
- Hit: Means that you will be dealt another card.
- Stand: Means your turn comes to an end. Play will move onto the next player, either someone else at the table or the dealer.
- Cards numbered between 2-10 are worth whatever the number on them says. The face cards are also simple: the King, Queen and Jack are all worth 10.
- It only gets complicated when you come to the Ace: the Ace has a value of 1 or 11. For example, if you had two Kings and an Ace, your Ace would be worth 1. However, if you had one King and an Ace, your Ace would be worth 11. The value of the Ace is whatever number benefits you the most.
- Double Down: Depending on the hand you have been dealt, you might choose to double down. This means that you will double your total stake in return for only one more card being dealt to you, before you automatically stand.
- Split: Offered when your hand is made up of a pair, in which case you can split the pair into two separate hands and place another wager on your second hand.
- Insurance: If the dealer is showing an Ace, you can choose to take the insurance bet. This is put in place to protect players from the dealer achieving a Blackjack.
- Surrender: Will return half of the player’s stake if they retire from the hand.
- Side Bets: Available to players in some Blackjack games. These usually include placing a wager on your first two cards, and the dealer's card being a three of a kind or your cards being a pair when dealt.
If you need more information about playing Blackjack, each game has a rules section where you can find out everything you need to know. Our help and support section further down will also help you with any issues you might have.
Although Blackjack is a relatively simple game to play, it does have some variations in place in regards to the rules. We have covered some of the more popular variations, so you’re well aware of the different rules involved in the game:
- European: In European Blackjack, the dealer is dealt their first card face-up and is only dealt the second card after all of the players have finished their hands.
- American: In American Blackjack, the dealer is dealt two cards instantly. A face-down card and a face-up card. This is the variant of Blackjack that most people are familiar with.
- Spanish 21: There are a few different rules for Spanish 21, but the main ones are a player’s 21 will always win instead of being a draw, and the dealer is allowed to stand on a soft 17.
- Switch: In Switch, players are dealt at least two hands. When playing, they are allowed to switch the cards that are dealt second if they want to.
- Pontoon: In Pontoon, the best hand is a face card and an Ace. The second best hand is one that is 21 or less but includes five cards.
- Double Attack: In this game, you’re allowed to double after the dealer’s first card is dealt instead of after their second card has been dealt.
Odds and Payouts
There are four different payouts included within a standard game of Blackjack. The side bets that can appear throughout have a much wider range of odds on offer, and would take up almost a full guide on their own, so we will just cover the four main options:
- Blackjack: This will pay out odds of 3:2, so if you wagered €20 you will get back €30, as well as your stake.
- Regular Hand: If you win with any other hand, you will get odds of evens. As a result, a stake of €20 would get back a payout of €20, as well as your stake.
- Tie: If the game ends as a tie, you get your stake back.
- Insurance: If you took out insurance on the dealer getting a Blackjack and they do, you’ll get a payout of 2:1. This means that you would receive €20 for a €10 stake, as well as your stake back.
Winning Hand Pays €1 Bet Pays Blackjack 3:2 €2.5 (€1+€1.5) Regular Hand 1:1 €2 (€1+€1) Tie 0 €1 Insurance 2:1 €3 (€1+€2)
If you want to find out more specific odds within your game, look at the help section further down. This is designed to give you more information about what’s on offer in the game you’re playing.
Basic Strategies and Tips
There are a huge number of strategies that go into playing Blackjack properly. However, it would be impossible to cover them all here. Instead we’re going to cover a few basic strategies that should help you on your journey to becoming a better Blackjack player:
Split: Never split when you have a pair of 10s or face cards. A hand of 20 is much more likely to win than you being dealt an Ace to either of the two hands they would create.
Your Hand When to Split vs the Dealer 2's, 3's 4 through 7 4's, 5's, 10's Never 6's 3 through 6 7's 2 through 7 8's Always 9's 2 through 6 and 8 or 9 Ace's Always
Double Down: This is when you double your wager and receive just one more card. It can be a risky strategy, but if you are feeling confident of winning, it does have the potential to pay dividends. When it comes to deciding when to double, you should make sure that you have a strong hand and the dealer has a weak ‘up’ card. In this situation, it would be worth doubling down.
Your Hand Double if Dealers face-up card is: 9 3 to 6 10 2 to 9 11 2 to 10 A and 2 5, 6 A and 3 5, 6 A and 4, 5 4, 5, 6 A and 6 3 to 6 A and 7 2 to 6 A and 8 6
Surrender: This is when you drop out of the hand but receive back half of your wager. It’s a bold strategy, but if you feel that you have a very bad hand and the dealer has a strong ‘up’ card, surrendering is a way for you to at least get some of your stake back. If you are certain you will lose, this is the best choice for you to make.
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How to win at Blackjack?
Winning at Blackjack isn’t always about getting close to 21. Technically, you could have a hand of 5 and beat the dealer if the dealer has a hand of 22 and busts. The aim is just to beat the dealer.
Is it possible to count cards with online Blackjack?
While it’s not illegal to count cards at any casino, it’s actually physically impossible to do so at an online casino. This is because the deck of cards is reshuffled by the software on every single hand, so it’s not like a shoe in a real casino that loses cards on each hand. It is always a freshly shuffled deck, and this is what makes counting cards impossible.
Where can I play Blackjack against a live dealer?
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Help and Support
Getting support for your Blackjack playing is easy at Casino.com IE. We offer players the ability to use the help button within the game, which allows specific rules to be checked and to see which payouts are available.
For other issues, we also have a market-leading customer support service in place. Players can access this 24/7 through the live chat, email and telephone options. Whichever method you prefer, we are available around the clock to help resolve your issues.
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