Your goal as a blackjack player is to end up with a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealers hand - without going over 21. If you go over 21 you lose the hand. Learn more about the blackjack rules below.
The Objective Of Blackjack:
Your goal as a blackjack player is to end up with a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealers hand - without going over 21. If you go over 21 you lose the hand (In blackjack terms you have BUSTED your hand if you go above 21.)
Blackjack is a game where your hand only plays against the dealers hand - so whatever the other players at the table have is not really of importance (unless you are counting the cards that is).
After you have been dealt your first cards, you can choose to HIT and thereby get yet another card dealt to your hand, or to choose STAND and simply keep the cards that you already have - hoping the hand will be strong enough to beat the dealers hand.
After all the players have played their blackjack hands, the dealer players his hand out. The dealer always plays his hand according to fixed rules - no decision is left up to the dealer. The dealer must always follow the same dictated rules for how to play his hand. This would normally mean that the dealer must draw cards until his hand has a value of 17 - On most blackjack tables it says "Dealer Must Stand On All 17's" - as soon as he get to that total or above he cannot take any more cards.
The Card Values:
- 2 to 9 - Are valued as indicated.
- ACE - Can be either 1 OR 11.
- 10's & Face cards - both have the value 10.
- The suit of the cards has no meaning in blackjack.
- A Blackjack is a two card hand consisting of an Ace and a card with the value 10.
- A Blackjack beats a 3 card hand with the value 21.
Soft Hands & Hard Hands
As an ACE can represent either the value 1 OR the value 11; which means getting a Ace in your hand is generally good as the risks of going over 21 gets smaller. When talking about a SOFT HAND, blackjack players are talking about a hand where an Ace is used with the value 1. For Example a hand consisting of ACE and 7 - can add up to the hand value 8 OR 18, depending on what value you give the ACE. The choice is yours, and you can change it back and forth as you please during the play of your hand.
A HARD hand is a hand with a ACE where you don't have the opportunity to use the ACE as a 1 OR 11. Example: If you have a ACE, 8 and 6 on your hand you can only count the ACE as a 1. Because otherwise you would have gone above 21 and thereby busted the hand. Counting the ACE as 1, the hands value adds up to 15. A hand consisting of ACE, 8 and 6 is called a HARD hand or sometimes a Stiff hand - because a hard hand is closer to busting then a soft hand is.
The Cards Are Dealt:
After all players have placed their bets on the table (in the wager box in front of them) the dealer starts out by giving each player 2 cards each. Starting to the dealers left - your right. The dealer also gives himself two cards - one of the dealers cards are dealt face-up so that you can se it's value, the other card is dealt face down and you will not see this card before the end of the round - when the dealer starts playing his hand.
To read on, go to page 2 of 2: Rules of Blackjack.