How to Play Blackjack?
Before we provide you with all the knowledge you need to become the blackjack wizard, you need to cover the basic questions first. What are some of them? Find out here.
What is the ultimate objective of the game?
You, as the player, have to beat the dealer with regard to card value. Remember that the optimal point here is 21. Think of it this way, the hotter you are to 21, the colder the others’ chances are.
What kind of card pack is used?
The standard 52 card deck is used here. Keep in mind that the 6-decked game is perhaps the most popular of the lot. When 4 or more decks are used, a separate box called the shoe is used to contain them.
Do the Cards hold any value?
Of course, the face cards hold a value of 10, and the ace is worth a 1 or an 11, depending on the kind of blackjack you are playing. Also, keep in mind that any kind of ‘card counting’ is technically illegal.
How does one start betting?
Before the shuffling begins, you will have to place your bets. Again, the lower and upper limits here might vary, casino to casino.
OK, so how does the game begin?
The dealer begins one round of clockwise card distribution. Here, all the players get one card face-up, followed by the dealer. The second round of distribution follows the same, except that the dealer receives their card face down.
What is a play from here on?
You can choose to ‘stand,’ which means not asking for another card, or ‘hit’, which means you want another card. These two have their own signals.
Keep in mind that you have to be as close to the number 21 as you can. If you get the 21 with both your cards, then it is a case of a natural blackjack.
What is a bust? What is a soft or hard hand?
When the player (or dealer) can have an ace card along with another non-10 card, that is a soft hand. Since the options are malleable (as an ace can be 1 or 11), the player can make flexible choices. For instance, an ace and a 4 can be both 5 and 15. The opposite is a hard hand.
When it comes to the player and the dealer, if the said people’s hands land up with a number north of 21, that is considered a bust.
What are some other basic terms—split, push, surrender, insurance, double down?
- Splitting: Using two cards as separate entities is called splitting.
- Doubling Down: Increasing the bet value of what it is currently is called doubling down. One, and only one caveat—you can only get one extra card after this.
- Surrender: If you see a cul de sac, you can choose to surrender or fold. A certain proportion of your bet will be given to the dealer, and the other you can keep.
- Insurance: Remember the other dealer card that is face down? If you place an insurance or side bet, you’re vouching that it is a 10-card. If it turns out to be so, you win double the half bet in a 2/1 fashion.
- Push: It is essentially a tie if you and the dealer both have the same values. This is called a push.
Variations of Blackjack Games
Now that you are aware of the basic rules and strategies, you ought to also know the various flavors and types of blackjack games that you can find. The maxim—variety is the spice of life, is valid, even in this casino game.
Played with a shoe of six decks, Spanish 21 is a unique take on blackjack. Be it the side-bet potentials, or the fact that it has a wider range of bets—Spanish 21 is a must-try. Here are some other features:
- Unlike blackjack, beating the dealer isn’t your intention here. A player 21 always wins.
- A blackjack never ends in a tie here.
- Here, insurance can be taken. While it might pay 2/1, you can at least decrease the dealer’s chances of getting a blackjack.
- You can also focus on the side payouts here. Additionally, the low-cards are what will sail you through.
Hailed as the reason why blackjack is as interesting as it is right now, European blackjack is a treat for the American folks. Here are the basics that you have to keep in mind.
- There is no joker here. The Ace has a value of 1 or 11.
- The dealer gets the second card after the player has played their hand.
- The player also cannot see if the dealer has a blackjack or not.
- Remember that you cannot re-split here. Doubling down can be done in 9,10,11.
- Also, you cannot surrender if the dealer’s card is an ace.
Atlantic City Blackjack
As the name suggests, Atlantic City Blackjack was devised in the place of the same name. What essentially started as an experiment has now become an ongoing thing in casinos. Here are all its quirks:
- This is more of a whole card game, wherein the dealer peeks on 10 value cards and aces.
- The dealer must stand on all 17.
- Aces can only be split once.
- A split ace and 10 counts as 21, and not blackjack per se.
- Value cards can be split here.
- Lastly, you are allowed to surrender late.
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Quite possibly also called American blackjack, Vegas Strip blackjack is as real as it can get. Everything is grand about this—the special shoe, the 4 to 8 decks of cards placed in it, and the payouts of 2:1. What are some other attributes? Read below.
- If the player has 21 in 2 cards, the player wins in a 3:2.
- All the other features are allowed—hit, split, surrender.
- The dealer typically stands on a soft 17.
- If the dealer busts, then all the live players win in a 1:1.
We have kept the quirkiest for the last. What is otherwise considered ‘cheating’ is the name of the game when it comes to switching. In other words, trading between the two hands is allowed. Here are some other rules:
- 6 or 8 decks are used, with the dealer having a soft 17.
- The dealer is allowed to peek for blackjack with an ace or a 10up. If this happens, barring the other blackjack player, everyone loses.
- The player is allowed to switch cards between both hands. This is also allowed if the player gets a blackjack.
Where to Play Blackjack in Michigan?
For the ardent adventurer, hear us out. If you wish to opt-out of the idea of playing blackjack in the corners of your basement, there are land-based alternatives too. Grand as they are, some places in Michigan have rather impeccable casino offerings. What are some of those? Keep reading.
MGM Grand Detroit
What might appear to be a manifestation of Vegas from Detroit, MGM Grand Detroit, isn’t far from it. With more than 121 table games and 3500 slots, this place is a mammoth of a casino. What’s even better? The two blackjack options you have at your disposal.
Additionally, keep in mind that $5 bets are pretty much a mandatory thing here. What’s better—the house edges are apparently pretty healthy. If you play your cards right (pun intended), you’ll leave this place happy.
Don’t get carried away by the smaller size of the casino itself. Greektown Casino in no way is to be trifled with. Sure, the options to play blackjack are limited to two or three kinds, but in no way does it make any less discrediting.
With $10 minimum bets, you need to ensure that you are well equipped before you head into Greektown Casino. Granted, it is nowhere as elaborate as its MGM competitors, but the overall experience here is pretty playable.
MotorCity Casino Hotel
If food and casino are your things, MotorCity Casino Hotel is a pretty decent choice. Sure, the blackjack options here are pretty limited, and honestly, the hotel isn’t consistent with its reputation either, but if you are in the vicinity, you can give it a try.
The tables here are pretty decent, albeit the machines haven’t been able to stand the test of time. With mostly mixed feedback, the MotorCity Casino Hotel isn’t close to its other counterparts. At least not in Michigan.
Four Winds Casino New Buffalo
With no $5 blackjack tables, you might be disappointed if you have abnormally high expectations. However, if you are seeking $10 or $15 ones, then this might be the right place for you.
With 3 or so blackjack tables, the Four Winds Casino isn’t as grand as MGM Grand Casino, sure. But that does not take away the fact that it believes in the ‘bring big, earn big’ mantra.