How To Play Blackjack

Blackjack is the staple game of the table games department and at Gold Star School of Gaming you can learn how to deal blackjack. We use this introductory blackjack course to familiarize students with how to play blackjack, including all of the casino basics, such as procedure and casino lingo. Therefore, we highly recommend adding Blackjack to all student enrollments. It is a simple game to play, but if you are new to the world of gaming, it is import that you do master the basic elements.

In the game of Blackjack, a player receives two cards and the dealer receives two cards – one of the dealer’s cards is buried, one exposed. Numerical cards are worth their value, face cards are 10, and aces are either 1 or 11. Players decide how to play their hand.

Player Decisions in Blackjack

Stand: When a player opts not to receive another card, he stands.

Hit: When the player requests an additional card, he hits.

Split: When a player has a pair (ex: 8,8), he may match his bet and split the pair into two separate hands. Note: when splitting aces, players receive only one card on each ace.

Double Down: When a player matches his bet and receives just one card, he is doubling down. This is common when a player has 11 and, in some instances, also when a player has 9, 10, or a soft hand. (Soft means hand with an ace.) Doubling is only possible on the first two cards. Players may “double for less” and bet less than their original bet, but they may not double for more than their original bet. Also, a player may request the double down be delivered “face down,” but when doubling on a hand that may potentially bust (ex: doubling on a hard 12), the card may only be given “face up.”

Surrender: If a casino offers surrender (many do not), it means that a player may fold his hand and receive half of his bet back. Surrender is only possible on the first two cards. If the dealer has an ace showing, players may not surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack.

The dealer must play until a hard 17 or better. Whoever is closest to 21, player or dealer, without going over, wins. If the player exceeds 21, he automatically loses, even if the dealer exceeds 21 too.

Soft 17 vs. Hard 17

When a hand is “soft” it means that there is an ace in the hand and taking an additional card will not bust the hand. The layout of most blackjack games will specify whether the dealer will hit or stand on soft 17. Standing on soft 17 is better for the player, so most low limit blackjack games will have the dealer hit soft 17.

Soft 17: The hand below is either 7 or 17. Receiving a face card would not bust this hand.

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Hard 17: The hand below is either 17 or 27. Receiving a face card would bust the hand.
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When you’re first learning how to deal blackjack, you will increase your speed and efficiency if you memorize the three card combinations to 21. This will help you to see patterns, rather than focusing on tallying the cards.

You will also want to memorize common blackjack payouts. Remember, a blackjack is only possible on the first two cards. If a player receives two aces and splits them, receiving a face card on each ace, the total of each hand is 21, but it is not blackjack. Standard blackjack pays 3:2 but some casinos offer 6:5. The link earlier in this page shows payouts for both.

At Gold Star School of Gaming, we teach students more than muscle memory and dealing mechanics. Click the following links for detailed explanations of important blackjack concepts: insurance and basic strategy. We also prepare students for additional obstacles they may encounter at their first job, such as side bets. Rest assured, training from Gold Star School will thoroughly prepare you for success.