Blackjack Basics

Blackjack is a card game played between a player and a dealer. In land casinos, it is played by several players at one table, the online version is most of the time tete-a-tete (one on one) The game is one of the most popular gambling games online and in land casinos. Blackjack is played with 1-8 decks of 52 cards dealt from a special box, called a shoe. Most of the time the decks are reshuffled after each game.

Blackjack Basic

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Blackjack Table

Blackjack game uses a special table covered with a usually green felt that contains the basic information about the rules of the game. In addition, there are places for player bets, for player cards, for dealer cards and sometimes even for drinks. Here is the scheme of traditional blackjack table which explains all about the table layout, the cards and blackjack equipment that are used in the game.

Blackjack table usually has a semi-circular shape, sometimes - an octagon shape. The dealer stands by the straight side of the table across the players who sit around the arc side. As it has been already said, the typical table for blackjack has a green top, however it can be also blue or red depending on the casino style and color scheme.

It is possible to divide blackjack table into two imaginary zones: one for players and another - for dealer. The table zone for the players involves only the space for keeping the players' chips, drinks and any other things as well as the special areas for placing bets. The dealer's zone contains the rest of the table where nobody except the dealer is allowed to operate. So, you must remember that only the dealer can touch the cards and make the payouts, while the players are only allowed to deal with their chips (when betting) and make decisions just by special gestures or verbally.

Blackjack Chips

Game is played with the help of chips of different color depending on their value. Here are the official chip colors that are used in most casinos:

(peach) - $0.25 (blue) - $10 (purple) - $500
(white) - $0.50 - $1 (yellow) - $20 (orange) - $1,000
(pink) - $2.50 (green) - $25 (grey) - $5,000
(red) - $5 (black) - $100  

The Value of Cards

The aim of a blackjack player is to end the game with a hand total higher than the dealer's hand and not to exceed 21. A hand over 21 is BUST (or Too Many) and loses automatically.

The cards in blackjack have special values which are used to calculate the hand total. Thus all small cards from 2 to 9 are valued according to the rank. For example, 4 is valued as 4 points and 6 as 6 points. All high cards - 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are valued as 10 points. Ace in Blackjack has a special value. It can be valued as either 1 or 11, regarding what is better for the hand. So, remember that the cards at blackjack table are valued as follows:

clubs-2 diamonds-3 hearts-4 spades-5. diamonds-6 clubs-7 hearts-8 spades-9 = 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

hearts-10 clubs-j spades-q diamonds-k = 10

clubs-ace = 1 or 11

The cards in blackjack also can acquire other values when the player counts the cards, however these values are used only in card-counting strategy to make the decisions and they do not influence the hand total or outcome of the game.

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