Blackjack practice and playing for fun

Blackjack is one of the great card games to play, but becoming an expert at the table will take some time. Blackjack practice and playing for fun is recommended to help you to reach that level. In this article and tutorial, we will give you all the information that you need in order to get on the right path to becoming a master of the game.

Learning blackjack – rules and tutorial

Want to learn how to play blackjack? You do not need any special equipment, just a pack of cards. Alternative names for blackjack include pontoon and 21, but the rules are the same.

Players aim to reach the number 21 with the value of their cards. They play against the dealer, who is trying to do the same thing. Going over 21 means the player is bust and the dealer automatically wins, with vice versa also the case.

Both the player and the dealer start with two cards. It is possible to reach 21 straight away – all face cards are worth 10 and the ace card can be either 1 or 11 in the game. An ace and a face card is, therefore, blackjack – and the lucky player automatically wins that round. Blackjack typically pays out 3:2, unless the dealer also has blackjack, which is very rare indeed.

Assuming the player does not get a blackjack straight away, they must choose whether to stick or twist. Sticking is keeping the two cards on the table and hoping it is enough to beat the dealer. Twisting is receiving another card to aim to get closer to 21, without going bust at the same time.

Players can also opt to double down, which is increasing their stake by 100 per cent, or split their cards, in effect giving them two hands to play, which also doubles their chosen stake. This is a more advanced blackjack strategy but it is still necessary to have the best chance to win.

Blackjack practice and card counting

Expert card game players may be able to rely on card counting at the blackjack table to increase their chances of winning. This completely legal strategy, which is naturally unpopular with casinos, involves keeping track of which cards have come out of the pack with a running count in order to help predict which cards are likely to come up next.

Card counting is not easy and is therefore not recommended for blackjack beginners. But those who are becoming more comfortable with how the game works could certainly try to give it a go. Famously, card counting was shown in the Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise film Rain Man, though card game experts will likely disagree with the movie’s depiction of the practice.

When playing blackjack online, card counting is obviously much more difficult than at land-based casinos. But it can still be possible in some cases to practice blackjack while card counting, depending on the type of game that has been selected.

At some online casinos, the pack is automatically shuffled after each hand, making card counting in blackjack impossible. However, it is the case that in some other games, such as blackjack games played at the live casino, card counting is a much more realistic option.

Blackjack practice and playing for fun – FAQs

How can I learn blackjack?

This tutorial will have given you a solid grounding in how to learn blackjack. You can play for fun on your own to learn more about the game or download an app to your mobile devices to help.

Who is the Wizard of Odds in blackjack?

The name Wizard of Odds refers to Michael Shackleford, an American maths guru who analysed casino games and made his fortune as a result of his expertise.

What about learning more advanced blackjack strategy?

After learning the blackjack rules and basics, players are likely to become more confident. At this point, using a variety of blackjack training apps can be a great way to develop skills further. There are also blackjack charts that are available to play with and improve your game as well.

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