Blackjack rules for Beginners
Basic Blackjack Strategy
The companion index cards summarize the "basic strategy" for playing blackjack. This strategy will give you your best chances of winning short of card counting. (Note: Unless your are very good at card counting you will likely get caught, and getting caught means getting banned from the casino. For my money, games are supposed to be fun. Card counting is too much like work.)
These color-coded index cards cover every possible hand that can be dealt, separated by the player (that's you) having a hard total, a soft total (i.e. one of the cards dealt is an Ace which can have a value of either 1 or 11), or a "pair".
On the index cards:
- The numbers in the Player column indicate your card total
- The numbers in the Dealer column indicate the dealer's single up-card
- A "-" by itself in the Dealer column means it doesn't matter what the dealer's single up-card is
- "10v" means a 10-value card - 10, Jack, Queen, or King
- When two numbers are separated by a dash (-) it means all numbers in that range inclusively. Ex: "3 - 6" means 3, 4, 5, and 6.
- When two or more numbers are separated by commas (, ) it means only those individual numbers, no in-between numbers. Ex: "2, 7" means only 2 or 7. It does not include 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Some gambling books say that you cannot refer to written material while playing. Because of this, these index cards serve as "flash-cards" to ease memorizing the information. However, dealers have told me that it is perfectly acceptable to have written material, as long as you don't delay the game referring to it. (This is at the individual casino's discretion so ask the dealer.)
The most common mistake people make playing this strategy is not playing the strategy. In other words, they won't hit when the strategy says to hit, etc. Don't deviate from the strategy. While it doesn't guarantee you'll be a winner, it has been proven to offer you your best odds of winning.
It's helpful to take a chair that is farther to the left (dealer's right). This will give you time to total up your cards, look at the dealer's up-card, and recall the appropriate play to make (or review the flash-cards if allowed) while the other players are playing their hands. Whichever chair you take, don't feel rushed. Take your time and if you can't remember the appropriate play to make, ask the dealer. They're more than willing to help.
Jerry L. Patterson is an American writer. He authored several gambling books as well as a gambling newspaper column.
His first book, Blackjack: A Winner's Handbook, was published in 1977. Patterson wrote Casino Gambling: A Winner’s Guide to Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and Casino Poker in 1980. This book was revised in 2000 to reflect...
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Complete Blackjack Rules for Beginners.
Played by millions in live casinos and even on the Internet, the game of blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games around. If you want to play blackjack but don't know how to get started there's no need to fret-it's really easy to learn how to play blackjack.