Blackjack is one of the most beloved and popular card games of all time. As a matter of fact, it has been played for centuries since its origins in France more than three hundred years ago. Over time, it migrated across the ocean and became a staple of American casinos.
These days, blackjack is enjoying even greater popularity than ever before as one of the most globally beloved gambling card games. Millions of players love blackjack, and more than ever play online at sites like blackjack.org. Whether you are a seasoned player or just getting your feet wet, you can always benefit from a few helpful hints along the way.
Rules of the Game
The rules of blackjack are pretty simple. The goal of this card game is to win by getting as close to 21 points in your hand as possible while beating your dealer. Unlike poker, you do not play against other players but instead compare your cards to the dealer. The dealer will deal two cards to you and two cards to the dealer.
Your cards will be dealt face down so that you are the only one who can see them, while one of your dealer’s cards will be face up. This gives you a hint at what your dealer’s hand might be, but there is still plenty of room for guessing and instinct, making this game both exciting and fun.
Understanding Card Values
Once you receive your cards, you will need to do a little math in your head. Cards numbered two through ten are given the same point value as their number. However, face cards, or cards with a picture on them, are worth ten points each. Finally, aces are worth either one or 11 points each. A hand with an ace in it is known as a soft hand. This is because you may choose to use it for an 11 point value, but if you decide to hit and would bust with your original count, you can change the value of your ace to one point.
Soft and Hard Blackjack Hands
The biggest difference between a hard and soft blackjack hand is that you simply have more options with a soft hand. In fact, the best hand you could possibly have in poker is a soft hand. An ace and any face card or a ten card together is considered the perfect hand, automatically getting you a blackjack. Using your ace as a one-point card gives you an inflexible hand, in other words, a hard hand with an ace.
Know When to Hold ‘Em
The trick to understanding hard and soft cards is knowing the right time to hit and the right time to stand. If you have a hard hand, asking to hit is taking on an added degree of risk. However, if you have a soft hand, you may be able to hit with confidence that you are not going to bust, or exceed a point value of 21. Consider downloading a cheat sheet to help you pick your moves, and good luck!