Blackjack is a classic card game that is won with a strategic scheme and mathematical knowledge of probability. Just like any other card game, there are certain basic rules to follow upon playing blackjack.
Playing Blackjack: Insurance & Even Money
An Insurance is a special side bet offered to the player when a dealer’s up-card showcases an ace card. In this particular arrangement, a player may place a wager that is half or less than the original wager. Insurance bets payout 2 to 1. If the dealer’s second card reveals to be a ten, jack, queen, or king he makes a blackjack and the player wins the insurance bet. However, when the dealer does not have a blackjack, the player loses the insurance bet and the hand is played out.
Even Money, on the other hand, is a special case of insurance offered by the dealer when the player holds a blackjack and the dealer shows an ace card. If a player accepts this kind of bet, he or she agrees to have a 1:1 payout. Regardless of whether or not the dealer has a blackjack and the player does not get paid 3 to 2. If the player does not accept the even money, their wager will push and they will not receive a payment if the dealer has a blackjack. The player gets paid normally (3 to 2) if the dealer does not have a blackjack. Nevertheless, it is advisable to turn down these kinds of offers since professional card counters— a class of advantage players— are the only ones who are skilled enough to play these side bets.
Non-Insurable Dealer Blackjack
In this case, it is possible for a dealer to not offer any side bets. When a dealer draws a ten, jack, queen, or king first, he is allowed to check his hole card. If his hole card shows an ace, then the dealer possesses a blackjack and therefore takes all the bets of the players except for the ones with blackjacks.
A dead hand means when a player is disqualified in the game for committing a foul or busting their cards before the dealer could. The dealer would simply place all the cards in the discard tray because he has already won the game in this situation.
A side bet can also be referred to as a proposition bet. Placed next to the player’s main bet that is usually offered by dealers in card games. Side bets have been immensely popular especially in Blackjack. The most common side bet in the game of Blackjack is the Insurance wage as it plays a big part in beating the game for a card counter. There are hundreds of side bets in card games with various procedures that may affect the normal dealing measures of the game. Casinos offer these side bets to various players for the sole reason of having a great advantage on winning.
Playing Blackjack: Rule Variations
Blackjack may be a classic game of cards, however, there are rule variations and conditions in this kind of divertissement that will surely affect your basic strategy game.
Doubling After Splitting (DAS)
In some cases, most casinos allow this rule while some do not. This rule can provide a great advantage to the players, allowing them to double down on a hand that was split.
Re-Splitting Aces (RSA)
It is acknowledged by most individuals that the Ace is the most powerful card in the deck. This rule is applied to players who receive another ace card after splitting aces. And it is possible that the hand may be split again for another bet. The player is allowed to split up to 4 hands. Given that the Ace is the most powerful card, casinos prohibit doubles after splitting an ace due to the fact that they are limiting circumstances wherein a player has an advantage.
An early surrender is simply an option for players to surrender in the game before the dealer checks for blackjack or offers side bets. This action will forfeit half of the player’s original wager. However, this rule has been considered as a dead rule due to perfect basic strategies performed by a player that can affect the odds of the game and can be beneficial to the player.
6 to 5 Blackjacks
Casinos have implemented a strategic marketing angle that enables them to take money from many occasional players. In this rule, blackjack payout is reduced from 3 to 2 to only 6 to 5. Which increases the house edge of the casinos.
Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSM) is a device commonly used on playing blackjack tables in casinos that continuously shuffle cards as they are being played. The machine can shuffle 3-5 decks, making it impossible to count the card. Thus, this lowers the chances of the players to win the game.
Single Deck versus Multi-deck
For every deck added to the game, there’s a high beneficial percentage of a casino over the player. However, the game conditions include trade-offs in terms of rules and the number of decks. Certain rules are applied based on the number of decks that are being used in the game. A single deck may interdict DAS, RSA and will have 6 to 5 blackjacks. Meanwhile, an 8 deck game may allow those rules with 3 to 2 blackjacks. And end up with a low house edge.
Deck/Shoe Penetration (PEN)
Deck or Shoe Penetration refers to the number of cards that have been dealt before being shuffled by the dealer. A cut card is placed in the shoe and signals the diminishment of the cards. For basic strategic players, deck penetrations are not essential when playing the game. However, it is significant for card counters as it determines the odds of the game of Blackjack. Oftentimes, casinos would reduce the deck of cards to limit the chances of card counters to win.