How to Play Blackjack Like a Pro?

How To Play Blackjack

Did you know that 37% of those who play blackjack for the first time don’t know the actual rules? Don’t make the same mistake and learn how to play before venturing into a session. With our experts’ tips on game versions, table insights, bet types and strategies, you’ll master the art of playing blackjack in no time!

Types of Blackjack

Depending on where you play, there are various variations of blackjack. In the American version, play begins with the dealer being dealt two cards immediately. The dealer receives two cards in the European version of the game: one before players place their bets and one after betting is finished. However, in both game variants, the dealer is in charge of directing the play.

In recent years the popularity of live dealer and table games has increased tremendously. If you’re a fan of such casino titles, you can find suitable platforms in our list of the best live casinos.

How a Blackjack Game Looks

How a Blackjack Game Looks

  1. The Dealer shuffles.
  2. Players place their bets.
  3. Two cards are dealt to each player and the dealer.
  4. Players can hit, stand, split, or double-down
  5. The dealer turns over their down card and draws cards until they have a hand of 17-21.
  6. The dealer compares hands with other players.
  7. The player with a hand higher than the dealer’s (without going higher than 21) wins the hand and claims a payout. If the dealer wins, the bets go to the house.
  8. The dealer collects cards and moves on to the next round when the hand and bets are settled.

Know Your Blackjack Essentials

The most crucial part when you want to play a new casino game is to understand the rules of the game fully. Compared to other table games, Blackjack is fairly simple, and we are going to help you understand all its aspects before you start playing on a real money casino, like Conquestador, which has excellent live dealer and table game collections.

What You Need to Know About Blackjack

The Shuffling Deck

A standard blackjack card pack contains 52 cards. Most new online casinos in NZ use six decks with 312 cards in total. The dealer usually has a blank plastic card that sits at the bottom of the pack. The plastic blank card is never dealt. Instead, it indicates that the deck needs to be reshuffled.

Winning in Blackjack

In blackjack, players attempt to beat the dealer by drawing cards that come as close to 21 as possible using the below scoring system. If a player comes closer to a score of 21 than the dealer without going over, they win. The dealer and players begin the game with two cards. The dealer has one card facing down and another facing up.

At the beginning of the game, players decide if an Ace is worth 1 or 11. Each picture card (Jack, Queen, King) is worth 10, and every other is scored at its face value. For example, a King and a 4 are worth 14.

Placing the Bets

Prior to each deal, players can place bets using chips. Players place chips in a designated circle or box on the table before them. Players agree on the minimum and maximum bet size before the game begins, which generally ranges between $1 and £10,000.

Take Your Blackjack Game to the Next Level

The player to the dealer’s left takes the first turn in blackjack. They have two options; “hit” or “stand”. A hit is a request for another card, and a stand tells the table you don’t want another card. As the goal in blackjack is to get as close to the number 21 as possible, a stand suggests that a player could be close to this 21, whereas a hit implies they need to get closer.

Each time a player hits, they receive one card. They must decide whether to stand or hit again each time they hit. If a player scores over 21, they go “bust”, meaning the dealer receives all wagered bets before the next player to their left takes a turn.

After each player’s turn, the dealer turns over their face-down card to observe their hand. If the dealer’s hand is valued at 17 points or above, they have to stand. However, a dealer can hit if their hand scores 16 or less.

If you like table games and live dealer games, you might want to learn how to play roulette as well to expand your gambling portfolio.

Table Signals

Signal Intention
A player taps the table with one or two fingers towards themself. Hit (give me another card).
A player moves their hand from side to side with a downward-facing palm hovering above the table. Stand (don’t give me another card).

Splitting your Pairs

If you receive two cards of the same denomination, such as a pair of fours or two Kings, you can split your cards to let them serve as two separate hands. This allows you to place a bet on the second hand that equals the value of the first bet. When using a split pair, you stand or hit the hand on your left; then, you can do the same to the hand on your right.

Hand Strategy
Pair of Aces or 8s Split
Identical ten, 5, or 4 cards Don’t split
Pair of 6s Don’t split unless the dealer has a poor card

Doubling Down

If you receive two cards with a combined value of 9, 10, or 11 without an Ace or 16, 17, or 18 with an Ace, you can double your bet in a process known as doubling down. During your turn, you can place a second bet equal to the first if you receive a qualifying hand. The dealer will give you one additional card face down, which you can turn once the hand is over.

Please note that you can’t hit when doubling down.

Hand Strategy
A total score of 11 Always double-down
A total score of 10 Double down unless the dealer has a ten-card or an Ace
A total score of 9 Only double-down if the dealer has a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6

Insuring your bets

During a game of blackjack, players can make a side bet known as an “insurance” bet. An insurance bet tends to be around 50% of the original bet and only comes into play when the dealer has an upward-facing Ace card.

Typically, an insurance bet is played when the player has a hand that scores 15 or more, and they believe that the dealer could make a blackjack by turning over their downward-facing card and revealing a ten score. When this happens, players who place an insurance bet are paid at a rate of 2:1, double that of their insurance.

More Strategy Ideas

Situation Strategy
Dealer has a good upcard (7, 8, 9,10, Ace) Keep drawing until you reach a score of 17 or higher
Dealer has a bad upcard (4, 5, 6) Stop drawing when you reach a score of 12 or more
Dealer has an average upcard (2, 3) Stop drawing when you get a score of 13 or more

We tested 90 live dealer casinos available to NZ players and made a comprehensive list of the best platforms you can play card games on. These are our recommended platforms to test your newly acquired blackjack skills:

Casino Name  Welcome Offer Live Casino Games Minimum Deposit
Skol Casino 100% Up to $300 200+ $20
Gaming Club Casino 100% Up to $200 120+ $40
Lucky Dino Casino Up to $400 Deposit Match 200+ $20
Betiton Casino 200% up to $500 100+ $10
Lucky Nugget Casino 150% up to $200 250+ $10

Key Points Before Starting to Play

Learning to play blackjack properly could help you take your game to the next level. While playing for fun is great, knowing how to gain a competitive edge could improve your chances of winning. These tactics should form the basis of your overall blackjack strategy. As you progress, you can experiment with more features in this guide to take your game to the next level.

If you come to enjoy Blackjack, learn how to use reload bonuses to your advantage and play for longer periods of time without investing more money.