At LeoVegas, we have an extensive collection of live casino table games, but we know that the likes of Roulette and Blackjack remain some of the most popular. To that end, we often get new players who wish to learn the basics, so we’ve created a handy guide on how to play Roulette, and here is our guide on how to play Blackjack.
Alongside Roulette, Blackjack is one of the world’s most played live casino games, and part of its popularity is the relatively simple rules. A version can be played around the dinner table with family and friends, if you have a pack of cards, but there are a variety of rules that are observed where you enter and play on actual casino premises, or at an online casino from your living room.
Contrary to a common perception, the objective of the game isn’t to get to a hand total of 21, the objective is simply to get closer to that figure than the dealer, without going over. To do so, players will need to know terms such as ‘hit’, ‘stand’, ‘double’, and ‘split’. We’ll explore these in further depth in a moment, as well as exploring how to place bets, whether you’re playing a round of VIP Platinum Blackjack or our very own LeoVegas Live Blackjack.
As with most live casino table games, bets are placed by using chips. Most variants will have a minimum and maximum bet that you can place, although this will change depending on which live casino version of Blackjack you are playing. You will see on your screen where to click to place your bet.
Once all bets have been placed, and the dealer has dealt two cards to each player and to his or herself, you will have a few options available to you, that are carried out with buttons rather than hand gestures.
Once you’ve totalled up your hand, you can elect to add an additional card to your hand if you so wish, or stay with what you’ve got. Keep in mind the dealer’s hand. You will only be able to see one card face up, so you have to predict what their other card may be, and make your judgement accordingly.
If your hand is particularly low, or you feel it can be improved, you can choose to ‘hit’. This signals to the dealer that you’d like another card to add to your hand, in order to try and strengthen it.
If you’re happy with the initial value of your hand, you can choose to ‘stand’. This signals that you don’t want any further cards from the dealer.
There are some slightly more complex player decisions that can be made during a game of Blackjack, although they’re still pretty straightforward.
If your initial hand contains two matching cards of identical value, such as a pair of twos, you can choose to ‘split’ your hand. If you choose this course of action, you’ll have to place an equivalent wager on the secondary hand you’ve created, but the two hands are played separately. This means you’ll have to complete the round for one hand before you move onto the other.
If you feel you are only one card away from an ideal hand, and feel your chances of finding it on the next turn are high, you can choose to ‘double down’. This doubles your initial wager, but you would win double your stake. You will only be able to turn over one more card to try and complete your ideal hand.
The term from which the game derives its name, a ‘Blackjack’ is a hand that is made up of two cards that total 21, i.e an ace and a card with a value of 10.
If a player or dealer goes over a hand total of 21, they are declared ‘bust’, which sees them lose the round.
A ‘hard hand’ is any that either doesn’t include an ace at all, or if it does then the ace is used as a value of 1 rather than 11.
Any hand that uses the ace as an 11 is referred to as a ‘soft hand’. If you’re dealt a soft hand and elect to draw more cards, it’s likely it will become a hard hand.
The ‘hole cards’ refer to the dealer's face down card at the start of a round of Blackjack.
The ‘up-card’ is the dealer’s card that faces up, i.e, other players can see. This helps with making strategies.
If the dealer’s up-card is an ace, they will ask players if they wish to place an ‘insurance’ wager. This is a side bet, where you’ll be betting that the dealer’s other card will be worth a value of ten. A winning insurance bet pays at odds of 2/1.
Choosing to ‘surrender’ would relinquish half of your initial wager and see you forfeit the current round. Surrendering isn’t always a permitted option and is not available on any LeoVegas Live Casino games, so always check your chosen game’s rules before playing.
How Do I Win at Blackjack?
There’s no guaranteed way to win at Blackjack, but there are some strategies that will improve your chances. Ultimately, though, you have to get a hand value closer to a total of 21 than the dealer’s without going over.
Is Blackjack a Game of Chance?
Not entirely. There may be a degree of luck in terms of the cards you are dealt, but ultimately once you are aware of your hand and the dealer’s up-card, there is a lot of strategy involved, along with further aspects that rely on chance.
Is Splitting a Good Strategy?
Generally, splitting is using basic strategy in order to potentially maximise your winnings on multiple hands.
What Happens if the Player and the Dealer Both Have Blackjack?
If both the dealer and the player have Blackjack, then the bet is a tie. This means that neither the player nor the casino lose money, and the player’s wager is returned.
Hopefully now you’re comfortable with the basics of how to play Blackjack, and feel able to test the waters of an actual round of Live Blackjack. If you’re keen to find more guides, feel free to explore our casino blog for everything you need to assist you before playing any table games or online slots, such as the highly popular Starbust and Book of Dead.
Despite our growing reputation as the King of Casino, it’s not all about online games at LeoVegas, as we also hold some of the most expansive and varied online betting markets. If you so choose, you can place wagers on the likes of rugby and basketball, and you can even explore our handy guides to horse racing betting tips and tennis betting tips.
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