In South Africa, the blackjack rules closely mirror those found in casinos around the world. The objective remains consistent: obtain a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without surpassing that magic number. Players are dealt two initial cards and have the option to draw additional cards to improve their hand’s value. However, there’s a catch – going over 21 results in an automatic loss, commonly known as a “bust.” Understanding the rules of blackjack is paramount to success, and in this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this thrilling game within the unique context of South Africa. Whether you’re a seasoned blackjack enthusiast or a novice looking to sharpen your skills, mastering the rules and strategies of blackjack will undoubtedly enhance your overall gaming experience and potentially boost your chances of walking away a winner.
Why play this game or even master the many black jack rules? For starters, this game has one of the lowest house edges of all casino games. Players get more value for their money while getting entertained. Secondly, all games of skills have a challenging aspect that most players appreciate, especially when they want to get away from the usual easy gambling options.
The goal is always to hit 21 before the dealer, and any number above this is called a Bust. For this reason, players need to know blackjack card values to tell the kind of hand they have been dealt. The game starts with two cards on the table – face up – and the player can stand, hit, split, or double down depending on said hand. Card values in blackjack are Ace: 1 or 11: King, Queen, and Jack – 10 points: all other cards carry their face values.
If you want to choose your preferred online blackjack South Africa casino, then check their rules. Most sites do not require registering an account these days, so you can simply choose your preferred game variant, place your bets, and start playing.
These simple steps will get you started:
Go online and choose your preferred game variety, as there are many. Pay for your chips if you are playing blackjack online for real money. The dealer lets you know the value of your bet, such as a 3:2 return if you win. Casinos differ in house edge and RTP.
Place a bet, then settle at the virtual table to play with the rest of the players in a multiplayer setting. You can choose a single-player set-up, too, for the same experience. You won’t have to place a bet if you choose a free game. Casinos have set minimum and maximum limits to guide you when placing your bets.
Now on how to play blackjack with a dealer: The dealer shuffles the cards and starts dealing with them clockwise. They will give each player two face-up cards and deal themselves two as well, but with one face-down. The game starts with the first person to the dealer’s left opening up the action, then others following in a clockwise direction until the game ends.
Here’s where players will apply blackjack rules. The player to the dealer’s left is known as “first base,” and they set the game off by making their move. You first want to check your black jack card values to make an informed decision. You want the total of your two cards to be between 4 and 21, so if you have an Ace and a 10, you hit Blackjack and are immediately announced as a winner. If both your cards have the same value – say, 8 and 8- you can split them to play two hands of the same value.
After the first player makes their move, the next moves – clockwise – and this goes on until one wins. If you are not satisfied with your card values – you have a bad hand – you can hit, which ideally means taking a card from the shuffled lot placed on the table. You want to check the total of your new cards to ensure you remain as close to 21 as possible. If the dealer has blackjack, it cancels your win, but you wouldn’t lose your original bet.
A typical deck has 52 cards, and casinos play the 4, 8, and 8 versions regularly. 6 decks are the most popular, meaning you could use up to 312 cards in one game. The dealer has a blank card at the end of each deck to signify its end so they can pop open a new one. The decks are placed in a shoe (box), and the dealer opens them one at a time to shuffle without looking at the black jack card values as they are all face-down.
The cards have different values.
Most casinos have the value of each chip imprinted on the back, but they also colour-code them.
Different game variations have unique settings, but the rules are quite similar. A typical blackjack table is semicircular and designed to accommodate up to 12 players depending on the game or casino. Most popularly, you have seven players on the table.
Ace determines whether a hand is considered hard or soft. When Ace is counted as 11, the total is considered soft, and it is hard when it counts as 1, or none of the cards is Ace. This card counts as 1 when the total (combined with the other card) goes above 21. So, if you have Ace-7, this is a soft 17. Ace-4-8 is hard. 10-8 and 8-8-2 are hard hands because they do not contain Ace, and this is one of the primary rules of blackjack that a player cannot ignore.
Now, for the strategies to apply with a soft and hard hand. If the dealer has 4, 5, or 6 as their up cards, a player can double down since even in the best-case scenario where the dealer has an Ace in the hole, they would be mandated to Stand at soft 17. A soft hand gives a player more flexibility and better chances of beating the dealer than its hard counterpart. In a hard-hand scenario where the dealer’s up-card is 10, you may want to assume they have another 10 in the hole and proceed cautiously. You can Hit if your cards add up to 14, 15, 0r 16 and hope for the best.
Part of knowing how to play blackjack in casino is knowing the rules for the different variations.
When learning how play black jack, you will find out that the usual number of decks is between 2 and 6. Some casinos have 8-deck cards, but 6 is the sweet spot. Each deck has 52 cards. A few casinos use a single deck per game, which allows card counting and effectively lowers house edge. More decks equal a higher house edge.
When a variation requires the dealer to stand at soft 17, it is labelled S17. This means the dealer has to stand at this number if one of their cards is Ace or 6. This lowers house edge because the dealer can do nothing if the player has a chance to get to 17 or closer to 21.
Some variations restrict when a player can double down, which increases the house edge since the house has a say in this particular move. Doubling allows players to bet more on their hands if they are confident they are headed for a win.
One black jack rule any player should know is knowing when to split a hand. Splitting happens when you are dealt cards of the same value, and doubling after this action allows you to play with double your original bets for both hands.
Some blackjack variations allow a player to split a hand after the initial split, which reduces the house edge by about 0.1%. A resplit allows you to play three hands at the same time.
Most variations allow players to surrender after being dealt their cards, much to the house’s advantage. Only a few scenarios necessitate this move, such as if the dealer’s up-card is Ace or a 10 and your cards total 15. You lose half your stake when you surrender.
The dealer’s hole card is face-down, but they peek at the beginning of the game to see whether they have blackjack or not. If they do, any other player with blackjack says so, and they get a Push. Those without blackjack lose. Some variations do not allow peeking, which can increase the house edge.
Blackjack has one of the best theoretical RTPs – 99.54% at most casinos, but the final win depends on how best a player applies classic blackjack rules and strategies. The game still gives you a 50/50 chance of a win, and applying all the known strategies will inch you closer to the money. A win pays out 3:1 or 1.5 times your wager. If a player and the dealer both get natural blackjacks – Ace and 10 – the scores even out, and none is paid out. A bust is an automatic loss.
Having covered blackjack casino rules, here are terminologies on how to play blackjack for beginners.
Blackjack may have originated from Vingt-Un, which was made famous by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. In his book, he wrote about two notorious cheats in a game called veintiuna (21 in Spanish), whose main objective was for players to get to 21 without going over it to win. The details make it clear that veintiuna was played before the book was written, in the 17th century, perhaps.
The current version of online blackjack is similar to what was played in Spanish, but a few tweaks were observed as Europe, and the US adopted their versions. It was likely first played in France in 1888 and in Britain between the 1770s and 1780s. Those teaching gamblers blackjack how to play documented some material that shows the game was played at the community level.