Simple Blackjack Instructions for Beginners

A Little History
Blackjack instructions should always come with a little history. The game of blackjack has been around since the 17th century. It originated in France and was called "Vingt et Un," which means "21" in French. The sole purpose was to reach 21. The English term "blackjack" came from when a player was dealt a hand that consisted of the jack and the ace of spades.

Three Little Rules
Not much has changed since the 17th century as far as blackjack is concerned. The main goal, still, is to reach a total of 21 without going over. Unlike other card games, blackjack is played against the dealer and only the dealer. Only one bet is made and that happens before the cards are dealt.

How a Game is Played
First, you find a blackjack table. Obvious. It's important that you sit at one that has a fun and comfortable atmosphere. It will make your blackjack experience more enjoyable. When you are ready to play you will place a bet. The dealer will then deal two cards to all the players, including himself. The player's cards will both be face up, while the dealer's cards will be one face up and one face down, known as the "downcard" or "in the hole." Face cards are worth ten, Aces are worth either one or eleven and all other cards are worth face value. If the total of your hand is 12 or less, you would accept another card until you reach 21or as close to 21 without going over. You win the hand if your hand is greater than the count of the dealer's hand. Any hand that exceeds 21 loses. 

Essential Terms
Here are some important t erms that every beginning blackjack player should know.

  • Hit. Accepting more cards to your hand in order to get to 21.
  • Stand. You're no longer excepting more cards and happy with the total of your hand.
  • Split. Taking two cards with the same rank and making two separate hands.
  • Double. You double your bet, also called "doubling down" when you take one more card. You can only take one card, bad or good.
  • Bust. Going over 21.
  • Push. Same total as the dealer.
  • Surrender. You lose half your bet by ending your hand immediately.
  • Shoe. The device that holds the cards that the dealer deals from.
  • Dealer. The person who deals the cards.
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