How to Deal Blackjack

Morten
23 January 2023
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the-history-of-blackjack

Blackjack is a fun casino game widely played among punters worldwide. This is one of the few gaming categories favouring skill and strategy over pure luck. The gameplay is simple, and you become familiar with the rules after a few trials.

Blackjack sessions involve punters playing against a dealer around colourful tables with large wheels. The croupiers play an integral role during gameplay as they take charge of dealing cards and instructing players.

However, you do not have to be a professional croupier to learn the art of dealing cards in blackjack. This article highlights the basic gameplay rules, roles of a dealer, how to deal blackjack, and more.

What are the Basics of Blackjack?

As a newbie, you should understand the basics of blackjack before playing for real money at online casinos. During gameplay, you aim to beat the dealer and accumulate the number of points closest to 21 without exceeding this mark. Since it involves only dealers and players, whoever has the better hand wins the game. The numbers on the picture cards count as points with the King, Queen, and Jack being 10 each. Aces count as the card with the highest value of 11, though it is also used as 1.

After placing wagers, the croupier deals two cards for the player and themself. On revealing these cards, the dealer wins if the player exceeds 21 and vice versa. However, if no one surpasses 21 points, whoever has a score closest to this wins the round. Blackjack allows multiple participants against a single dealer per round, and punters can play multiple hands in the same session.

The Role of a Dealer in Blackjack

In blackjack, a dealer is a person who works at a casino, dealing cards to players during game rounds. At a legitimate gaming venue with blackjack tables, you will find well-trained professional croupiers with a license to manage sessions by dealing cards and issuing instructions to players. The dealers undergo a rigorous background check involving biometric recognition to ascertain any previous criminal convictions.

It is crucial to note that these individuals play multiple roles during gameplay, such as recording bets and paying out winnings. Therefore, they must be trustworthy and reliable. A professional croupier functions in many other capacities aside from dealing cards during blackjack sessions. First, they are in charge of counting money and converting it to the equivalent value in chips for players to wager at the table.

Also, dealers are tasked with spotting counterfeit money, in case a punter tries to pay with fake bills. During gameplay, they shuffle the cards manually or using an automatic shuffler before dealing a hand of two cards to each blackjack player. The croupier takes two cards after dealing, one face up and the other face down. Then, they reveal the face-down card, after which punters show their cards.

Depending on the score, players can choose to hit or stand. Finally, the dealer takes charge of paying players with winning hands once the round ends. For online blackjack variations, the dealer is substituted for a state-of-the-art RNG machine. However, players can access real-life blackjack dealers at the live casino section of gambling sites.

How to Shuffle and Deal Blackjack

Ideally, blackjack rounds are handled by licensed dealers who take charge of the games. However, it is essential to learn the art of shuffling and dealing blackjack cards, so you can enjoy gaming sessions, even in the absence of a professional croupier. This skill might be useful when playing blackjack with friends and family. We provide a step-by-step guide on how to shuffle and deal blackjack in the section below:

Shuffle the Deck of Cards

The first thing you must do before a blackjack round is to shuffle the cards. For games with multiple decks, you should mix the cards randomly using proven techniques, such as overhand and riffle techniques. After shuffling, the next step is dealing the cards. Each player at the table is given two cards one face up and another face down during the game.

Placing of Bets

Players need to make their bets before the dealing begins. The dealer waits till all wagers have been registered in the betting boxes before commencing the distribution of cards. If a player fails to place bets before dealing starts, they will have to wait for the next round. Dealers are not allowed to place bets during blackjack rounds.

Dealing the Cards

This crucial step involves placing two cards, one face up in front of players from left to right. You should pull the card from the top of the deck and slide it to the player on the far left of the table facing up. As the dealer, you have to repeat this process till every punter has one card.

Deal Your Cards and the Second Round for Players

After the first round of cards, you must place one face-down card in front of yourself within the dealer’s box. Then, you can start sharing the second round of cards with players afterwards. The dealer is usually the last to receive a face-up card. After this, you record the number on your face-up card before the players around the blackjack table.

Bet Collection and Insurance Wagers

If your faceup card happens to be an Ace, you must count it as 11 if it brings your total points to 17 or more. Then, it is important to inquire whether punters want an insurance bet or not. If anyone opts for this wager, keep half of their initial betting amount and flip your facedown card to know if the points total hits blackjack. Note that you are to collect all wagers from players who refused to purchase insurance if you land a blackjack.

If the dealer has an ace, and counting it as 11 would bring the total to 17 or more (but not over 21), the dealer must count the ace as 11 and stand. The dealer’s decisions, then, are automatic on all plays, whereas the player always has the option of taking one or more cards.

Manage in-game actions like Hit, Stand, Split, or Double Down

If your up-card is not an Ace, the gameplay continues normally, and punters play their hands from left to right. Players can perform a series of actions during the round. First, they can choose to stand, meaning you skip them for the next person.

Another option is the “hit”, implying that you should deal them another card. It is also normal for punters to double down, thus requiring an extra card and a new wager. For those who split, you give them two new cards facing down. As a dealer, you should know the meaning of each action and what to do.

Play Your Hand to Conclude the Round

After the punters have played their hands, it is your turn to show your face-down card to confirm its value. For hands lower than 16, you need to deal yourself another card. However, if your points total exceeds 21, all the players on the table win the round.

If you do not go bust, your hand is compared with that of the players, and the winners are those with higher hand values. If you score the same points as a punter, it is called a push which requires them to decide the bet’s fate for the next round.

Basic Blackjack Rules You Must Know – From the Dealer’s Perspective

There are basic blackjack rules guiding the gameplay for punters and dealers. Learning these ground rules helps a player to take advantage of various game situations, as the dealer’s moves are predictable. We highlight a few blackjack rules using the actions discussed below:

Hitting Blackjack

A player hits blackjack if the first two cards they receive are an Ace and another one with a value of 10, such as the King, Queen, or Joker. This results in a total of 21 points, so the player might enjoy a win. However, if the dealer has the same combination, the most that happens is a “push”. You stand a 4.8% chance of hitting blackjack.

Push

A push is announced if the dealer and punter have the same hand. Since there is no winner, the dealer returns the player’s wager.

Bust

If a player’s card value surpasses 21, the hand is called a bust, and their wagers are lost. Conversely, the punter wins if the dealer goes bust after they “stand”.

Splitting

If a player receives a hand with cards of similar values, they can choose to “split” them to create two independent hands. During a “split”, you are dealt two facedown cards with the option of making a new wager matching your original stake. Dealers are not permitted to split during a blackjack game.

Insurance

When a dealer’s first card is an Ace, the game offers punters an insurance bet. This provides a form of protection in case the next card creates a blackjack. With the insurance wager, half of the initial stake is saved and doubled if the player eventually loses. So, they receive their original bet amount. However, it is advisable to avoid this option, as there is no reward in playing safe in the long term.

Surrender

There is a surrender rule allowing players to mitigate losses and avoid playing a presumably weak hand against the dealer. When this is declared, the punter’s hand is dead instantly, and the dealer takes half their wager. The American blackjack variation offers early and late surrender options.

Common Blackjack Card Combinations and their Payouts

When the odds between punters and croupiers are close, winning can become quite tricky. Therefore, it helps to know how to navigate the most difficult combinations of the dealer’s up-card and player’s hand. This section provides details on using the blackjack odds of the various hands to boost your winning chances.

Hard 16

When a player gets a hard 16, it is best to watch the dealer’s move before deciding to hit or stand. If the dealer’s up-card is 7 or 8, you should hit, but for 9 and 10, surrender is the ideal choice.

12 vs Dealer 4

This is an unfavourable position for players, boasting one of the closest blackjack hands in terms of odds. With an upcard of 4, the chances of the dealer going bust are 40%, resulting in a considerable losing margin if you stand. For a hit, your odds improve to 58%, which is still high.

15 vs Dealer 10

15 vs Dealer 10 is a card combination that almost always favours the dealer. Players have a 22% chance of winning with a “hit”, which increases by one percent if they choose to “stand”.

Low Pairs

If you land a pair of numbers below 6, follow these blackjack rules:

  • For pairs of 2 and 3, split on dealer 7/ hit
  • For pairs of 4, split on dealer 5 or 6/ hit
  • For pairs of 5, never try to split, but you can hit
  • For pairs of 6, hit if the dealer has above 7, but split if lesser than 6.

Blackjack Payout Odds – What Could You Win

Getting a perfect score of 21 results in a blackjack, which boasts the game’s highest winning odds. It rewards punters with a 3:2 payout, which boosts their stakes by 150%. However, the odds change for different variations, but you must never go below 6:5. Read this table for more details.

Blackjack PayoutsOdds to WinEstimated House Edge
3:231.25%0.5%
6:515.38%2%

Payouts and Odds on Blackjack Side Bets

Asides from hitting blackjack, players enjoy a variety of winning odds on popular side bets across the different variations. Even when two blackjack games offer similar side bets odds, the payout rates might vary. So, you must always check the pay table before choosing any title. Here are a few popular side bets and their payout odds.

Blackjack Side BetsPayoutsBlackjack Winning Odds
Perfect Pair25:13.98%
Coloured Pair12:18.26%
Mixed Pair6:116.39%
Suited Trips100:11.00%
Straight Flush40:12.49%
Three of a Kind30:13.32%
Straight10:19.90%
Flush5:119.61%

Conclusion

Blackjack is a popular game among gamblers in the United Kingdom. It is accessible at legitimate gaming venues and online casinos, boasting a plethora of thrilling variations. A dealer handles the game rounds at land-based casinos but is replaced by an RNG machine in the internet version. Anyone can learn how to deal, so we provide salient information in this piece. Now, you can organise blackjack games with your friends without hitting the road.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on UKCasino.com, Casinogrounds.com, and Casinoscores.com.