Learn How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular games offered by casinos. The game can seem outwardly simple, but strategy is a huge part of one's success or failure. Casinos have their own rules and etiquette which vary little from establishment to establishments. Getting involved in a game of Blackjack requires some attention paid to these norms.

Obviously, your first endeavor will be to buy chips. You can purchase chips right at the table, in most cases, so this issue is usually taken care of once you sit down. Some establishments, however, may require you to have chips in hand when you approach a table. There will generally be a window at which they may be purchased.

You'll need to pick a table which accepts bets you can afford. Blackjack tables are typically separated by the minimum bet allowed at them. The tables are generally color-coded or have a sign on the side of the table denoting the minimum bet. In the case of color-coded tables, the following denotations are usually the norm: red for a $5 minimum bet; green for a $25 minimum bet; and black for a $100 minimum bet. You'll find that this color system corresponds to the traditional chip colors used in casinos. Start playing at a table where the minimum bet is one with which you're comfortable.

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Your first game is best played at a table that deals from a "shoe", a system where multiple decks are used. In a shoe game, the cards are dealt face up. If you get lost, you can always ask the dealer for assistance as they already know what cards you have in your hand.

When you sit at the table, you'll likely notice that the felt is marked with outlines for the cards and circles in front of each player position. Your bet is to be placed in one of the circles. Remember to stack your chips with the highest values at the bottom. This is the custom at casinos and makes it easier for the dealers to do their job efficiently. If you have a great many lower denomination chips, the dealer will likely exchange them for higher values for you.

Your bets are placed before the hand is dealt. The dealer will announce when it's time for you to place your bet. After the cards have been dealt, you must not touch your chips. Your bet is considered in play once the cards have been dealt and one cannot go back on the deal. Remember to verify the amount you put down before the cards are dealt to avoid any unintentional losses.

As you progress in the game, you'll want to start moving to tables where fewer decks are in play. The odds are more in the player's favor with fewer decks in play and the added element of having some of the cards dealt face-down allows you to work your strategy into the game. Blackjack is very easy to understand after having played a few hands.