The actual order of play for blackjack games never changes but there are thousands of possible combinations of variations on the rules of the game. This might seem trivial but the rule changes can have a big effect on the house edge and also on the correct strategy you should you when playing. This article covers some of the most common rule variations.
Card Values for blackjack games are as follows,
- Aces are worth 1 or 11
- Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 10
- All other cards are worth their face value
Below is an example of blackjack rules. The example comes from the Classic Blackjack games found at Microgaming casinos and has a house edge of 0.13%
- One Deck
- Dealer Stands on soft 17
- Dealer does not peek for blackjack
- Double after splitting is not allowed
- Only one split allowed
- Player may draw to split aces
- No surrender
You will find that almost every blackjack game you play at differnt casinos will have different rules. Below are the most common rules that are changed and effect the house advantage and strategy.
- Number of decks used
- Whether dealer hits or stands on soft 17
- If dealer peeks for blackjack before player acts
- Doubling rules. For Example after splitting or double on 9 or 11 only
- Splitting rules
- Surrender or no surrender
There can also be some variations to the payouts for winning hands. Blackjack should always pay 3 to 2. Some variations reduce the pay for blackjack to 6 to 5 which increases the house edge by about 1.4%. Even worse some casino pay only 1 to 1 on blackjack which increases he house edge by 2.3%. Both 6 to 5 and 1 to 1 tables should be avoided.
Some of the games rules will appear on the table so you can quickly see if for instance blackjack pays 6 to 5. for other rules you should refer to the casinos information section or ask the dealer. If you are going to make blackjack your main games it is worth getting this information before you visit the casino as you can then formulate the best strategy.