Black Jack, also known as Blackjack, is a card game offered by most casinos. You play this game against the dealer, not against the other players.
Black Jack is not just the name of the game, it is also the name of a special hand – a hand consisting of an ace + a ten point card. This hand pays better than the other possible hands. When you win against the dealer with an ordinary hand, you get paid 1:1 on your bet. When you win against the dealer with a Black Jack (ace + ten points) you are paid 3:2.
- You wagered $500. You win with a hand worth 19 points. You are paid $500 on your bet, and now have $1,000 in total.
- You wagered $500. You win with a hand consisting of an ace + a ten point card. You are paid $750 on your bet, and now have $1,250 in total.
You can read more about how to calculate a hand’s point value on our page about Black Jack rules.
Play blackjack in these casinos
6:5 Black Jack
Since it is up to each individual casino to set the rules for their blackjack tables, some tables do not conform to the standard rules. A 6:5 Black Jack table is a table where instead of being paid 3:2 when you win with a Black Jack, you are only paid 6:5.
- You wagered $500. You win with a hand consisting of an ace + a ten point card. You are paid $600 on your bet, and now have $1,100 in total.
As you can see, a 5:6 Black Jack table is not as good for the player as a table where you are paid 3:2 on Black Jack wins. It is best to avoid playing at the 6:5 Black Jack tables. Today, when it is so easy to find 3:2 Black Jack tables online, there really is no reason to keep giving money to casinos that give the Black Jack players such crappy odds.
8:5 Black Jack
At a 8:5 Black Jack table, you get paid 8:5 when you win with a Black Jack.
- You wagered $500. You win with a hand consisting of an ace + a ten point card. You are paid $800 on your bet, and now have $1,300 in total.
As you can see, 8:5 Black Jack is not just better than 6:5 Black Jack – it is better than 3:2 Black Jack as well! Regrettably, it is difficult to find 8:5 Black Jack tables. Casinos that do offer them will often try to compensate themselves in some other fashion, so it is important to really take a close look at all the rules before one starts wagering real money.
A round of Black Jack
Exactly how a round of Black Jack is played varies from one casino to the other, and sometimes even between two Black Jack tables within the same casino. Below, you will find a basic outline of how a round of European Black Jack can be carried out. Once you are familiar with this basic concept, it will be easy for you to adjust to any minor changes in procedure employed by the casinos you select to play in. Casinoer.com lists some of the best casinos in EU that offers Black Jack and generous bonuses.
- WageringAll the players make their bets. One player playing more than one box (black jack hand) is allowed, if there are available boxes.
- DealingThe dealer will give each player two cards, face-up. She will also give herself one card, face-up.
- Hit or stay?The dealer will now turn to the first player to her left. This player must indicate if he wants another card (hit) or not (stay). In some situations, doubling or splitting can also be possible. You can read more about doubling and splitting on our Black Jack rules page.The goal of Black Jack is to get closer to 21 points than the dealer’s hand. Any hand that reaches 22 points or more is automatically lost. When a hand goes over, the dealer will collect the wagered chips and remove the cards from the table. This hand is no longer in play.You are allowed to keep asking for (and getting) more cards until you reach 21 points, or until you go over and lose your hand. This is the most tricky aspect of Black Jack – when should you risk taking another card and when is it better to stay?You are always allowed to stay. You don’t even have to accept third card if you don’t want to. Staying with two cards only is definitely not uncommon at the Black Jack table.When the first hand is finished (because the player stayed, or because the hand went over and was removed), the dealer will proceed to the next hand. She will continue around the table until all hands are finished.
- The dealer’s handWhen all player hands are finished, it is time for the dealer’s hand. She already have one face-up card from the start of the round, and now she will deal her self a second face-up card.
What happens next depends on the point value of the two cards. Unlike a player, the dealer is not allowed to make decisions about her hand. She must follow strict rules about when to hit and when to stay. These rules are normally printed on the blackjack table. If the printing says “DEALER MUST DRAW TO 16 AND STAND ON ALL 17’s” it means that as long as the hand value is 16 points or less, the dealer must give herself an additional card. It also means that as soon as the hand reaches 17 points or more (even if it is a soft 17), the dealer must stop and is not allowed to take another card.
You can find information about soft and hard blackjack hands on our Black Jack rules page.
- The finishWhen the dealer’s hand is finished, the next step depends on what happened with her hand.
- If the dealer’s hand went over, all player hands that are still on the table are winning hands and will get paid.
- If the dealer’s hand did not go over, she will compare each remaining player hand on the table with her own hand. If you hand is closer to 21 points than what the dealer’s hand is, you get paid. If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 points than what your hand is, you lose your wager. If your hand and the dealer’s hand are of equal value, it’s a tie and you get to keep your wager (but doesn’t win anything).
You can find more information about things such as splitting, doubling, insurance, and surrender on our Black Jack rules page.