What To Know When Playing Blackjack
21! (Courtesy Thinkstock)
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa in St. Maarten is a beautiful all-inclusive Caribbean resort where you can dig your toes into the white sand and enjoy your respite from the everyday hustle and bustle.
You might also want to give Lady Luck a try on the slots or the card tables at Sonesta’s Golden Casino, where you will also find over 110 state-of-the-art slot machines, 3 card poker, ultimate Texas hold ‘em and roulette.
If you’re trying your hand at Blackjack and have never given it a whirl, here is a little tutorial before you go to help you beat the odds.
Have a seat at a blackjack table, which typically allows up to seven players. As a newbie, you should choose a table with more people, so the game goes a little slower and you have more time to think about your hand.
Blackjack can be played with one to eight decks of 52 cards each. Your odds are better in casinos that use single decks as opposed to multiple decks, but keep in mind that many casinos use six or more decks. This is the casino’s solution to the problem of card counters. You can always ask before you start betting how many decks a casino uses.
The object of the game is to get as close to 21 as you can without going over, but you are competing against the dealer. The dealer deals two cards to you and to any other players, and then keeps two cards for himself. One of the two cards is dealt face up and one is dealt face down (also known as the ‘hole’ card).
Peek at your cards and add the two together. You need to decide if you want more cards to get closer to 21 or if you don’t. If you do, tell the dealer to “hit.” If you are content with your cards, you say “stay.” You can also double down in blackjack, which means to add more money to your initial bet, but you are only allowed one additional card.
Two more rules you should know before you decide on your play: If the two cards you were dealt are either a pair or any two 10-point cards, you can split them up and play them separately. You can split up two aces, but they are only allowed one card each, so choose carefully. Aces can count as either an 11 or a 1. If you get a hand with an ace, it’s called a ‘soft’ hand because you can’t bust. For example, if you hit on a soft 18 (which would be an ace and a 7) and get a 6, the ace will revert back to the value of 1 and your total is now 14 instead of 24.
If you end up with 21, it’s a ‘blackjack.’ If the dealer does not have 21, you win. If the dealer has 21, but you don’t, he gets blackjack and everyone else loses. If you both have a blackjack, it’s called a push and you get your money back. Otherwise, whoever has the higher hand wins.
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