Learning how to play blackjack has never been easier than it is today. GoldenPalace.com is pleased to provide you with an introduction to the game, and a free version of our blackjack software to help you practice. Everything you need to learn to play like a pro is here, and it's free.
To get started, we will discuss the process of how a blackjack session progresses from start to finish. The learning process will be made much simpler if you play along with our free-play blackjack game. To download this game, simply click on the "download now" button near the top of this page.
A blackjack session begins when the player places his wager. To place your bet in our software, simply click once on the chip you wish to bet. You can click again and the software will stack another chip on top for you.
At this point, all you have to do is hit the deal button and you will receive your first two cards. The dealer will also deal himself two cards, and expose one of them. The visible card is known as the dealer's up-card, while the other is known as the dealer's hole-card.
One fundamental thing that many people do not learn when they first learn how to play blackjack is the true object of the game. Many people falsely believe that the object of the game is to have a hand that is as close to 21 as possible without going over. While this is part of the rules, it is almost, but not quite your true goal as a player. Your true goal is nothing more than to beat the dealer; it just happens to be easier to beat the dealer with a hand that is close to 21. But don't fall into that trap. You win just as much if you beat the dealer with a 14 as you do if you beat them with a 20. This is when studying your blackjack strategy comes in particularly handy.
Now that you have your cards and the dealer has his, you can decide how you wish to proceed. You have a number of options, including the two most called for, 'hit', or 'stand'. To 'hit' your hand is to take another card, to 'stand' is to leave your hand 'as is' in hopes that it will beat the dealer.
Other options include 'splitting' and 'doubling down'. You are allowed to split two cards if they are the same value. Doing so means you are literally taking each card and making it the first card of two new hands. Say you are dealt two 8's. Since two eights on their own only gives you 16 (not a very strong hand), splitting them to two hands with an 8 to start is the smart move. This way you have two decent chances at 18. When you split, you are required to place a second bet equal to your original bet for your second hand. This is done automatically by the software.
If you have split your eights, the dealer will push your cards to two separate hands and give you a second card for the first hand. The dealer will then prompt you to make a decision on this hand, and continue to do so until the hand has busted or been asked to stand. The dealer will then proceed to your second hand, deal a second card, and ask for your decision once again.
Your other option, in addition to hitting, standing, or spitting, is called doubling down. After you have been dealt your first two cards, if you have a hand with a total of 9, 10 or 11, you can choose to double your bet on the table. The reason you would want to do this is if you believe you have a good chance of having a strong hand after one more card is dealt to you. The catch is, even if you're dealt a two on a ten, you only get one more card, so you're stuck with a 12. The time to choose to double down is when your first two cards total 10 or 11, and you can expect a 20 or 21 if the next card dealt to you has a value of 10. It is important to take note of the dealer's up-card when deciding to double or not. If the dealer is showing busting cards (up-card of 4, 5, or 6 indicating that they are likely to have 14, 15, or 16 and will likely bust) you're making a smarter decision by choosing to double down.