Learn how to play Blackjack with PlaySmart

All right, all right. PlaySmart presents Get Your Game On, where we learn how to play Blackjack with confidence so that you can have more fun playing. Welcome, welcome. Are you guys ready to Get Your Game On?

– Whoo! -Okay, fantastic. Now, we we’re here with Robin. Hello, Robin. – Hi, hi.

And we are also here with Paul. – Hello, how are you, sir? – Fine. Okay now, Robin, we’re playing Blackjack today. – Are you excited?

– I am excited, yeah. I’m… I’m actually really nervous, ’cause I don’t know how to play. Oh, that’s okay, don’t worry about that because we’ll have you playing smart and playing confidently in no time. Ever heard of the game 21?

Uh… I think so. – Yeah, yeah. – Okay, well, perfect. Same game, just a different name.

Everyone’s goal at the table is to beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 as possible without ever going over. The highest winning hand possible is Blackjack… – Okay, okay. – …which is a ten or a face card plus an ace as the first two cards you’re dealt.

Now let’s play a practice round. Sound good? Mm, music to my ears.

All right. The dealer now deals each player two cards like this. Cards from two through ten are at face value. Face cards, Jacks, Queens, and Kings, are each worth ten. And aces are worth one or eleven, depending on how you want to use them.

You have an eight and a king. That’s 18. It’s pretty close to 21. The odds suggest that you should stay.

Okay, but how to do I know when to stay? You know, Blackjack is a game of strategy, Robin, and applying it, you can increase your chances of winning. Whether to hit, stay, split or double down, if you are unsure of a play, then you can just ask your dealer at any time. That totally makes sense to me.

I’m just wondering what you said about the aces, that they can be one or eleven. Right, yes, of course. You know what, it’s like this.

If you have a 16 in your hand and you decide to hit for another card, and it’s an ace, counting as an 11 would put you over 21, or bust your hand, which means you lose. But if you assign a value of one to the ace, you’ll have 17 and still have a pretty good chance of winning. – Okay, I get it. – Now, if the dealer gets Blackjack right off the bat, then everybody automatically loses, unless, of course, the other players have Blackjack. If this happens, they keep their bets. Actually, any time a player ties the dealer, they get to keep their bets.

Next comes hitting. After the initial deal, players can ask for an extra card, say, if they have a ten or less. To hit, you would do this. Now, let’s say you have 17 or higher and you’re satisfied with your total, you would want to stay. To stay, you would go like this. – Oh.

– This means no more cards. What if I have a pair of eights? Mmm, that’s a great question. Now, if you have a pair, like eights, you want to split them. You indicate that you want to split the cards by doing this. Oh, okay, um… That’s it, exactly.

Splitting your hand gives you a better chance to win, as you are now playing with two hands, but keep in mind it forces you to double your bet. – (Laughing) – Yeah. Yeah, well done.

There’s another play called “doubling down”. After you’ve been dealt your first two cards, you have an option of doubling your initial bet, but it limits you to only one additional card. The best time to double down is when the dealer is showing a bust card, typically a five or a six. This is because there’s a pretty good chance the dealer’s other card is a ten or face card, increasing the odds that the dealer will bust on their next draw. Hey, uh, can I double down on this hand? Yeah, you absolutely can.

Oh, okay. Uh, like that? Or around? – (Laughing) Okay. – Great. Ah… – Hey.

– (Applause, laughter) Well done. Congratulations. Blackjack is super fun, and unlike other card games, Robin, your decision making can impact the outcome.

I think you’re just about ready to play. So, uh, before you do though, just remember playing basic strategy will improve the odds of winning, but it will never guarantee a win. Let’s go have fun and play smart.