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Learn How to Play American Blackjack

How to Play American Blackjack to Win Real Money

American Blackjack is one of the popular variations of blackjack and is one of the most played by players. The objective is the same as in standard blackjack: to get as close as possible to 21, or exactly 21, without going over. And how to play American blackjack? The same way as you play classic blackjack.

But what distinguishes American blackjack from other variations of the game? A major difference is that the way cards are dealt in American blackjack differs from other variants. For example, the dealer gets only one card first before being dealt the second card after the player makes a move. But in American blackjack, the dealer deals both cards right away.

In this blackjack guide, we’ll look at some of the other peculiarities of American blackjack.

How to Play American Blackjack: Learn the Rules First

Below are the most common rules for how to play American blackjack:

  • American blackjack makes use of 4 decks of cards, although if you play blackjack online, you’ll mostly find 6 to 8 decks of cards.
  • The dealer always stands on a soft 17.
  • The payout for American blackjack is 3:2, though several games pay 6:5.
  • The dealer can peek for blackjack on 10s, Faces, and Aces.
  • Doubling on any initial hand is allowed for players.
  • It is permissible to double down after splitting.
  • Players can split into up to four total hands.
  • Aces can only be split once.
  • You can use only one card to split aces.
  • A total of 21 split aces does not count as blackjack.
  • Splitting, unlike 10-value cards (e.g., Q-k), is permitted.
  • The late surrender option is available for players.

How To Play American Blackjack

  1. Place your bet: Placing a bet is the first action a player has to take if he decides to play blackjack online. The game can’t start without the bets being placed by each player, and the minimum bet amount for most casinos is around $1. Select the amount you want to bet at online casinos and click the ‘Bet’ button.
  2. Cards Dealing: The next step is for the dealer to deal two cards, facing up, to each player and himself. Of the two cards dealt to the dealer, the first card is dealt face up, while the second card faces down. Since the goal when learning to play American blackjack is to get a hand total of 21 without going over, after receiving the cards, you get to know the value of your card, whether it is less than a blackjack or exactly a blackjack. If the value is less than a blackjack, the players then have to decide whether to stand, hit, split or double down.

  • Hit: To hit is to request an additional card to increase the hand’s value. Hitting more cards doesn’t affect the bet.
  • Stand: To stand is to keep playing the hand without requesting additional cards. It means you are confident in the value of your hand.
  • Double Down: To double down involves doubling the initial bet and receiving an extra card to increase the value of the hand. The additional bet value is equal to the initial bet value.
  • Split: Card splitting involves dividing matching cards into two hands. If you choose to split your hand, two additional cards will be dealt to you, and each additional card will create two new hands. Following that, you carry on as normal, except that you are now dealing with two hands simultaneously. You can still hit with each hand, then.
  • Insurance: An insurance bet is placed when the dealer has an ace, and you predict that he will win a natural blackjack. Half the value of the initial bet is placed as an insurance bet.
  • Surrender: Surrender means tapping out before the game ends. Half of the bet is lost in the process.

  1. Payout

There are three outcomes for a payout, which are:

  • If your hand beats the dealer’s, you win and get the payout.
  • If the dealer’s hand beats yours, you lose the bet.
  • If both your hand and that of the dealer have the same value, it’s a push. Depending on the table rule, you either get your bet back or lose it.

The Payouts for American Blackjack Are:

  • Natural blackjack: 3 to 2
  • Insurance: 2 to 1
  • Beating the dealer any other way pays 1 to 1.

Strategy for Playing American Blackjack

Learning how to play American Blackjack involves having a good strategy. This strategy guide is split into three groups: hard hands, soft hands, and splits. Take these actions when you are faced with any of these hands:

Hard Total Hands

A hard total hand is one in which the total does not include an ace card. Ace has a value of either 1 or 11, depending on the player. For example, 7 + 5 + A = 13. In this case, the ace’s value is 1, not 11, which would bust the hand.

Take these actions when you have a hard hand:

  • 8 and below: Hit
  • 17 and above: Stand
  • 9: If the dealer shows 3 to 6, always double if not hit.
  • 10: If the dealer shows 2 to 9, always double; if not, hit.
  • 11: If the dealer shows 2 to 9, always double; if not, hit.
  • 12: If the dealer shows 4 to 6, always stand; if not, hit.
  • 13: If the dealer shows 2 to 6, always stand; if not, hit.
  • 14: If the dealer shows 2 to 6, always stand; if not, hit.
  • 15: If the dealer shows 2 to 6, always stand; if not, hit.
  • 16: If the dealer shows 2 to 6, always stand; if not, hit.

Soft Total Hands

A soft total hand is one whose total value includes an Ace and is counted as 11, not 1. A soft total does not go over 21. As an example, A + 5 = 16. Take the following actions when you are faced with a soft hand:

  • 13 or 14: Double on the dealer’s 5 to 6 if not hit.
  • 15 or 16: Double on the dealer’s 4 to 6 if not hit.
  • 17: Double on the dealer’s 3 to 6 if not hit.
  • 18: Always hit on the dealer’s 9 to Ace, double on 3 to 6, and stand otherwise.
  • 19–21: Always stand.

Splitting Pairs

Not all pairs should be split; this Blackjack Guide will show you which pairs should and should not be split in American blackjack. Take the following actions when faced with pairs:

  • Ace-Ace: If the dealer shows an Ace, hit; if not, split.
  • If the dealer shows 2 to 7, split; otherwise, hit.
  • 3-3: Split if the dealer shows 2-7; otherwise, hit.
  • 4-4: Split if the dealer shows 5 to 6; otherwise, hit.
  • 5-5: Double if the dealer shows 2 to 9; if not, hit.
  • 6-6: Split if the dealer shows 2 to 6; hit otherwise.
  • 7-7: If the dealer shows 2 to 7, split; otherwise, hit.
  • 8-8: If the dealer shows 2 to 8, split; otherwise, hit.
  • 9–9: Split if the dealer shows 2–7 or 8–9; if not, stand.
  • 10-10: Stand.

Final Thoughts

We hope this blackjack guide has briefed you on how to play American blackjack. If you want to learn more about playing blackjack or baccarat, or any other casino game, visit Slots Paradise Casino School.

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How is American blackjack played?

It’s pretty easy to learn how to play American blackjack. The only steps required are to place a wager, deal the cards, determine the score, and choose whether to hit, stand, or split.

What is American Blackjack’s RTP?

In American blackjack, the theoretical return to the player is 99.64%.

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