How to play Blackjack South Africa

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Playing Blackjack – Let’s Begin

Known also as the card game 21, the rules of blackjack are simple. There are plenty of opportunities for great strategy, and play is exciting.  There are even some expert players out there who can play a perfect game mathematically as well as have the ability to count the cards. For those individuals, the odds can be in the player’s favour to win such games.

Blackjack is a card game that most gambling casinos offer. It is just as popular as playing the game at home but is played with rules that are slightly different in casinos. The house is always the dealer in the casino version of the game. The dealer stands during casino play, with the players sitting down. The dealer is the one who is in charge of the game and runs all of the various aspects from shuffling the cards and dealing them to managing all of the debts. When played at home, all of the players get the chance to be the dealer of the game. If you’re looking for an online casino South Africa, then look no further.

The Blackjack Cards

Blackjack uses a standard 52-card pack. However, a majority of casinos shuffle multiple decks of cards together. The most popular game is the six-deck version. The dealer also uses a blank plastic card, which is not dealt but gets put towards the bottom part of the pack as an indicator for then it’s time to reshuffle the cards. When four decks are more used, they get dealt out of a shoebox so the dealer can take one card at a time, face down, without having to hold the packs of cards in their hands.

How you win at Blackjack

Each player tries to beat the dealer by getting their count as close as possible to 21, without going over that number.

Scoring and Card Values

It is up to each player to decide if an Ace is worth 11 or 1 – they can make that choice during the game. Face cards are all worth ten, and all other cards use their displayed value.

How to bet at Blackjack

Each player places their bet before the deal, in chips, in the designated area in front of them. There are minimum and maximum limits that are established for the betting.

Card Shuffle And Cut

The packs of cards are shuffled by the dealer until all of the cards have been combined and mixed. One of the players designated to do the cut by the dealer and the insert plastic card is placed, so the final 60-75 cards are not used.

The Deal

Once all of the players have made their bets, the dealer will then give one card to each player face down in clockwise rotation, and then one to themselves face up. Then another round of cards are dealt face up to all of the players, and the dealer then takes a second card face down. Therefore, every player other than the dealer gets two cards face up, while the dealer gets a card that is face down and a card that is face up.

What is a Natural in Blackjack

If the first two cards of a player are a “ten-card”, a ten or picture card, and an ace, giving a 21 count on two cards, that is a “blackjack” or natural. If the dealer doesn’t have a natural, but a player does, then the player is immediately paid by the dealer one and a half time of what their bet amount is. If the dealer is the one who has a natural, they collect the bets from all of the players immediately who don’t have naturals, but not an additional amount. If a player and dealer both have naturals, then the player’s bet is a tie, a stand-off, and the player takes his chips back.

If the face-up card of the dealers is an ace or ten-card, they then look at the face-down card to determine if a natural can be made with the two cards. If the face-up card isn’t an ace or ten-card, they don’t look at their face-down card until it is time for the dealer to play.

Play Of The Game

The player o the left is the one who goes first and has to decide whether to “hit” where another card is dealt to them to hit 21 or closer to a 21 count, or “stand” where you don’t ask for an additional card. Therefore, a play can stand o the two cards that were dealt to them initially or can ask for additional cards from the dealer, one at a time, until they decide to stand on their total, if the count is 21 or less, or goes “bust” if the count goes over 21. On a “bust,” the player loses, and then the bet wagered is collected by the dealer. Then the dealer turns to the next player on the left and gives them cards in the same way.

When an ace is combined with a card that is not a ten-card, it is called a “soft hand,” since the player can count the ace as either an 11 or 1, and either draw a card or not. So, for example, if a player has a “soft 17” (a six and an Ace), then the total is either 17 or 7. Although a 17 count is a good hand, a player still might want to draw to get a higher total. If the draw creates a bust by counting the ace as 11, then the player will just count the ace as a one and then continue to play by either hitting or standing. With hitting, you keep asking the dealer for more cards, one card at a time.

The Dealer’s Play

Once every player has been served by the dealer, the face-down card of the dealer is turned up. If the count total is 17 or higher, it must stand. On the other hand, if the total is 16 or less, then they are required to take a card. In blackjack, the dealer must keep taking cards until their total is at least 17, and at that point, the dealer is required to stand. If one of the dealer’s cards is an ace, and if it was counted as an 11 it would take the count to 17 or higher (but not more than 21), then the ace must be counted as an 11 by the dealer and stand. The decisions of the dealer, therefore, are automatic on every play. By contrast, the player always has the option of taking one card or more.

Signalling Intention

Whenever it is a player’s turn, they either “hit’, or they can signal to get a card by scratch the table with one or two fingers while motioning towards themselves. They also can wave their hand the way you would to signal “come here.” Whenever a player decides to stand, they can either say “no more” or “stand,” or signal their intention by motioning their hand sideways, with their palm down right over the card table.

Splitting Pairs

If the first two cards of a player are the same denomination, like two sixes or two jacks, they can treat them as separate hands once it is their turn. Their original bet amount will then goe to one card while a bet of the same amount needs to be placed on their other card. First, the player plays the hand on their left by either hitting or standing one or multiple times; then they play the hand on the right. Therefore, the two hands are treated as separate ones, and the dealer will settle with each of them based on their own merits. If a player has a pair of aces, he will be given one card for each of the aces and cannot draw again. If a ten-card gets dealt with one of the aces, then the payoff is equal to their bet (but isn’t one and one-half to one, the way it is at any other time in blackjack).

Doubling Down

There is another option that is available to players, which is double their bet whenever the original two cards that are dealt to them are 9, 10, or 11. Once it is the player’s turn, they place a bet that is equal to their original bet, and they are given one card by the dealer, which is put face down and isn’t turn up until all of the bets have been settled once the hand has come to an end. If the player has two five, they can double down, split the pair, or play their hand regularly. The dealer doesn’t have the option to double down or split.


Whenever the face-up card for the dealer is an ace, any player can make a set bet that is up to half of the original bet. The bet placed on the potential that the face-down card of the dealer is a ten-card, and therefore a blackjack for the house. After all of the side bets are placed, then the dealer will look at the hole card. If the card is a ten, it gets turned up, and all of the players who made an insurance bet are winners, and are paid double what their half-bet amount was – which is a 2 to 1 payoff. Whenever the dealer gets a blackjack, the hand is over. The main bets of the players are collected – except for any player who has a blackjack as well. There is a standoff in that case. For players, insurance usually isn’t a reasonable proposition, unless they are confident there are an abnormally high amount of ten-cards that have not been dealt yet.


Once a bet is paid and collected it is never returned to the player. Therefore, one of the key advantages that the dealer has is the player goes first. So if a player goes bust, they lose their wager, even when the dealer also goes bust. If the dealer’s count exceeds 21, then he has to pay each of the players who have stood the player’s bet amount. However, if the dealer stands at a 21 count or less, then the dealer will have to pay the bet of any of the players that have a higher total (that do not exceed 21) and will collect the bets of any of the players that have a lower total. When there is a stand-off where a player and dealer have the same total, no chips are collected or paid out.


Once all of the players’ bets have been settled, the dealer will gather in the player’s card and put them face up on the side against an L-shaped clear plastic shield. Then the dealer will continue dealing from the shoe until they get to the plastic insert card. That will be an indication that it’s time to reshuffle the cards. After that round of play is done, all of the cards will be shuffled by the dealer and prepare them to be cut, place the cards back into the shoe, and then the game resumes.

Basic Strategy

In the game of Blackjack, winning tactics require players to play each of their hands in an optimum way, and this strategy always considers that the dealer’s faceup card is. When the dealer has a good faceup card, for example, an ace, 10, 9, 8, or 7, the player shouldn’t stop drawing until they have a 17 or higher total. When the faceup card of the dealer is a poor one, such as a 6, 5, or 4, then a player should stop drawing cards as soon as they get to a 12 or higher total. The strategy is not to take a card anytime there is a chance you will go bust. With a poor holding, the aim is to allow the dealer to hit and go over 21 hopefully. When the dealer has a fair faceup card, such as a 3 or 3, then the player should stop when they have a 13 or higher total.

The general strategy when there is a soft hand is to continue to hit until at least an 18 total is reached. Therefore, with a six and an ace (17 or 7), the player won’t stop at 17 and instead would hit.

For doubling down, the following is the basic strategy: with an 11 total, the player should double down every time. With a ten total, he shouldn’t double down unless the dealer has an ace or ten. With a nine total, the player should only double down if the dealer has a poor or fair card (2-6).

When it comes to splitting, players always should split a pair of 8’s or aces. You should not split a pair of 5’s or identical ten-cards since two 5’s totals 10, and that can be used in doubling down more effectively. You should also not split a pair of 4’s since an eight total is good for drawing to. In general, you can split 2’s, 3’s, or 7’s, unless the dealer has an ace, 10, 9, or 8. Finally, you should not split 6’s unless the dealer has a weak card (2-6).

Online Blackjack

You can choose to play blackjack for real money with one of our online casino bonus partners, or you can play online blackjack for free in one of our free to play slot games below:

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If you are thinking of registering with one of our Casino partners, then you should at least play the free versions first to understand the rules of the game.