Learn the Rules for Blackjack

Blackjack, often hailed as the quintessential casino card game. It combines skill, strategy, and a touch of luck, captivating players around the world. This classic game, also known as 21, involves players competing against the dealer to draw cards that add up to or come closest to 21, without exceeding it. The game’s appeal lies in its elegant simplicity coupled with the depth of strategy. Players must make decisions based on their hand and the dealer’s visible card, balancing the risk of ‘busting’ (exceeding 21) with the chance of getting a higher total. The allure of blackjack extends beyond the basic mechanics; its strategic depth, potential for big wins, and the sociable nature of the game table have solidified its status as a casino favorite, both in physical casinos and online platforms. We’ll go into the rules for blackjack so you can become an expert in no time.

Blackjack table

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack, also known as 21, is a popular card game played between a player and a dealer. The objective of the game is to obtain a hand with a total value as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. Here are the basic rules for blackjack:

Card Values

  • Number cards (2-10) are worth their face value.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are each worth 10.
  • Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11, depending on the player’s choice and the total value of their hand.


  • The game begins with each player and the dealer receiving two cards. This is usually face-up for the player and one face-up and one face-down for the dealer. Alternatively, the dealer may draw their second card after all players have finished. 
  • The player’s goal is to build a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.
  • Players take turns deciding whether to “hit” (request another card) or “stand” (end their turn with the current hand).
  • If the total value of a player’s hand exceeds 21, then they go “bust” and lose the round. 

Dealers Turn

  • Once all players have finished their turns, the dealer reveals their face-down card.
  • The dealer must follow a specific set of rules, usually referred to as “dealer’s rules” or “house rules.” For example, the dealer typically hits on a hand value of 16 or less and stands on a hand value of 17 or more. 

Winning and Losing

  • If the player’s hand value exceeds the dealer’s without going over 21, then the player wins and is paid out at even money (1:1).
  • If the player’s hand value is equal to the dealer’s, then it results in a “push” or tie, and the player’s bet is returned.
  • If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, then the dealer busts, and all remaining players win.
  • If the dealer’s hand value is closer to 21 than the player’s without exceeding it, then the player loses their bet.
  • If a player is dealt an Ace and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King) in their initial two cards, it is called a “blackjack” or “natural.” A blackjack typically pays out at a higher rate, often 3:2, but payout may vary depending on the game. 

Additional Options

In most variations of blackjack, players have additional options:

  • “Split” allows a player to separate their initial two cards of the same value into two separate hands and then play them independently.
  • “Double Down” allows a player to double their initial bet after receiving the first two cards and receive one additional card.
  • “Insurance” is offered when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. Players can make an additional side bet that the dealer has a blackjack. 


Playing basic strategy, as shown in the Strategy Chart below, will significantly help reduce the casino edge. Because of this, you’ll be able to play longer and with a better chance of winning.

Rules for perfect blackjack strategy table

Rules of Blackjack Conclusion

It’s important to note that specific rules may vary between different casinos and variations of blackjack. Before playing, it’s recommended to familiarize yourself with the rules for blackjack for the specific game you’re playing. This will ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Play Blackjack at The Top Online Casinos

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