Blackjack Rules: Learn to Play With Our Guide

"21, Blackjack" is perhaps the most famous quote associated with casinos and the allure of winning big cash in places like Las Vegas. If you do not know how to play blackjack, it is time to learn. That is because not only is it one of the best games in terms of odds; it is one of those standard classics that everyone should take a few minutes to learn. Luckily, learning blackjack is a lot easier than you might have originally thought.

Rules Of Blackjack

The objective of blackjack is to get as close to or exactly the value of 21 with your cards, without going over 21. You are trying to get a closer number to 21 than the dealer. If either of you go over that number, the other automatically wins.

A tie will result in a push. The key to knowing how to play blackjack is in the two terms named "hit" and "stand". Hit means you want another card and saying stand means you are sticking with your hand.

Card Values

All cards from Ace to nine represent one through nine in value, but Ace can also count as 11. The ten, King, Queen and Jack are all worth a value of ten.

Step-By-Step How Blackjack Is Played

1. You place your wager before your cards are dealt.

2. The dealer gives two cards face up to every player at the table.

3. He then deals himself two cards, but only one of them is face up.

4. Depending on how close you are to 21, you decide to "hit" or "stand".

5. Once everyone at the table has played, the Dealer flips over his remaining card.

6. The dealer stands on 17 and hits on 16. If they go over 21, all remaining players win.

7. Player's with card values better than the dealer, win.

8. If you hit an Ace and a face card (worth 10) in your first 2 cards, you get "Blackjack".

9. Blackjack's pay out 3:2 according to classic blackjack rules.

10. If a dealer's exposed card is an Ace you can buy insurance at 2:1.

11. If the dealer hits his blackjack, you get two dollars for everyone one bet.1

Special Rules

Split: When you want to split your hand into two hands, simply "split" them and add another bet to the table. It is very common to split certain hands, which is part of basic strategy. You can see an example of splitting at the bottom of this page in sample hand number two.

Double Down: Whenever a hand is looking good to you, you can "double down" and double your bet. The dealer then gives you only one more card and then flips theirs over. There are special times to do this according to blackjack basic strategy, especially when a player has 11.

Sample Blackjack Hand

In order for you to fully understand how to play blackjack, here is an example hand of a 1 on 1 game with you vs. the dealer. Blackjack tables can operate with 1-8 players at the same time, all of which are in games against the dealer, not each other.

You: Dealt 10 J (total value = 20)

Dealer: Showing a 6

You: Stand (Don't take any more cards)

Dealer: Shows a 10 (total value = 16)

Dealer: Hits (takes a card, because he is on 16, so must hit)

Dealer: Takes a J (total value = 26, dealer busts out)

You: Win the bet, because your value of 20 is lower than 21 and the Dealer's total of 26 is a bust hand.

Sample Blackjack Hand 2

Now here is a more complex hand to deal with, but it should be easy to pick up.

You: Dealt A A

Dealer: Showing 9

You: Split (it's always correct to split Aces, meaning you make two hands out of one, and place another equal bet)

You: Hit both hands.

You (hand 1): A J - Blackjack! You get 3:2 winnings on this particular bet.

You (hand 2): A 9 - You have either 10 or 20, because an Ace can value either 11 or one. Obviously, the correct move is to stay, because 20 is likely to stand tall against the dealer's nine.

You: Stand

Dealer: Shows a 10 (total value = 19, dealer stays)

You: Win 3:2 on the Blackjack hand and also win the second hand, because you have 20 and the dealer only has 19.

You should now have a fuller understanding of how to play the great game of blackjack. The best way to learn the ropes is through experience, so now is a great time to test your new found knowledge out at an online casino's blackjack tables.