Blackjack Rules Guide

Blackjack is a quick and easy to learn game to play which is probably why it is also one of the most popular when playing at an online casino. For a basic strategy, read our article Basic Blackjack Strategy Guide.

Blackjack Game Objective

The objective of Blackjack is to obtain a card count which is higher than the dealer without exceeding 21. Irregardless of how many players are at the table, your only opponent is the dealer himself.

Basics of Playing Blackjack

The process of playing blackjack is as follows:

  • Each player sitting at the table who wishes to play places a bet prior to the cards being dealt
  • The dealer then proceeds to deal cards from his left to the right, giving each player two cards face up
  • The dealer then deals himself two cards, one face up and one face down.
  • Starting with the first player on the dealer's left, each player makes a choice to hit (receive an extra card) or stand (receive no further cards) until his or her count exceeds the total amount of 21.
  • After each player makes their decision, the dealer then proceeds to totaly his count

Blackjack Card Values

The values of each card are as follows:

CardValue
22
33
44
55
66
77
88
99
1010
Jack10
Queen10
King10
Ace11 or 1

The Dealer's Hand

After each player's hand is scored, the dealer's hand it totaled. Depending on the rules of the table, any Ace dealt to the dealer is 11 points unless the table is labeled "Dealer must hit on soft 17." This indicates that an Ace can also have the value of 1 and mathematically decreases the chances of the playerrs winning. Also note that the dealer must receive additional cards of the count is less than 17.

Blackjack Winning and Losing Hands

A winning hand is determined when the dealer has a lower score than you without exceeding 21 or the dealer busts (goes over 21). A push (tie scores) occur when you and the dealer have the same value and it is counted as a draw. If your score is lower than the dealer, or you bust, then you lose.

Blackjack Hands
"Blackjack" is when the starting two cards have a total score of 21 and carries more weight than a hand where there are 3 or more cards totalling 21. So for e.g. if the dealer's hand is 2,9,K which = 21, and you have A,K, then your hand is considered the winner. The payout of having a "Blackjack" hand is also more than an ordinary bet and is usually at a rate of 3 to 2. So for e.g. if you have placed a $10 and receive a Blackjack, you will win $25 ($15 profit).

Types of Blackjack Bets

Aside from the normal wager when making your initial bet, there are a few scenarios that allow you to make further Blackjack bets.

Blackjack Insurance Bet
Although not recommended, most online casinos allow you the option to make an insurance bet if the dealer is showing an Ace. This option is to give players the ability to safeguard against the dealer receiving a natural Blackjack. The player makes this bet after the starting cards have been dealt and if successful, gives the player a winning bet with the ratio of 2:1. So for e.g. if you make a $10 insurance bet, you will receive $20 if the dealer shows a natural Blackjack hand.

Splitting Pairs in Blackjack
If you have two cards of the same value, you have the option to split your pair. When choosing this option, you must wager the exact same amount on your initial hand for the split pair. Your hand is then split into two separate hands and the dealer deals you two extra cards forming two distinct hands.

Doubling Down in Blacjkac
To double down means to double your initial wager and receiving only one additional card. This option is available after you have received your initial starting hand.