How to Play Blackjack

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Updated on: May 17th, 2022

The rules of how to play blackjack are simple, beat the dealer and win. We will show you how to beat the dealer, what the card values are, and the basic strategy. Also known as 21, blackjack is one of the most popular casino games.

When you learn how to play blackjack you will soon see that the game uses both luck and strategy. Some players win using pure luck but the consistent winners know that they have to use strategy. You can only be truly strategic in how you play blackjack once you really understand the game. Follow along in our easy guide as we break down all the blackjack basics.

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The Object of Playing Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino card game between the player and the dealer. The point of the entire game is to beat the dealer. You beat the dealer by getting a hand equal to 21 on your first two cards when the dealer has less. Getting a hand value higher than the dealer or the dealer going bust counts as beating the dealer too.

Both player and dealer get two cards each. The player’s cards are both exposed while only one of the dealer’s cards is exposed. The ideal is to have a hand that has a value of 21. The next best result is a hand that is closest to and less than 21. Any number exceeding 21 will result in a loss no matter how close to 21 it is.

In the event of a tie, nobody wins and a new round is played. Players have the opportunity to better their hand by asking for another card (hit) or if they believe they have the best hand possible they keep the cards they have (stand). Even where there are multiple players at a table how you play blackjack stays the same.

Blackjack Card Values

In blackjack, all the cards have their face value. Suits are irrelevant in blackjack. The game uses anything from a single deck to eight decks. Most commonly six to eight decks are used in many blackjack games.

  • Aces have a value of 1 or 11
  • Cards from 2 to 10 have face value
  • K; Q; J have a value of 10
  • A hand less than 21 but higher than the value the banker has is a win for the player
  • Player loses when the hand they hold is over 21
  • Any winning score of 21 after a split is paid 1 to 1

How to Play Blackjack for Beginners in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Each player makes a bet before the cards are dealt
  2. The cards are dealt and All players get two cards face up while the dealer has two cards but one is hidden
  3. After getting the cards players can now make additional moves, the player left of the dealer is the first to make a move.
  4. Players can either Hit Stay or Split. A hit is a request for another card, while a stay indicates that players are satisfied with the cards, they have
  5. If a play hits and bust they immediately loses his bet regardless of what the dealer’s hand is


Basic Blackjack Rules

  • Stand – To stand is to keep the hand one is dealt without adding to it.
  • Hit – is to add a card to the hand.
  • Split – separating two cards of the same value into two unique hands with separate bets each
  • Double down– players with a good hand (not a blackjack) can double their bet on their current hand and get an additional card. When you double down you can no longer make any other game plays. No hits or splits or even more doubling down.
  • Online Blackjack is played using one to eight decks depending on the variant being played.
  • Blackjack is when the pair of cards dealt equals the value of 21
  • An instant blackjack hand pays 3 to 2
  • Players are allowed to split up to four hands in some Blackjack variations
  • In the event of a split, Aces can only be split once
  • A split ace and a 10-value card ARE NOT considered as a blackjack

How to Play Blackjack with Friends

When you play blackjack with friends, one of you will have to be the dealer. For this reason we have included a guide for how to play blackjack as a dealer. As a rule,  with dealer play one card  stays hidden until the end of the betting. Finally at the end when he reveals his card if he and the player have an equal hand it is called a push. In the event of a Push when the cards are revealed the dealer is obligated to hit or stand depending on his hand is.

  1. Hit – the dealer must hit if his hand totals 16 or less. If he busts then the player wins
  2. Stand – The dealer is obliged to stand if his hand is 17 or more

Is Blackjack Hard to Learn?

Online Blackjack is an easy card game to learn. All you have to do is have a hand better than the dealer to win. To automatically win you must have a hand value of no more than 21. You have the option to hit, stand, split or double down. These are all different moves you can make in blackjack.

The blackjack casino game can be played with up to 8 card decks. As previously mentioned, both player and dealer get a pair of cards dealt to them. Players’ cards are always exposed and only one of the dealer’s cards is exposed.  Depending on the cards dealt the player or dealer can choose to hit, stand, split or double down. The trick is to get as close to 21 without going over 21 which is referred to as a bust.

How to Play Blackjack and Win

What is the best way to maximise your odds of winning Online Blackjack? How to play blackjack and win involves having a basic strategy. Card counters swear by their methods, however you can still win without counting cards. Blackjack’s popularity is also because players have a chance to influence the outcome of the game by using some level of skill and strategy with every hand played. Seasoned online blackjack players often do not deviate too far from basic blackjack strategy. They do this to lessen the edge the dealer / casino has.

When players learn the basic rules and strategy of online blackjack, they can then learn how to increase odds of winning. There a numerous strategy designed to give gamblers an edge over the casino. Each variation of the game requires a tweak to the  basic strategy. Some games use a single deck while some have multiple decks which affects the odds.

Blackjack Basics for Beginners

  • Blackjack – when a player’s hand is a total hand value of 21
  • Bust – when player’s hand is over 21
  • Push – when player and dealer’s have hands valued between 17 and 21 in this instance neither hand wins
  • Double Down – This is the option for the player to receive one more card and ending his/her turn
  • Hole card – the Dealer’s hidden card
  • Stand – No more cards and end of player’s turn
  • Shoe – the remaining decks
  • Split – when two cards are divided into two different hands to be played with split bets

How to Play Blackjack FAQs

What are the basic rules of blackjack?

  1. Bets are placed before cards are dealt out.
  2. The aim is to beat the dealer with a hand of higher value or 21
  3. The best hand value is 21
  4. If you go over the value of 21 you immediately lose
  5. Aces are ever valued 11 or 1 depending on what gives you the advantage.
  6. You can split the hand you have to create to separate hands if you think it will give you advantage.

How do you play blackjack for beginners?

Playing blackjack for beginners is the same as expert players. Beginners just should take less risks in bets and how they bet.

How do you play blackjack strategy?

There are various blackjack strategies for betting, counting cards and splitting hands. You need to practice each of these strategies on free blackjack games until you are familiar with each of them. After that apply them to real money blackjack games.

Do you ever split 10s?

Unless you can see into the future and you know the next cards you will receive are Aces then do not split 10s. You are as close to the best hand as you will ever be at 20, the odds of besting that are very slim.

Should you hit 16?

It is better to split a 16 than to hit. If the dealer’s face up card is a 5 or less then keep your 16 as it is because whatever his hidden card is it will not beat yours.

Should I hit on 13?

You may take a very big risk and hit but there’s a bigger chance that you will bust. Rather split and hit if the dealer’s card a 3 or more. Keep your hand as is if the dealer’s card is a 2.

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