Blackjack Rules

Blackjack Rules Of Play

Blackjack is one of the simplest casino card games to learn how to play. This is one of the reasons why so many people choose to play blackjack at online and land based casinos all over the world. All players need to know is what the values of the cards are and which cards equal a total hand value of 21. There is of course a bit more to it than that.

Players need to learn all the basic blackjack jack rules of play. Of course, if you are playing a newer variation of the game then you will have to learn the rules of play that go along with it as well. The basic strategy will also come in handy when learning how to play blackjack online. This basic strategy is a chart that details all the possible hand combinations and what is the best move for the player to make when dealt each of these hands.

The rules that govern blackjack games at different casinos will differ from one casino to the next. Generally speaking though, the core set of rules will remain the same. Players are encouraged to read and understand the rules of each game before they begin playing with their hard earned money.

The Objective

The main objective of any game of blackjack is to end up with a hand that has a total value of 21 or closer to the value of 21 than the dealer’s hand without going over this amount. It is very important that all players note that blackjack is always a game between the player and the dealer. Players never go up against one another. Perhaps this camaraderie is another reason why this game is so popular.

Basic Blackjack Rules

Placing a bet

The first step would be to place the bet for the next game or hand that is about to be dealt. All players seated at the blackjack table is given the opportunity to place their wager.

Once all the bets have been placed, the dealer will deal two cards to each player as well as themselves. The player’s cards can be dealt face up or face down. This depends on the casino. The dealer is dealt one card facing upwards and another facing downwards.

The player closest the left of the dealer will then be given the choice of whether they would like to hit or stand. If you choose a hit then the dealer will deal one more card to you. If you choose to stand then you will not be dealt an additional card. In most cases, players are allowed to hit until the total value of their hand is more than 21. This is called a bust. There are some variations of the game where players are only allowed a certain amount of hits though.

Once the players have all had their turns, the dealer will then make a move.

Dealer’s Rules

The dealer at an online casino or land based casino cannot play using their own discretion. The dealer’s rules of play are clearly defined. There are set guidelines that dictate what the dealer must do depending on the cards dealt to them.
If the dealer is dealt a hand that has a value of 17 or more then they must stand. In some variations of the game, the dealer must choose a hit if they have a soft 17, i.e. when the value of 17 is partly due to an Ace in their hand.
If the total value of the dealer’s hand is 16 or less then they must choose a hit.

Determining the winner

Players do not need to worry about their fellow player’s hands at all. The only person the player needs to compare themselves to is the dealer.

  • If your hand is closer to the value of 21 (but not more than it) than the dealer’s then you would win.
  • If you bust then the House wins, irrespective of whether or not the dealer then proceeds to bust as well.
  • If you do not bust but the dealer’s hand does then you will win irrespective of the value of your hand.

Shuffling of the Blackjack Deck

The blackjack deck is a term used to refer to all the decks of cards used during a blackjack game. The shuffling of the blackjack deck is quite an intricate process because the casino wishes to ensure that the deck is properly shuffled. The dealer will shuffle the deck and then present it to the player on his left to cut. The deck is the split at the point where the player cut it and the top cards are moved to the bottom. The dealer shuffles the deck again and presents it to the player
seated to the left of the player who had previous cut the deck. The process continues until all players have cut the deck. The top few cards are then discarded and the deck is placed in the shoe.

Placing a bet

Players have to place their bet before the hand is dealt. If you do not place your wager then the dealer will think that you are choosing to sit that hand out.

Dealing the cards

The dealer will always start with the player on his immediate left hand side when dealing out the cards. The first card dealt around the blackjack table is generally dealt face down and the second card is then dealt face up.


Players will generally be given a choice to surrender or continue playing once the cards are dealt. If you choose to surrender then you will receive 50% of your wager back and you would forfeit the rest of it. You would then sit out the rest of the hand.


This hand is also called a 21 of a natural and is the most sought after hand when playing at the blackjack table. This hand will win the game immediately. There is one exception though, i.e. in the off chance that both the player and the dealer have a natural 21 the game is considered to be a tie.


This option is offered when playing most variations of blackjack online. You can opt to split your hand if it consists of 2 cards that have the same value. Once your split your hand, you may place a second bet on the second hand that you now have in front of you.

Doubling Down

Players have the options of doubling their original wager after their first 2 cards have been dealt. This can only be done if the player has not hit a blackjack.

Opting for Insurance

Most experience blackjack players will advise against the insurance bet. When the dealer has an Ace showing as the face up card, a player is given the choice of whether or not they would like insurance. An insurance bet is equal to half the value of your original bet and is considered to be a side bet. If the dealer is shown to have blackjack then the player will lose their main bet and win the insurance side bet. This way, they at least get some money back. If the dealer does not have blackjack then the player would lose the side bet and the main bet and gameplay will continue as per normal.

The Even Money Bet

Most players are confused by exactly an even money bet is. Basically, if you have a blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace face up then you are given the choice of an even money bet. If you choose the even money bet then you would be wagering that the dealer has a blackjack as well. This also gives all the other players at the table the opportunity to take the insurance side bet as well.

Learning How To Master Blackjack

Honing your blackjack skills through free online practice

Players new to blackjack are advised to play the game for free online first before choosing to place real money bets at the blackjack table. Most online casinos will give players the opportunity to play with fake money accounts. There are also many online resources that provide blackjack guides, training programs and simulators to help players improve their blackjack skills.

Winning at Blackjack


There are many different blackjack strategies that players can learn and use to help increase their chances of winning when playing blackjack at online and land based casinos. It is important to note that while these strategies can give a bit of an edge, there is no guarantee of a win every time you make use of them.