Rules of the Game of Blackjack The Encyclopedia of Blackjack

blackjack rules

The following outline explains the basic rules of standard blackjack (21), along with the house rules most commonly featured in casinos. Players should bear in mind, though, that blackjack rules vary from casino to casino, and check for local variations before playing. You may double your original bet on any hand with a total of less than 21 made up of two or more cards (excluding Pontoon).

blackjack rules

When a card is exposed, a counter adds the score of that card to a running total, the ‘count’. A card counter uses this count to make betting and playing decisions. The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for “balanced” counting systems. Unbalanced counts are often started at a value that depends on the number of decks used in the game. Each blackjack game has a basic strategy, the optimal method of playing any hand. When using basic strategy, the long-term house advantage (the expected loss of the player) is minimized.

The Objective Of Blackjack

If both the player and dealer bust, but the dealer has a higher hand total, the hand will instead push. If the player’s total is higher than the dealer’s, they lose. To prevent cheating or card counting, the dealer will thoroughly shuffle the deck until all cards are in an entirely random order. The dealer will then split the deck of cards with plastic ‘cut card’, or may designate a player to cut the deck for them. A blackjack round begins with each player placing chips in the designated betting area in front of them.

With a count of 16 or less, the dealer draws cards one at a time until there is a count of 17 or more. A dealer who busts loses; otherwise, the dealer pays anyone showing a higher count (without busting), and a push occurs for players with a matching total. All cards are collected and taken out of play before the next hand is dealt.

Stadium Blackjack

The losing hand, the dead hand, or the bust is every hand with a total sum of 22 or higher. When you play a game of Blackjack, you always play against the dealer. This is everything you ever needed to know about how to play Blackjack like a pro – even if you are a total novice. Make your first real money deposit and start playing now.

blackjack rules

A king, queen, or jack represents 10 points, while an ace card can either be valued at 1 or 11 points (the ace value is decided by the Blackjack player). You can swap your top cards if you believe you’ll get better hands. If the dealer’s hand value reaches 22, all bets tie, meaning no one wins or loses.

Punto Banco: The Ultimate Guide to the Popular Card Game

Casino card games don’t come more exciting or simple to understand than Blackjack. Since its introduction to land-based casinos in the twentieth century, the game has grown in popularity to become arguably the world’s favorite casino game. But before you hit the tables and do your best to win big, make sure you fully understand the rules that govern Blackjack.

With a mix of strategy, flair, and luck, you can boost your payout chances. This amount, which Packer cashed out in 1995, was the biggest payout in blackjack history. Begin your journey to blackjack mastery with these with our William Hill ‘How to play Blackjack – BlackjackCharts’ guide. All doubles and splits formed from a “Freebet” can also be offered “Freebet”. It’s just you against the dealer in this fast-paced game that requires a combination of both luck and strategy. If there’s no ace in it, or if that ace counts not as 11 but as 1, then you’ve got yourself a hard one, and you don’t have much wiggle room.

A Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack

At the straight side of the table, there is an area that is meant for the dealer and the card game equipment. In general, the items that are found in this area, such as the chip rack, the deck of cards and the discard tray will not move. However, cards and chips that are required in the current card game may be moved.

  • That said, hitting is usually the way to go if your hand is 11 or lower.
  • But the biggest blunder you can make is to try to recover your losses by raising your bets or deviating from your strategy.
  • After the player has seen his first two cards he may declare that he wants to surrender and forfeit half of his original wager.
  • A number of factors can sometimes impact on your play – from internet connection issues to misclicks.
  • Just like blackjack, but with free double down and split bets, covered by the casino.
  • Virtual tables have their minimum and maximum bet ranges, and blackjack payout will vary based on the version of the game.

Hard hands cannot count on aces to lower the total down and can be dangerously close to surpassing the limit of 22, which automatically makes them bust. Blackjack might not be the easiest way to spend your free time, but it is a good choice when you play Casino games and can potentially be very rewarding. Personally, I think it’s the best card game on the Casino floor. You may place an additional wager, equal to the starting bet, in exchange for just one more card for your hand(s), after which you will automatically stand.


If you know how to play blackjack in a casino, then you know that you can buy chips from the dealer. However, when you have an online casino account, you need to use the Cashier option to add funds for gambling. It’s also possible to use a casino bonus to get additional funds that can be used for playing blackjack. If the dealer does not have blackjack, the dealer’s hand will be played at the end of the game, when all players have finished playing their hands.

  • All these elements can make a huge difference in your blackjack game.
  • Another option open to the player is doubling their bet when the original two cards dealt total 9, 10, or 11.
  • These hands are treated entirely separately, and played one at a time.
  • However, natural blackjacks are paid out at 1 to 1, instead of the standard 3 to 2 – and a dealer’s hard 22 pushes all player hands except naturals.
  • When a side bet becomes available, the box/circle above your regular bet area will start to blink.

Pairs will either be a Mixed Pair (5/1, 1 red and 1 black), a Coloured Pair (10/1, both red or black but different suits), a Perfect Pair (30/1, both of the same suit). Splitting two 10s will drastically reduce your chances of winning. You compete against the dealer to see who has a better hand.

Change From “21” To “Blackjack”

Five card Trick – In the event you draw 5 cards to a hand without exceeding 21, you automatically win and the dealer will pay you even money. Blackjack can be the best game in the casino, with the lowest house edge, if you play properly. However, if you play by hunch, it will end up being nothing but a source of frustration—and disappearing funds. Thanks in large part to Thorp, blackjack has become not just a means of entertainment but a way to quite possibly make a living as well. If your first two cards have a total of 9, 10 or 11 (without Aces), you can choose to double your original bet before you are dealt your third card.

  • Most multi-deck games are dealt face up and most single deck games are dealt face down.
  • Although they lose half their bet, the other half is returned to them.
  • Double is a definitive decision; the player cannot get extra cards or regain the extra money that is bet.
  • Normally, the dealer has to take hits until the total value of his hand is at least 17, although some games force the dealer to hit at a “soft” 17.
  • Of course, if you are playing at online casinos you’re as close as your PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Are you ready to stake your claim at the blackjack table? Let’s go over the basic steps of playing blackjack and get you into the action. The total value of your hand in blackjack determines your play’s strength and helps you make better decisions during the game. Whether you’re a rookie or a blackjack enthusiast looking to improve your play, getting started with this classic card game is an exciting part of your journey. Hand signals help the “eye in the sky” make a video recording of the table, which resolves disputes and identifies dealer mistakes.

Blackjack betting

In most casinos you may double down on any hand, but some casinos require an opening hand worth 11, 10 or 9. A player having three 7s of the same suit where the dealer’s first card is any 7 will win the Super Bonus as set out in Table 2. The Super Bonus does not apply where hands have been split or doubled. If you and the dealer have the same totals, you have a stand-off. In the event that the dealer has Blackjack, you lose unless you also have Blackjack, in which case you have a stand-off.

Her writing, rich with industry know-how, offers readers a glimpse into the various facets of online gaming. Emilija’s excitement for the iGaming industry shines through in her work, making her a standout contributor at ReadWrite. It’s possible to adjust your bet size in increments equal to the virtual table minimum. So, if the blackjack betting rules say the minimum is $1, the minimum chip value will be the same.


If only the dealer has blackjack, all players will lose. In Blackjack, tens, jacks, queens and kings each have a value of ten. Aces can have two different values, of either one or eleven (you can choose which). For example, when you combine an ace and four, your hand can be worth either five or 15. Whenever an ace is valued at 11, the higher total is often referred to as a ‘soft’ total, so in the given example, 15 would be a ‘soft 15’. Players can request an extra card, or ‘hit’, or double on a soft hand without the risk of busting.

Which in the case of blackjack is 5 percent (meaning for every dollar bet, the casino keeps, on average, five cents). It’s another interesting feature of blackjack that the dealer’s bust potential is usually lower than the players’. As a result, casinos are more likely to insist that players do not reveal their cards to one another in single-deck games. In games with more decks, casinos limit penetration by ending the shoe and reshuffling when one or more decks remain undealt.

The Dealer’s Play

If the dealer’s hand “busts” or “breaks,” you win as well. Ties are a standoff or “push” and your bet remains on the table. Buster Blackjack (BBJ) is a side bet that allows players to bet on whether the dealer will bust.

A good guide on how to play Blackjack online should provide some advice on one of the hardest parts of the game – knowing when to hit and when to stand. So, let’s take a look at this crucial aspect of basic blackjack strategy now. That’s not to say you won’t learn quickly, or you won’t learn to play well. Even a basic blackjack strategy can see you beating your buddies round the kitchen table or cleaning up in online casinos. There are lots of regional variations, so you’re likely to have to compromise on the ins and outs. Some say twos and jacks should not be mixed, while some believe that if a player cannot go, they must keep picking up until they draw a card that can be played.

Placing A Higher Denomination Chip On Top Of A Lower Denomination Chip In Your Betting Spot

Blackjack is most often played with multiple decks to prevent card counting. The most played forms of blackjack use two, six or eight decks. In games with multiple decks of cards, a plastic device with the name ‘shoe’ is frequently used to store cards. Single and double deck games are usually hand dealt and all other games are dealt from a shoe.

In the event that the dealer also makes Blackjack, the hand will be a stand-off (a tie or draw) and you will neither win nor lose. However, if the dealer makes any other total including 21 with three or more cards, your Blackjack will win. In handheld games, the cards are dealt face down and players are allowed to pick up their cards.

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