Blackjack Rules – How to Play Blackjack

The basic rules of the game of blackjack is to have a hand total that is closer to 21 than the dealers hand but without going over. Learning blackjack rules is easy and will give you a good start when playing blackjack online.

For more detailed information regarding various blackjack games see our blackjack section.

Learn blackjack rules here before playing.

In the rules of Blackjack hands are valued as follows:

Cards 2 through to 10 are taken at card value. Jacks, Queens and Kings are all worth 10. An Ace counts as either 1 or 11, depending on which is more productive.

The blackjack hand value is simply the total value of the cards in the hand. The Ace card is always assumed to be the value, either 1 or 11, that produces the best hand. Often you will heard reference to both “Soft Hands” and “Hard Hands.” A soft hand is when an Ace can be counted as either 1 or 11 without the hand exceeding 21. A hard hand is when the Ace must be counted as 1, if it was counted as 11 the hand total would exceed 21.

blackjack rules

Before the blackjack hand is dealt, the player must place a bet. After the bet has been placed then the dealer will deal two cards to both himself and the player. One of the dealers cards will be exposed to let the player use some judgement and decide how best to play his hand.

Player’s add the value of their cards and either decide to “Stick” or “Stand” with their current cards or they can receive another card by choosing either “Hit” or “Draw,” hopefully raising their total closer to 21 without going over. IF the first two cards drawn equal 21 then the player has Blackjack, this pays out improved odds (see below).

Once the blackjack player has decided to stand, the dealer shows the value of his second card. If the dealer’s blackjack hand is between 17 and 21 they are not allowed to draw another card. If the dealer’s hand is 16 or below they another card must be drawn, this repeats until the dealer’s hand has a value of 17 or higher.

If the players hand exceeds the dealers without going over or the dealer goes over 21 and busts, then the player is paid at odds of 2:1. A $1 wager would return the stake plus a further $1. If the player has Blackjack then the odds are paid at 3:2, therefore your $1 bet would return the stake money plus an additional $1.50.

In blackjack rules a double down allows you to double your wager after your two initial cards have been dealt. You must take one more card once you double down but cannot receive any additional cards after this. Double down is often played when the first two cards equal 10 or 11. As the chances of drawing a third card of value 10 are fairly high then you have a good chance of bringing your final total to 20 or 21. Doubling your bet when the initial hand equals 10 or 11 is therefore, a good bet to play.

You can also double your blackjack bet by using a split. If your two initial cards are a pair, (eg., 8 and 8) you can split these two cards into separate hands creating two hands and placing a second bet equal to your original bet. You now are playing two hands separately and increasing their values by playing each hand until you are ready to “Stand.” However, the payout for winning after playing a split is always even money, even if one or both the hands are Blackjack.

Insurance bets can be placed if the dealer’s card on view is an ace. The dealer might have blackjack meaning that you automatically lose unless you also have blackjack, forcing a “Push.” Buying insurance means that you are protecting yourself in case the dealer has blackjack. This requires you to increase your stake by half again, (eg., a $5 initial bet would cost a further $2.50.) If the dealer does not have blackjack on his turn, you lose your insurance wager and the hand continues to be played as normal, however, should the dealer have blackjack then you lose your original wager but win twice the amount of your insurance. Insurance bets are generally not a good idea as the odds are set against the player.

Blackjack is the most popular casino game and these blackjack rules should help you with the basics.

For more detailed information regarding various blackjack games see our blackjack section.

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