Rules of Blackjack – Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing

Value of Cards in Blackjack
- value 2 - value 3 - value 4 - value 5 - value 6 - value 7 - value 8 - value 9 - value 10 - value 1 or 11 depending on your hand
- value 10

The popularity of blackjack lies in its simplicity at first glance, but also complexity once you get a bit deeper and start strategizing and coming up with the winning tactics. Unlike some other games, this gives you the opportunity to play against the dealer. This type of games is called casino-banked and blackjack is among the most popular ones.

The article below explains standard blackjack rules, and you should read it to make sure that you know how everything works once you sit at a virtual or real table to play.

Basic Rules of the Game

The goal of the game is to have a hand that equals 21 or is closer to 21 that the opposing player or, in this case, the dealer. However, the trick is that you can’t go over 21 or you are automatically “busted,” which means eliminated from the game.

The dealer shuffles the deck and deals two cards to each player and themselves. While your cards are visible (face up), the dealer only has to put one visible card while the other one is a so-called “hole card” and it is face down. Since the rules for playing blackjack indicate that you should come as close as possible to 21, the best cards that you could be deal are an ace and a card worth ten points (ten, jack, queen, king).

It is vital to mention that the dealer plays last, which is his most significant advantage over the players since they can be busted and lose the game even before the dealer makes their move.

What Do You Need to Play Blackjack?

Official blackjack rules indicate that the game should be played with a 52-card deck, which means that you need to remove the jokers. Some casinos offer multi-deck blackjack in an effort to protect themselves against card counters, which is why you may come across the double deck or even 8-deck versions of the game. In fact, if you are playing an online variant, a huge number of decks might be used, but it is almost impossible for a live dealer to manage more than eight decks.

In the offline variant, the casino will host the players at a blackjack table. They also provide chips for the players to bet with, as well as a cut card, discard tray, and a shoe, which are standard card game equipment in casinos.

How to Use the Value of the Cards to Your Advantage?

The first thing to learn is the value of each card, and we’ll be starting with an ace. Aces can be worth 1 or 11, and it only depends on how it suits the player. Kings, queens, and jacks are all worth 10 while all other cards in the deck have the value written on them. For example, a two is worth two, a three has the identical value of three, and so on up to 10.

You will hear some popular terms when it comes to hands you can be dealt. For example, a player might have a “soft” hand if his ace is worth 11, but any other combination of cards is a “hard” hand. The best option is to get a blackjack hand, which is a combo of an ace and a card worth 10. In some occasions, the dealer and the player can both have blackjack, which results in a tie. That outcome is also called a push and implies that nobody winds and the player gets their bet back.

Black Rules – Order of Play

This is the crucial part of the rules that you should know. In the beginning, you have to place your bet in the betting circle. The limits vary from the casino, and maximum largely depends on the minimum. The ratio rarely goes over 100, which means that if the minimum is $10, the maximum is probably no more than $1000.

The dealer will signal that no more bets are allowed and start dealing cards clockwise one at a time. Each player, including the dealer, should have two cards, but one of the dealer’s cards will be put face down as that is what casino blackjack rules require.

If the visible dealer’s card is an ace or any other worth 10, players are offered to utilize the Insurance option. It involves placing an extra bet valued half of the initial bet amount. In case the dealer pulls blackjack, the insurance bet will win.

The dealer will take a look at the other card and, in case of a blackjack, expose it. That completes the round, and the only way for the players to win is if they opted for insurance betting. In that case, the payout is 2:1 while if you also have blackjack, you will be at a tie with the dealer. All other scenarios will mean that you lost your initial bet.

In the case that the dealer failed to obtain blackjack, the insurance bet is lost. Players who acquired blackjack are eligible for a payout. Others who are still in the game have the following option:

  • Stand – you do not want the dealer to deal you any more cards. It is a smart move if you are close to 21
  • Hit – the player asks the dealer to deal them another card. Keep in mind that if the extra card gets you over 21, you will be busted
  • Double Down – players choose to double the amount of their initial bet. The condition is that you will receive only one more card after this and then you need to stand
  • Split – allows you to separate the cards and virtually play with two hands at once. However, you need to bet the amount of the initial wager for the extra hand you get. Some casinos allow additional splits, but they rarely go over four hands. You play each hand separately and you can utilize any of the three moves previously mentioned. If you have 21 in a split bet, it does not count as blackjack, but regular 21 that only pushes the dealer if he gets 21 out of three or more cards
  • Surrender – this move means you give up your hand, but you get half of the wager back

When the dealer plays their hand, the condition is to have at least the value of 17, which means they have to take cards until they reach that goal. If the dealer is busted, everyone who wasn’t eliminated win. The payout rate is 1:1 unless you got blackjack in which case your win ratio is 3:2.

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