How To Play Blackjack

How To Play Blackjack

After you learn to play blackjack, you’ll see that the object of the game is for the player to beat “the house” (the dealer) independent of other players. A Player wants to have cards in his hands that amount up to 21. If a player’s first two cards add up to 21, then he/she has a blackjack. If the cards don’t add up to twenty-one at first, then the player must draw cards (hit) until he/she reaches 21, or gets as close as possible. Take a look at our list of the best casino jackpot reviews in order to find a reliable site to play on.

Blackjack Rules

The first thing that a player must do in blackjack is to place a bet. After the player has made a bet, both the dealer and the player receive two cards. The player’s cards are both dealt face up. The dealer’s first card is dealt face down, but the second one is put face up. An ace can be worth either eleven points or one, based on the players choice.

Any hand in which an ace is paired with a card that’s worth less than ten is called a “soft hand.” A soft hand can have two values. For example, if a player is dealt a five and an ace, the value of the hand can be either six or sixteen. Tens and face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) are all worth ten points. All other cards are worth their face value. If players first two cards are worth twenty-one points, then it’s a natural blackjack. Blackjack is the highest hand.

how to play blackjack
BlackJack is the most common casino game – Image source: No machine-readable author provided. Ppntori assumed (based on copyright claims). via Wikimedia Commons

Stand Or Bust

If a player’s first two cards don’t equal up to blackjack, then the player has two options. The player can choose to “stand” (that is, to refuse any further cards), or to “hit” (to accept another card). A player who has chosen to stand will not receive more cards. The dealer will deal cards until the player stands or “busts” (collects more than 21 points). If a player busts, his/her bet will be completely lost, regardless of the dealers’ cards.

After the player has finished with this process, the dealer will reveal the card which has, up to this point, been face down. If the dealer has 16 points or less, then he must continue to hit until he has cards that are worth 17 or more. The dealer has an obligation by the casino to stand on a soft 17 and cannot take any more cards. So if the dealer busts and the player stood without busting, then the player wins. But if the dealer stands with an amount of at least seventeen and his/her cards have a higher count than the player’s – then the dealer wins. Then if the player has the higher count, the player wins. Finally if the dealer and the player share the same total, it’s a “push” or tie.

Blackjack Betting Options


If a player gets two cards that share the same value, then the player has the option of “splitting” them. This is making them into two separate hands. If a player splits, he or she must match the original bet. The player then continues, playing these two hands separately. In the event that two aces are split, then only one card is dealt to each separate hand. But remember that a player can only split a hand once.

Doubling Down

Provided that they do not have blackjack, a player can double on the first two cards. If a player doubles, then only one more card is dealt. But keep in mind that the bet has to be matched. Basically, if a player is doubling down, it means that he or she is betting that only one more card is in need to win the hand. It’s perfectly acceptable to double down after splitting a pair.


If the dealer’s face up card is an ace, then players will receive the option of insurance. Taking insurance means that the player is making a second bet (equal to half of the original bet) that the dealer’s down card has a value of ten (leaving the dealer with a blackjack). If this proves to be the case, the player is paid 2 to 1 on the insurance bet and the initial bet is beaten. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the insurance is lost. Then the hand goes on as it would normally.

how to play blackjack
Learn all the options before you head the tables – Image source: Flickr

Even Money

If the player has blackjack and the dealer’s up card happens to be an ace, the player will have an offer of “even money”. Taking even money means that the player will see a payout of 1 to 1 on blackjack. Not 3 to 2 as would usually be the case. A player takes even money if he/she believes that the dealer’s down card has a value of ten. If the player chooses not to take even money, and the dealer has blackjack, then both hands tie. If the player refuses the even money and the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, the player recieves the payout of 3 to 2, as usual.

*the deal doesn’t have any of these options.

Blackjack Payouts

Winning Wager
Odds Payout
Winning Hand
1 to 1
3 to 2
2 to 1
Even Money
1 to 1

There, now you know how to play blackjack. The game play is very straight forwards. It’s just the jargon that takes some getting use to. You can find out what all the terms are by going to our Blackjack Glossary. We also have an in-depth look at the strategies with Blackjack Strategies and game play with our concise Blackjack Guide. Check back to it whenever you need a refresher or a knowledge boost.

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