How to play blackjack

When you think about classic card games then one of the first names to spring to mind is probably blackjack.

This game is believed to have started out in France way back in the early 18h century with the name Vingt-et-Un. Since then it has become hugely popular all over the world and is one of the games you will see in just about every land-based and online casino anywhere in the world. So how do you play it?

The Basics

At the heart of blackjack lies a very simple game played with a standard 52 card deck. Typically, a casino will mix together a few decks to make it faster to play and also to avoid people counting the cards while playing progresses.

There is a specially designed blackjack table that you will probably see in both land-based and internet casinos. Usually up to 8 players can play at one time, with each player having a special area in front of them for the cards to go and the bets to be placed.

The Rules of the Game

Contrary to what some people think, the object of blackjack isn’t to beat the other players there or even to work with them. Instead, it is all about winning against the dealer.

The basic idea of this classic card game is to get a hand of cards that is worth more than the dealer while avoiding going over a total of 21. The value of the hand is calculated by simply adding up the value of each of the cards.

To do this, you just need to use the face value of the numbered cards (from 2 to 10). The face cards (J, W and K) are all worth 10 points and the ace can be either 1 or 11, depending upon how many points the players want to use it as.

Getting Started

The dealer starts things off by giving 2 cards to each player and 2 for themselves. The most common approach is for the player’s cards to both get delivered face up, while 1 of the dealer’s cards is placed face down. This is called the hole card.


Ideally, you will get handed 2 cards that immediately give you 21 points, which would be an ace together with one of the cards worth 10 points. This is called a blackjack and if this happens that you will win right away unless the dealer has the same points total from their 2 cards. If the dealer has a blackjack then players with the same hand get their bet back and everyone else loses.

If no-one has 21 on their first 2 cards then each player takes their turn in deciding where or not to ask for another card. A player who has a low points total will usually risk asking for another card, while if the first 2 cards give a total close to 21 then asking for another one makes the risk of going over 21 far higher.

This decision-making continues until all of the players are either happy with their hand or else go over 21. There is sometimes a limit on how many cards a player can hold in a single hand. Interestingly, the dealer has to decide whether to take more cards or not based on the rules rather than their personal preference. If their hand is lower than 17 they need to take another card but if it is over 17 then they need to stick with their current hand.

When the dealer goes over 21 and goes bust then all of the players who are left in the game win. If this doesn’t happen then anyone with a higher points total than the dealer wins. A player with the same points as the dealer gets their stake returned to them.

In-game options on Blackjack

In Blackjack you have two minor options to use in game. These are insurance and split. By using these options cleverly you will be able to gain more profit from your game.

Modern Ways of Playing

A modern aspect of online blackjack playing comes with live dealer games. Many internet casinos now offer this exciting option, which involves the player joining a live casino where they interact with a real-life dealer who is based in the casino’s studios.

Additionally, it is also now to play blackjack on a number of the best mobile casinos. In this way, you can try this timeless card game on a phone or tablet wherever you go.

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