Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is a popular card game. Blackjack rules are very simple. The goal is to get a hand that has a higher total value than the dealer’s hand, but without going over 21. Each player receives two cards. After that, they have the option to either “hit” and get another card, or “stand” and keep their total.

Royal cards are worth 10, aces are worth either 1 or 11, and all the other ones are worth their face value. If a player goes above 21, they lose. Lastly, the dealer needs to hit till the value of their hand is 17 or more. If the dealer goes over 21, all the remaining players win. As you can see, it is easy to learn how to play 21 card game, which is why it is suitable for players of various levels.

The History of Blackjack

Blackjack or 21 originated in France in the 17th century. Shortly after its first appearance, Blackjack became popular, especially in the United States. In the beginning, blackjack rules varied greatly from one casino to another. In the early 20th century, a group of professional gamblers from the USA created a set of blackjack rules that would give players the best chances of winning.

These 21 rules, also known as the basic strategy, quickly became well-known and are still used today. In the 1960s and 1970s, blackjack gained popularity as a subject of various mathematical studies. Researchers created several advanced strategies for maximizing the odds of winning, and they are still used today.

Blackjack Card Values

Before you learn how to play blackjack we should talk about its card values. In blackjack, every card has a specific point value. The cards 2 to 10 are worth their face values, while the Jack, Queen, and King are worth 10 points each. The Ace card is unique because it can be worth either 1 point or 11 points, depending on the situation. This is called its “soft” value, as it can be changed.

Numbered Cards

As we have already mentioned, the cards numbered 2 through 10 are worth their face values. For example, a 4 of hearts is worth 4 points, an 8 of diamonds is worth 8 points, and so forth.

Face Cards

In the game of blackjack, face cards refer to the cards that have faces on them, such as Jack, Queen, and King. The blackjack value of each one of them is 10 points.

Aces

The ace is the most interesting blackjack card. This is because the blackjack value of the ace card is variable. It can have a value of 1 or 11, depending on what is the best choice for the player. This flexibility is what makes the ace such an important and unique card.

Blackjack Rules

Are you now wondering how to play blackjack? In that case, you’ll be happy to hear that this game isn’t complicated. Before you start betting on blackjack, learn about all its rules, playing options, and variations. It is usually played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The cards are ranked according to their numerical values, with face cards counting as 10, while the ace card has a value of either 1 or 11, depending on the player’s choice in a particular situation.

To start, each player places a wager. After that, the dealer deals two cards to each player, including themselves. The dealer’s first card is placed face up so that all the players are able to see it, while the second one is placed face down. The players are then allowed to look at their cards and decide whether to “hit” (take another one) or “stand” (keep their current hand). If a player hits, the dealer gives them another card, and the player will be able to choose again whether to hit or stand. This continues until the player decides to stand or until their hand goes above 21, in which case they “bust” and lose the bet.

Once the players have taken their turns, the dealer reveals their face-down card and proceeds to play their hand according to the rules. The dealer must hit if their hand totals 16 or less. However, the dealer must stand if their hand totals 17 or more. If the dealer busts, all the players who didn’t bust win. But if the dealer doesn’t end up busting, the remaining players need to compare their hands to the dealer’s one, and then the player with the hand that’s closest to 21 will be the winner. If the dealer and player have the exact same total, the game is a tie and the player’s bet will be returned.

While blackjack rules are straightforward, the decisions that people may need to make when playing it can be very complex. Many players resort to card counting techniques in order to gain an advantage over the casino, but this is almost never allowed.

Blackjack Charts

If you want to be a successful player, knowing how to play blackjack might not be enough. Now that you know 21 rules, it’s time to talk about charts. Their purpose is to help you understand the game better and win more often when betting on blackjack. Blackjack charts are special tables that show the optimal move in a particular situation. For instance, a blackjack chart may show that if the player has a total hand value of 16 and the dealer is showing a 10, the optimal move will be to surrender. Blackjack charts help players increase their chances of winning.

PAIR SPLITTING

Dealer Upcard

PAIR SPLITTING

SOFT TOTALS

Dealer Upcard

SOFT TOTALS

HARD TOTALS

Dealer Upcard

HARD TOTALS

HARD TOTALS

Dealer Upcard

HARD TOTALS

Click hear if you need save Blackjack Charts in .pdf

Options to Play Blackjack

Once the dealer gives them their cards, blackjack players have different options. They can “hit,” which means getting another card, or “stand,” which means sticking with the cards that they already have. Players can also “double down,” which means doubling their wager and taking only one additional card, or “split” if their first two cards have the exact same value. There are also a few other options.

Stand

In blackjack, “stand” is the decision to not take any extra cards. When a player stands, the dealer will continue to play their hand according to the rules. If the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, the player will win the round. If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21, the player will lose the round.

To Stand or Not to Stand

The player should “stand” when they’re satisfied with the value of their hand. This happens when the player has a strong hand, such as a hand with a total value of 17 or higher, or when the player has a hand that has a value close to 21 but is not likely to go over it if they take an additional card.

Hit

In blackjack, a “hit” refers to the action of taking an extra card from the game dealer in an attempt to improve the value of your current hand. Players do this when they feel that their hand isn’t good enough, or when they want to try to get closer to 21 without going over it.

When a Player Should Hit

The general rule is that a player shouldn’t hit if they have a total of 17 or more in their hand. If you have a total of 17 or more and decide to hit anyway, there is a good chance that you will go over 21 and lose your bet. Players should stick with a hand of 17 or above in order to avoid busting.

Double Down

Doubling down is when a blackjack player double their initial bet in exchange for one extra card. Players often do this when they believe they have a high chance of winning the hand by getting just one more card. For instance, if a player has a hand total of 11 and the dealer’s up card is a 5, the player will probably choose to double down.

When a Player Should Double Down

It is recommended to double down when your total hand value is 11, 10, or 9, as these hands that are more likely to win. Also, when you have an ace and your card total is 16, 17, or 18, you may want to double down. However, you should never double down if the dealer has an ace or if your hand total is above 11.

Split

The option to “split” is available to a blackjack player when they get a pair of cards as their starting hand. This option will allow the player to split this pair into two separate hands, and each one of them will be played independently.

To Split or Not to Split

For example, a blackjack player should split a pair of 8s or aces. This is because these particular pairs are very strong starting hands, and splitting those allows the player to maximize their chances of winning by forming two separate hands with a high chance of getting a good score. It’s considered much less advantageous to split other pairs, such as 5s or 10s.

Surrender

This option allows the player to forfeit their hand and lose half of their bet instead of playing through the hand and risking losing the whole bet. “Surrender” is usually only offered on the player’s first two cards, and it can only be used before any other action is taken.

Possible Blackjack Results

Bust

A “bust” happens when a player’s hand exceeds a total of 21. This usually occurs when a player takes hit cards and continues doing that until their hand value goes above 21. When a blackjack player busts, they automatically lose that hand, regardless of the value of the dealer’s hand.

Push

If you have been reading about blackjack, you have probably heard of a “push”. So what is a push in blackjack? A “push” describes the situation when the dealer and the player have hands with the exact same values. In this case, the player’s bet will be returned, and that hand will be a tie. The dealer doesn’t lose or win, and the game just continues.

Insurance

This is a side bet that a blackjack player might make when the dealer’s up card is an ace. This particular side bet pays out at 2:1 odds if the dealer has a blackjack. Its purpose is to protect the player’s main bet in the situation that the dealer has a blackjack. However, if a dealer doesn’t have it, the player will lose the insurance bet.

Surrender

When a blackjack player surrenders, the dealer will collect half of their bet and the hand will be finished. The player won’t have the opportunity to play through the hand and try to win the entire bet.

Variations of Blackjack Rules

Now that you know all the standard 21 rules, let’s talk about their variations. While the basic blackjack rules generally stay the same, there are variations that are used at various casions. It is crucial to know how to play blackjack variants.

Doubling After Splitting

Doubling after splitting allows a blackjack player to double their bet on a hand after splitting their original pair of cards. This can be a very useful strategy because it lets the player potentially increase their winnings if they have a strong hand, but it can also be a bit risky because it requires an additional wager.

Re-splitting Aces

Re-splitting aces is a 21 rule that lets a player split their hand into up to four separate hands if they have two or more aces. This blackjack strategy can come in handy because it gives you a chance to increase your winnings by playing multiple hands at the same time. However, not many casinos allow their players to re-split aces.

Early Surrender

This rule allows a player to surrender their hand and forfeit half of the wager before the dealer checks for blackjack. This is for people who have a weak hand and don’t want to risk losing the whole bet.

6 to 5 Blackjacks

This is a payout rule that’s used in blackjack games that pays out 6 units for every 5 units wagered on blackjack, instead of the usual 3 to 2 payout system. This means that a player who bets £5 and gets a blackjack will receive just £6 in winnings instead of £7.50. This rule is unfavorable for players.

Continuous Shuffling Machines Blackjack

A continuous shuffling machine (CSM) is a device for shuffling cards, which is commonly used in casinos. In twenty-one, this device is used to shuffle the deck after every single hand, making it more difficult for players to keep track of the cards that have been played and use that info to gain an advantage.

Single Deck Versus Multi-deck

Single-deck and multi-deck are terms that describe the number of decks of cards used in blackjack. In single-deck blackjack, just one deck of cards is used, while multi-deck blackjack uses multiple decks.

Deck Penetration

Deck penetration refers to the percentage of cards that have been played during a blackjack game. For instance, if the dealer is using a five-deck shoe and has dealt just one deck, the deck penetration is 20%.

In addition, you can try to play BlackJack for real money, but be careful and always gamble responsibly. We also recommend watching the Expert’s Guide video:

 

author

Posted by: Valerii B.

Valerii B. is a passionate gambling aficionado and online gaming expert based in the beautiful country of New Zealand. With a deep-rooted fascination for casino games and sports betting, Valerii has accumulated invaluable years of experience in the ever-evolving iGaming industry. As a renowned contributor to Gamblorium, Valerii draws from his extensive knowledge to provide insightful reviews, in-depth analysis, and compelling articles on the latest trends and events in the world of online gambling.