Rules of Blackjack

Contrary to popular belief, the rules of Blackjack are quite simple. The first thing you should know is that Blackjack is not about getting as close to 21 without busting, it’s about taking it to the dealer! When you think of it like this, your whole perspective of the game will change.

Now because there are so many ways to play and so many different variations of Blackjack (literally over 20), we’ll cover the need-to-know rules of a basic Blackjack game.

Rules of the Game

We can’t really think of a better way to sum up the rules for Blackjack, so we’ll make a handy-dandy list, okay? Nah, just kidding, who wants to read big walls of text?

Blackjack Hands: Combinations and Card Values

Cards themselves are straightforward:

  • An ace can be a 1 or 11;
  • 2 through 9 are their value;
  • Face cards and tens all count as 10 points.

The highest scoring hand is, wait for it… a blackjack. The strongest scoring 21 would be an ace card and any other 10-point card. You can actually get to 21 in many different ways, but the ace and 10-point card combination will beat those variations.

Blackjack Terminology

Can’t play without knowing the secret handshake… err… wrong article. We mean that you can only use certain words to push the game along. Here they are in plain English:

  • Stand - “I don’t want any more cards.”
  • Hit - “More cards, please!”
  • Double - “I’m gonna double my bet and hope this one extra card gives me the big win.”
  • Split - “Yeah, buddy, I got a pair! Let’s split them into two different hands.”
  • Surrender - “Screw it. Take half of my bet. I’ll wait for the next round.”
  • Hole Card - The card from the dealer that is face down.
  • Bust - You or the dealer have gone over 21.

What does it all mean!?

So you know the card values and terminology, how does it all work together? A basic game would work like this:

  1. After you make a bet, the game will begin in a clockwise fashion, so from the dealer’s left.
  2. You get 2 cards, and the dealer will have one card facing up and one facing down.
  3. If the card facing up is an ace or a card of 10 points, they’ll check for a Blackjack. If they have a blackjack right away, that’ll be a no-win and you’ll start a new hand.
  4. If there wasn’t a blackjack, you’ll be able to decide if you want to hit, stand, and so on.
  5. When you’re done, the dealer will flip over their card. If they have 16 or less, the dealer will hit. If a dealer landed a 17, they’ll stand. If the dealer busted then you’ll win, provided you didn’t bust either.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Once you get the hang of it, a game of blackjack can move quite fast.

Summary

While our article probably makes Blackjack sound complicated, the rules of Blackjack itself are straightforward. The fun part really starts when you gain experience and learn how to work with the blackjack hands you receive, as well as starting down the path of learning basic and advanced play strategies.

Anyhow, now that you know the basics, why not load up a free game of Blackjack and start playing?

Updated: 23 Feb 2018

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