Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is one of the most popular games in the casino. It has simple rules and is easy to learn meaning that it is enjoyed by professionals, as well as amateurs. If you are interested in the game of blackjack, there is no reason for you to delay – learn the rules of blackjack today and start enjoying this popular game.

The Aim of the Game

The aim of blackjack is to hold a hand that totals 21 or that is closer to 21 in value than the hand that the dealer holds, without going over that total. If you go over 21, you are said to have “gone bust” and you have lost. Blackjack is always played against the dealer.

The Value of the Cards in Blackjack

Each card in blackjack has a specific value and these values are used to make up the value of your total hand. Cards 2 through 10 are valued as their face value; Jack, Queen and King are valued as 10 and Aces are valued as 1 or 11 depending on the value of the other cards in your hand.

Player Choices in Blackjack

Each player must place a bet on the table before the dealer deals any cards. Once he has begun dealing, these bets may not be touched. The dealer deals two card face down to each player and one card face down and one card face-up, to himself. Each player then has a turn to play their hand. There are a number of choices that a player can make when playing their hand.

  • Surrender – This choice allows the player to forfeit their turn at the cost of only half of their bet. This must be the first action that the player takes. Not all casinos will allow a player to surrender and some may only allow a late surrender, meaning that the dealer first checks to see if he has blackjack.
  • Hit – The player requests another card. The player can hit until he reaches 21, holds 5 cards below the total of 21, goes bust or chooses to stand.
  • Stand – The player chooses to receive no new cards. The player’s turn ends once he stands.
  • Double down – The player chooses to double his bet and receive one more card. This choice can only be made when the player is holding his two original cards and this choice ends his turn.
  • Split – This choice can also only be made on the player’s original two cards and only when the two cards are identical. In this case, the player splits his two cards into two individual hands and plays them separately.
  • Insurance – Insurance is not a commonly made choice as it is not a safe bet for the player. Insurance is a bet that the player can place when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace. It is insurance against the dealer having blackjack.

Ending the Game

Once all the players have had their turn, the dealer plays his turn and the players are then paid out accordingly.

If you’re comfortable with the rules of blackjack, take a look at our beginners blackjack strategy.