Basic Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is a popular card game that is considered to be one of the cult games in the industry. Often called 21 or Eins, blackjack is not only dynamic and exciting but surrounded by mystery as well. It is one of the very few games where the player can get a significant advantage over the house, especially when successful strategies are combined with experience and skill. Blackjack is not only fun to play, but fun to watch as well, and it is often prominently featured in many movies such as 21, which is completely dedicated to this thrilling game.

Blackjack can be played online, or in land-based casinos and casino ships in Goa. Learn how to play blackjack online for real money in India.

What is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a card game played with one to eight decks of 52 cards (no jokers). It is believed how blackjack originates from France where it’s called Vingt-et-Un (21), and it spread across Germany (where it’s called Eins) across to the UK and the rest of the world. It is usually played at a semi-circular table, or in live online casinos. If you play at home with your friends, any table will do. The main goal of the game is to beat the dealer by coming close to 21 as possible, but without going over it.

How to Play Blackjack?

Whether you play in a land-based casino, online establishment, or at home with your friends, blackjack always follows the same rules. In this article, we will discuss the rules of American blackjack which is the most popular type of this game.

Blackjack has two types of participants. There is always one dealer, a person that handles the cards and leads the game. Another category are players, who place bets and actually play the game. The dealer can deal the cards directly from hand, or use a special device called boot, especially if there are multiple decks involved.

Players get two cards each, both facing up, dealt in two rounds. The dealer also gets two cards, and in American blackjack, one card is facing up, and one is facing down. The one facing up is called exposed, and the one facing down is called a hidden card. The values of the cards are as follows:

  • Cards 2-10 – their pip value, as on the card
  • Jack, Queen, and King – 10 points
  • Ace – one or 11 points

So, for example, the player with 2 and 8 has 10 points, while the player with Jack and ace has 21 points. Once all players have their cards, the dealer will turn his hidden card. In case the value of the dealer’s cards is 17 or more, the dealer must stand. If it is less, the dealer must have an additional card. If the dealer has an ace, it counts as 11 in case the value of the hand doesn’t exceed 21, and the dealer must stand.

The players can also ask for additional cards. If the player holds an ace and values it as 11 points, it’s called a “soft hand”, as the player won’t be taking any additional cards (too big of a risk of going over 21). If the player values the ace as one, then it is called a “hard hand”, and the player will ask for an additional card.

Here are the possible scenarios in blackjack:

  • Blackjack (also called a Natural) – the player has an ace and a card valued at 10. The player wins, and often receives a bonus as well.
  • Bust – the player has reached over 21 points. He lost the hand, even if the dealer did as well.
  • Dealer Bust – the dealer exceeds 21, but the player doesn’t. The player wins.
  • The player has a hand more valuable than the dealer but doesn’t exceed 21. He wins.  
  • Push – both player and the dealer get 21, or have the same value. No one wins.

Blackjack also has specific signals and jargon, every player must learn. Hit means the player wants the additional card. Stand (stand pat, stick, stay) means the player doesn’t want the additional card. Double down signals the player wants to raise the bet for 100%, and get another card. After that, he has to stand. Split is a signal that a player has two cards of the same value and kind in a single hand, and he wants to treat them as two hands. The cards are separated, an additional bet is placed, and the dealer provides two additional cards. Still, the cards must be of the same value, which means the player who has two nines can do a split, but the player with Queen and King can’t. Surrender can be done only as of the first decision in hand, and the dealer gives 50% of the bet back to the player. 

Nakoa Davis