Blackjack is a simple game to learn – and one of the most popular games at casinos worldwide. In this guide we explain the rules and strategies for this popular casino table-game.
Step 1: Buy chips
To play blackjack at a casino, you will need to purchase chips to bet with. In a physical casino, you can buy chips at the cage or directly at the blackjack table by placing cash on the table and asking the dealer to exchange it for chips. When you are finished playing, you can exchange your remaining chips for cash at the cage.
At an online casino, you can deposit money into your account and start playing blackjack immediately. When you are finished playing, any remaining funds will be automatically returned to your account. You do not need to exchange virtual chips for cash.
Step 2: The Cards Are Dealt
The first Two Cards
In a game of blackjack, each player is dealt two cards. The first card is placed face up on the table for all players to see, and the second card is placed face down. The dealer also receives two cards, with the first card dealt face up and the second card dealt face down.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, they may offer “insurance” to the players. This allows players to bet half their original wager that the dealer has a blackjack (a hand value of 21), in which case the player would break even on their original bet. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the player loses their insurance bet.
If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, face card, or ten, they will check their face-down card to see if they have a blackjack. If they do, the game ends immediately and players with blackjack win their bets, while all other players lose. If the dealer does not have a blackjack, the game continues and players can choose to hit or stand based on the value of their hands.
Any Third Card: Stand, Hit or Split and Surrender.
After the initial deal in blackjack, players have several options on their turn. The two most common options are to stand (not take any more cards) or hit (take an additional card). Players can choose to stand or hit as many times as they like, as long as their hand total does not exceed 21. If a player’s hand exceeds 21, they are bust and lose their bet.
Other options that may be available to players include splitting (if they have two cards of the same value), doubling down (doubling their bet and taking one more card), and surrendering (giving up half their bet to end the game early). The availability and exact rules for these options vary depending on the casino and the specific game.
The Dealer’s Round
Once all players at the blackjack table have finished making their decisions, the dealer will reveal their second card if it was previously face down. This will determine the dealer’s starting hand and allow the game to continue. The dealer will then play their hand according to a set of rules, which typically involves hitting if their hand total is less than 17 and standing if it is 17 or higher.
The outcome of the game is determined by comparing the dealer’s and players’ hands, with the player winning if their hand is closer to 21 without exceeding it.
Step 3: Determine The Winner
In blackjack, the objective is to beat the dealer by having a hand with a higher value without exceeding 21. Players win in the following cases:
- If they have blackjack (an ace and a ten or face card) with their first two cards
- If they have a higher hand value than the dealer without exceeding 21
- If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21
Players lose in the following cases:
- If their hand value is lower than the dealer’s without exceeding 21
- If their hand value exceeds 21 (they are bust)
If the player and dealer have the same hand value, the result is a tie (also known as a push or standoff) and the player neither wins nor loses their bet.