Blackjack Rules and How To Play

Blackjack is the most commonly played banking game at casinos both online and off. It is truly a game of fun and profit. Players with an analytical mind amuse themselves predicting and strategizing in this game, which relies on skill as well as chance. At the same time, blackjack attracts high rollers who play – in cash – for stakes of thousands of dollars. Whatever your gaming style, if you enjoy a challenge that could pay off very generously, blackjack is the game for you. Have a look at the basic rules so you will be prepared.

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is a comparing game in which players try to accumulate hands of 2 or more cards valued at up to 21 points total. The object is to beat the dealer’s score without going over 21 points (“busting”). The game is played with between 1 and 8 standard decks of 52 playing cards, without jokers. When bets have been placed, 2 cards are dealt to each player and the dealer. Both cards for all players are face up, but the dealer receives 1 face up and the other face down (the “hole” card). Each player opts to “stand” (keep his 2 cards and no more) or “hit” (receive another card or cards), depending on the total value of his hand and the dealer’s card that is visible. When the players are finished with their cards, the dealer reveals his hole card.

Blackjack Rules

There are set blackjack rules that govern whether a player wins or loses a bet. If there is a tie (“push”) between a player and the dealer, in most casinos the game is canceled and the bet is refunded. A player who is lucky enough to make exactly 21 points (“blackjack”) on his 1st hand wins 1.5 times his wager, unless the dealer also makes blackjack on the 1st hand. In that case the game is a push and the wager is refunded. A player who does not have blackjack but who nevertheless has more points than the dealer wins 1:1 on his wager. When a player “busts,” he is out of the game and loses his wager. Even if both the player and the dealer bust, the player loses – this accounts for the house edge.

Blackjack Variations

There are quite a few variations on this popular game, as well as different types of bets. Different casinos and different countries may have different approaches to blackjack rules and how to play – in a new venue, clarify what system is being followed before you start to play. Two examples:

Las Vegas Blackjack – played with 2 decks; requires the house to hit below soft 17 (total includes an Ace) and stand on 17 or more.

Atlantic City Blackjack – played with 4 decks; requires the house to hit on 16 and stand on 17.