Basic Rules of Blackjack
The object of Blackjack is very simple:
to achieve a total that is greater than that of the dealer, and which
does not exceed 21. Even if other players are present at the table,
the dealer is your only opponent in the game.
There are relatively few decisions to make when playing Blackjack.
You must consider your cards and your dealer's card and remember, if
you go over 21, you "bust", and if you "bust" you lose.
Play progresses as follows:
You win if:
- A card is dealt, face up, to each player in turn and then one to the dealer.
The dealer's card is face down and called the "hole" card.
- A second card is then dealt, again face up, to each player.
- Starting from the player to the left of the dealer, each player decides
whether to draw further cards.
- After all players have completed their hands, the Dealer proceeds to draw
cards to complete the Dealer's hand.
If your total is the same as the Dealer's total it is a "stand-off" and you
neither win nor lose.
- Your total is higher than the Dealer's total
- The Dealer goes over 21 or "busts" (provided you have not previously busted yourself).
If you go over 21, or the Dealer's total is greater, you lose.
These rules remain largely unchanged (with some minor variations)
whether your are playing
or sitting at a table in a casino.
The Values of the Cards
Cards in Blackjack are assigned the following point
Jokers are not used when playing Blackjack.
(More on Card Values)
- Picture Cards (Jack, Queen and King) each count as 10 points.
- An Ace counts as 1 point or 11 points, whichever is
better for owner of the hand.
- All other cards have their numerical face value.
What is a Blackjack?
Blackjack is a combination of an Ace and any
10 or picture card with your first two cards. It pays one and a half
times your bet unless the dealer also draws Blackjack, in which case
you have a "stand-off".
(More on Blackjack)
Restrictions on the Dealer
The dealer plays according to a strict set
of rules. Dealers must take another card if their hand totals 16 or
less. Dealers must stand (not take any more cards) if their hand totals
17 or more.
If your first two cards are of equal value
you may split these to form up to three separate hands. Aces may be
split to form only two hands. You will receive an additional card for
each hand, however a wager equal to your original bet must be placed
each time you split.
Casino rules vary concerning splitting hands, so check with your dealer
(More on Splitting Pairs)
You may place an additional bet (not
exceeding your original bet) if your first two cards total 9,10 or 11
(without aces). You will be dealt one additional card when you double.
Again, rules may vary at some casinos,
so be sure to ask your dealer.
(More on Doubling Down)
If the first card dealt to the dealer is an ace,
the dealer will announce "Insurance". You may then place an insurance bet
of no more than half your original bet, to insure your hand should the
dealer make Blackjack.
An insurance bet is paid at odds of 2 to 1 and will only win if the dealer
makes Blackjack. If the dealer does not make Blackjack the insurance bet is
(More on Insurance)