Blackjack Rules - A Guide To The Rules Of Blackjack

Blackjack Rules

For decades, Blackjack has been one of the most popular card games and a staple of the modern casino. To date, though, there has been no clear consensus on its origin as there exist different disagreeing theories about its initiation and development. However, most notions indicate that this card game originated in ancient France around 1700 and it was referred to as “vingt-et-un”, or “twenty-one”. Like most French games of the time, some claim, “vingt-et-un” was very popular amongst American residents and was soon anglicised and imported overseas.

Another popular version of classic Blackjack’s was prevalent in Spain and was called 'One and Thirty'—a basic Spanish Blackjack rule where one was to reach thirty one with a minimum of three cards. Others claim that the game of Blackjack has Romanian roots where people used to play the game with wooden blocks with different numerical values. Although the Romans are known for their love of the cards games and the version holds some weight in Italy, it has never been confirmed.


From the start, Blackjack table games attracted the attention of many, drawn by its odds and various mathematical possibilities that feature into the game. But no matter the version of the game’s origin, the rules of Blackjack have been somewhat similar over the years. They are black and white and easy to master since they revolve around number 21. That’s why the game is sometimes referred to as ‘21’ since punters will try to get a hand total in relation to 21.

The game is not competitive between players as it is only played between the dealer and the players at the table. When the showdown starts, the players only compare hands with the dealer and not each other. Although Blackjack dealer rules couldn’t be simpler, the game is often tricky for novice players. And while Blackjack betting may have simple rules, there’s a variety of Blackjack games provided by the casinos, making the game interesting and attractive for amateur and seasoned players alike.

Blackjack Rules And Objectives

The most crucial thing about playing Blackjack, and this cannot be stressed enough, is learning the basic Blackjack rules and objective. Perhaps the most frequent misconception about the game—and you’ve probably come across it—is that you need get as close to 21 as possible without exceeding. This, however, is wrong! Whether you’re playing online Blackjack, live Blackjack games, or in a land-based casino, the basic objective of the game should always be about beating the dealer. To do this, you must first not bust (go over 21), and then either outscore the dealer or have the dealer bust. Let’s put the Blackjack rules in succinct bullet points below:


RULE 1 Blackjack is played with 1 to 8 decks of 52-card decks.

RULE 2 Aces (a playing card with a single spot on it) can be counted as 1 or 11 points. The cards from 2 to 9 are counted according to their face value whilst tens and face cards are counted as 10 points.

RULE 3 Each player starts with two cards and play begins with the player to the dealer’s left. This is different from the ‘Blackjack rules 7 cards’ where each player is dealt 7 cards from a deck of 52 deck of cards and only four players can participate.

RULE 4 One of the dealer’s cards will be hidden until the end of the game. This card is referred to as the ‘hole card.’ After each player has had his turn, the dealer reveals the hole card. If the dealer as 16 or less, he will draw another hole card.

RULE 5 To ‘Stand’ is to end your turn while to ‘Hit’ is to ask for another card.


RULE 6 The main rule of Blackjack games is rather simple. If your total value exceeds 21, you bust and lose the game. If the dealer’s value is closer to 21 than yours, you also lose.

RULE 7 If the dealer busts then any player who didn’t already bust will have the winning hand.

RULE 8 If the dealer doesn’t bust then the player with the highest points than the dealer wins.

RULE 9 If you are given ace and 10 from the start (dealt 21), you have a Blackjack. This is an automatic win for you unless the dealer gets the same cards. When you get the same cards as the dealer, it’s referred to as a ‘push’ and no one wins.

RULE 10 ‘Split’ is when a player has a pair or any two 10-points card and then the player doubles his/her bet and separate the cards into two different hands. If this is the case, the dealer will add a second card to each hand and the player may decide to hit, stand, or double (it’s not all the time that splitting is accepted). If you get an ace and a 10-point card after splitting, it only counts as 21 points—not a Blackjack. Normally, a player can keep splitting up to a total of 4 hands.


Rule 11 Some Blackjack games will offer players the chance to ‘surrender’ their hand—this is equivalent to folding in poker. If this happens the player forfeits the hand and will only lose half the bet. This is a basic Blackjack strategy used when you feel like you’re nearing the bust.

Rule 12 ‘Stiff’ is a term used to describe a hand that is under 17 but is likely to go bust. Totals that are commonly deemed stiff include 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Rule 13 A side bet that player can place if the dealer’s card that is visible is an Ace or 10-points card is called an insurance bet. This side bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealers and are normally optional and may also not surpass half the initial stake. Unfortunately, the statistics aren’t appealing for insurance bets since the dealer will only hit Blackjack about 30% of the time.

Rule 14 There are maximum and minimum bets in Blackjack which normally depend on the casino. The good news is, Blackjack has one of the lowest house advantages of all the casino games which means you have a better chance of going home a winner.

Final Thoughts On Blackjack

While your winning will largely depend on the amount you decide to bet, the amount you’re given will largely depend on the odds (basically, how you beat the dealer). For instance, if at the end of the game your total is closer to 21 than the dealer’s total in most cases you will be given 1 to 1. If the dealer busts and you don’t, regardless of your total you’ll also be paid at a rate of 1 to 1.

It’s important to understand what a hard or a soft hand is when you’re dealt an ace. If one of the cards you’re dealt is an ace, you have a soft hand. You also need to recognize when to split, get insurance, surrender, hit, stand, and the best approach for each scenario based on your two cards. Read the table limits for each and understand which version of the game you’re playing. If you’re a novice player, it’s wise to first play online Blackjack and gain experience before you can move to other variants. It is also very essential to read the table limits for the minimum and maximum bets in each hand, especially in Blackjack online games with no human dealers.


Before placing a bet remember that Blackjack rules UK vary depending on casinos, and you should always keep a sharp look to avoid losing your money. Sometimes these variations are in form of bet limits as well as table rules. Learn the first two cards that can double, and which can split as well as how many times you can split. For instance, take a hit with an 11 or less to increase your winning edge. Double down with eleven unless the dealer has an ace or if you have a total of 10 unless the dealer has an ace or also a 10.

Sometimes it is important to try on free Blackjack with free chips before you can engage in Blackjack tournaments for real money. A wise gambler understands that taking few minutes to read the rules of any casino game can pay years of dividends in terms of winnings and much-needed experience. Without learning these fundamentals, you will be throwing away money onto the table and playing hunches. Whatever you do, stick to the basic Blackjack rules relentlessly and you’ll not lose more than it hurts!

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