How to play blackjack

Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and is basically the same as pontoon (21’s)

The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand by either 1) having a total that exceeds the dealer's total or 2) by not going over 21 when the dealer does. Exceeding a total of 21 is known as 'busting". The casino's dealer has the advantage that players must go first and when they bust their hand they automatically lose even if the dealer subsequently busts.

You are initially deal two cards by the dealer, and the dealer deals himself two cards, only one of which is turned over. You must then make a decision whether to “hit” be dealt another card, or “stand” and stick with the hand you have been dealt. If you stand the dealer then turns over his remaining card. If the dealer’s total is 16 or less he must hit again. If the dealer’s total hand is 17 or greater he must stand.

Ace counts as either 1 or 11 (whichever suits the player)

10, Jack, Queen, King all count as 10

Cards 2 through to 9 count as their face value.

Once you have placed a bet (your stake) you and the dealer will be both dealt 2 cards. You will only be able to see 1 of the dealer’s cards, as one will remain unturned. After you have been dealt you 2 cards, you have to choose one of the following options. Once you have made your decision, you cannot reverse it.

Stand – this means to stick with your two cards, and challenge the dealer that your total will be closer to 21. The dealer will then turn over their second card. If the dealer’s total is 17 or over, they must stand, however if the dealer’s total is under 16, they must draw another card(s) until they reach 17, or go bust.

Hit – this means to be dealt another card in addition to the 2 you have already been dealt. You can “hit” as many times as you like to create the best hand.

Double Down – After being dealt your first 2 cards, you have the option to double the size of your bet. If you choose to do this, you are automatically dealt another card. A common rule of thumb followed by many successful blackjack players is “always double down on an eleven.”

Insurance - If the dealer's first card is an Ace, you will be offered insurance against the dealer making Blackjack. Insurance costs half your initial stake and you are paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet if the Dealer makes a natural Blackjack. If the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, you lose your insurance bet. In the long run it is advised that the most profitable blackjack strategy is to always decline insurance when playing blackjack.

There are many variations of blackjack at online casinos, one of the most popular is Blackjack Switch.

To be a more successful blackjack player read our perfect blackjack strategy guide.

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