Blackjack and the Rules of the Game

Blackjack is the simplest casino card game to learn and play thus, making it very popular. The player is only required to learn to count up to 21 and learn some few simple rules, and they can immediately play the game.

Goal of the Game

The objective of the game is to have a hand with a value closer to 21 than the dealers'hand and not more than 21. You get a blackjack with a hand value of 21 with just the first two cards. Other players at the table are of no concern because the game is just between you and the dealer. The only important thing to remember is not to let the value of your card go over 21, or else it is called a"bust", and you lose when you get a"bust".

The game usually progresses as follows:

1. 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.

2. Then a second card is distributed in the same manner.

3. Starting from the player to the left of the dealer, each player must decide whether they should get an additional card.

4. When the players complete their cards, the dealer moves on to draw cards thereby completing the dealer's hand.

There are two chances of winning a game of blackjack.

1. The total value of the dealer's hand is lower than that of your hand.

2. The dealer goes over 21 or "busts" (provided you have not previously busted yourself).

If the total value of your card and the Dealer are the same, it is called a"standoff. " You neither win nor lose the game. You lose if your card goes over 21, or your total value is lower than that of the dealer's.

The dealer strictly observes a dictated rule of the casino. This means the dealer has little to no room for decisions. For that reason, it is not a problem with the dealer or any of the other players at the table seeing your cards. Actually, if you're playing at a shoe game, the player cards are all dealt face up. In any event, when you're just learning to play, don't hesitate to show the dealer or other players or even an audience your cards and ask questions.

Value of the Cards

A deck of casino cards have four suits, which are the clubs, diamonds, spades, and hearts. Blackjack does not really use the suits unless the casino has a special pay out for certain cards.

The cards in blackjack are assigned with the following values:

  • Picture Cards (Jack, Queen, and King) each count as 10 points.
  • An Ace has a value of either 1 point or 11 points whichever the card player decides to use.
  • All other cards (2-10) have their numerical face value.

Restrictions on the Dealer

The dealer plays in a set of strict rules. In any casino, the rule that is in effect can be determined by looking at the blackjack tabletop. It must be clearly labeled with one of these rules:

  • "Dealer stands on all 17s" - This is the most common rule in casinos. Dealers must take another card if their hand has a total value of 16 or less. If the dealers'hand totals 17 or more they must"stand" or not to take any more cards.
  • "Dealer hits soft 17" - This rule is similar to the first one except when the dealer has a soft 17. Cards such as (Ace, 6), (Ace, 5, Ace), and (Ace, 2, 4) are all examples of soft 17. The dealer hits these hands, and stands on soft 18 or higher, or hard 17 or higher. When this rule is used, the house advantage against the players is slightly augmented.


If the first two cards that you get are numerically equal, you may split them into two separate hands and place an added wager, equal to the original wager, on the second hand. For example, if you have a 10 and a Jack, the cards can be split since a 10 and a Jack are equal in value. If you split two Aces, you can only receive one additional per hand and if you receive a card with a 10-point value, the hand is counted as 21, and not blackjack.

Doubling Down

After the dealer deals your first two cards, you have the option to double your initial bet unless your hand is a 21. Once you have doubled your bet, you can only receive just one additional card.


If the dealer shows an Ace, you may make a side bet equal to half of your original bet. This is an insurance bet in case the dealer gets a blackjack. When that happens, your insurance bet is doubled but you lose your original bet-even money. If the dealer has anything other than a blackjack, you lose your side bet, and the original bet for the hand remains in play.

What Is a Blackjack?

A blackjack instantly wins the game, unless both the dealer and the player have a blackjack, in which case the hand is a tie. A blackjack set of cards consists of an Ace and one of the following cards: 10, Jack, Queen, or King. Blackjack is often called a natural or natural 21.


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