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Blackjack Rules - Guide to Playing Blackjack

Blackjack, or 21, is a gambling table game which is offered in all the casinos around the world. It is a card game between a dealer and a player himself, but as a rule there are other players at the table. Blackjack is played with one or more decks (up to 8) of 52 cards. The aim of the game according to blackjack rules is to obtain the total cards value up to 21 points, but not to overpass this amount. As a rule, blackjack pays 3:2, but if the dealer wins – player gets nothing and loses all his bets.


Choosing a table

Choose the table you want to play (according to bet limits).

Making a bet

In order to make a bet you need to buy so called chips – the dealer will change your money into them.

Dealing the cards

When the bets are made, the dealer deals the cards – two for each player at the table and two for himself. One of his cards is faced up and the other one is faced down (this card is called the Hole card). Dealer starts to deal cards from the first base (he starts from his left).

Hitting or standing

The next point is a game itself. Now you should choose what to do – hit or stand. If you want to hit, then you obtain a new card, and if you say that you want to stand – you receive no card.

Game over

The game is over when player goes bust or when his card total is higher that dealer’s but without exceeding 21 points.

Remember! Dealer takes cards until his value of them reaches 17 points or higher.


Blackjack's precursor was twenty-one, a game of unknown origin. The first written reference is found in a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.

HIT – to take one more card.

STAND - to take no more cards.

PUSH/TIE – hand of player is equal to hand of dealer; the winner is not announced.

SPLIT – division of two matching cards into two separate hands.

DOUBLE DOWN – doubling of the initial bet and receiving extra-card (if player thinks that his hand is stronger that dealer’s, the may ask for doubling).


Example of blackjack hand

INSURANCE is an extra bet offered when the first card of the bank is Ace. Insurance costs a half of your bet and works according to the following principle: if the dealer has a blackjack, the player receives half of his bet back.

EVEN MONEY – half of the initial bet which is offered instead of insurance, when dealer’s face up card is an Ace and player has a blackjack. This option protects player from a tie, if the dealer has a blackjack too. The player receives half of his initial bet no matter whether the dealer has a blackjack or not.

SURRENDER – if you are sure that you have no chances to win, you may take ½ of your bet and stop your game.


BLACKJACK/NATURAL HAND - if you have Ace and 10-valued card.

SOFT HAND – if you have a hand with Ace counted as 11.

HARD HAND – if you have a hand with Ace counted as 1.


Ace values can be 1 or 11

2 to 9 – values as indicated

10, Jack, Queen, King – 10

Remember! The suit means nothing.


  • Different number of decks - using fewer decks decreases the house edge.
  • Late surrender - if the dealer's first card is an ace or ten, the hole card is checked to make sure there is no blackjack before surrender is offered.
  • Early surrender gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack.
  • No double after split.
  • Allowing a double down after splitting pairs.
  • Dealer hits soft 17.
  • No hole card.

According to Blackjack rules, the player's hand plays only against the dealer’s hand, it means that you shouldn’t mind other people’s cards, unless you are COUNTING them. This is the opposite from playing poker, where you play against the other participants at the table, not against the dealer.

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Mitch Hedberg
I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle