After all the players have completed their hands or gone bust, the dealer reveals his or her down card. Depending on the cards in the dealer’s hand, the blackjack rules at the table will dictate whether the dealer will hit or stand. Blackjack (or 21) is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It uses 1-8 decks of cards and sees players take turns competing against the dealer. The player’s aim in blackjack is to achieve a higher hand value than the dealer, without going over a count of 21.
Card counting is an advanced skill though and should only be pursued by players confident in the game’s rules and basic blackjack strategy. Blackjack is one of the most famous table games around, whether you play online blackjack, live blackjack, or at a land-based casino. Remember, if you are not sure of something, just check the blackjack rules chart again to refresh your memory. A hand can “hit” as often as desired until the total is 21 or more. After a bust or a stand, play proceeds to the next hand clockwise around the table.
Generally, it can be best to hit when you’re holding a hand of 10 or and stand on anything over 17. For more information, head to our guide on how to play online blackjack. Play one of our free blackjack games below to test out your skills.
When the dealer’s upcard is a poor one, 4, 5, or 6, the player should stop drawing as soon as he gets a total of 12 or higher. The strategy here is never to take a card if there is any chance of going bust. The desire with this poor holding is to let the dealer hit and hopefully go over 21. Finally, when the dealer’s up card is a fair one, 2 or 3, the player should stop with a total of 13 or higher.
Blackjack Basic Table Rules
The object of the game of Blackjack is to have your cards total 21 or as near to 21 as possible without going over 21. Besides Ace cards, which can be worth 11, Kings have the highest value in blackjack, alongside Queens and Jacks. These hand signals are part of a universal system adopted by all casinos.
As a popular home game, it is played with slightly different rules. In the casino version, the house is the dealer (a “permanent bank”). In casino play, the dealer remains standing, and the players are seated. The dealer is in charge of running all aspects of the game, from shuffling and dealing the cards to handling all bets. In the home game, all of the players have the opportunity to be the dealer (a “changing bank”).
Blackjack Card Values
This means two players can have the same hand values in a game and it won’t have any consequence on the outcome of their wagers. If a player and dealer tie though, the player’s original bet becomes a ‘push’ and the dealer returns it. This small rule variation has a big effect on players’ bankrolls.
Blackjack is a member of the family of traditional card games played recreationally worldwide. Most of these games have not been adapted for casino play. Furthermore, the casino game development industry actively produces blackjack variants, most of which are ultimately not adopted by casinos. The following are the most prominent and established variants in casinos.
Taking “Even Money” on Blackjack
If you then draw a 10, you now have a hard 14 because if you count the ace as 11 you would have 25, which would bust you. Insurance is an optional side bet that the dealer will offer if their face up card is an Ace. This is to protect against a ‘Blackjack’, the name given to an unbeatable hand of an Ace and a face or 10 card. https://real-blackjack.online/ You can bet up to half of your initial bet for insurance, and this will get paid out at 2-to-1 odds if the dealer hits a Blackjack. It might seem like an attractive option, but over time the odds don’t work out. To perfect your blackjack game and completely minimize the house advantage, there’s quite a bit to remember.
- If playing for hard cash ain’t your style, don’t worry, we still have you covered – we’ve recommended a bunch of solid free card games too.
- When you stand, whatever cards you have make up your final score for that round.
- After the last hand is played, the dealer reveals the hole card and stands or draws according to the game’s rules.
- When presented with a pair (two cards of equal value), a player can split their hand and play it as two separate hands.
- This option
is available only with a two card hand, before another card has been drawn.
- Perhaps the most frequent is this one, “The object of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible, without going over.” No!
- And if you are willing and/or have time if I could somehow discuss some of my specific ideas with you?
The dealer is required to keep taking cards until their hand totals a minimum of 17 points. Here the dealer had a score of 16 (7+3+6) and was therefore obliged to take another card. This final card was an 8, meaning that the dealer went Bust by going over 21, and so the player won with both of their hands. We have selected a table with a $0.50 minimum bet, which can be made on one or multiple hands. For this example we will choose to play just one hand, and this time will not make side bets such as ‘Player’s Pair’ or ‘21+3‘ but will simply play ‘straight’ blackjack.
If a player’s first two cards are of the same denomination, such as two jacks or two sixes, they may choose to treat them as two separate hands when their turn comes around. The amount of the original bet then goes on one of the cards, and an equal amount must be placed as a bet on the other card. The player first plays the hand to their left by standing or hitting one or more times; only then is the hand to the right played.
- So, whether you’re hitting the Vegas Strip or joining the VIP rooms of Macau, you’ll fit right in.
- The only time it’s really beneficial to the player to take insurance or a side bet is if the player holds a blackjack them self.
- Naming this side-bet
“insurance” was a brilliant marketing ploy, and some otherwise solid players will frequently make
this bad bet
to “insure” when they have a good hand.
- Hand total of 13 or 14 – Stand if dealer shows a Six or lower, otherwise hit.
- In some variants the dealer must stand on a soft 17, while in others the dealer must hit.
If that one additional card is enough to beat the dealer’s eventual hand, you win double the amount of cash. If it does not beat the dealer’s hand, you could wind up losing double your initial bet. Another option open to the player is doubling their bet when the original two cards dealt total 9, 10, or 11. With two fives, the player may split a pair, double down, or just play the hand in the regular way.
Double After Split
Thanks in large part to Thorp, blackjack has become not just a means of entertainment but a way to quite possibly make a living as well. A pair of Deuces or Treys – Split if the dealer shows a Seven or lower. A pair of Fours – Split if dealer shows a Five or Six, otherwise hit.
The alternative, “early” surrender, gives the player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no hole card game. Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Now that you know the basics of 21 card game rules, you can have fun playing online and casino table games for real cash or just for fun.
Blackjack Splitting Rules
Remember that you are not allowed to touch the cards in this style of game. See my Blackjack House Edge Calculator to determine the house edge under 6,912 possible rule combinations. A reader named Jeff provided another table of my simple strategy, with exceptions in small print. Details about the Wizard’s Simple Strategy can be found in my Blackjack appendix 21. Ever since my book was published it has bothered me that the cost in errors to my Simple Strategy was too high.
- These games are more common online and at small casinos that focus on locals.
- Face cards or 10’s should not be
split because they already
total 20, which is a great hand on its own.
- Contrary to the player, though, the dealer’s action is completely dictated by the rules.
It’s another interesting feature of blackjack that the dealer’s bust potential is usually lower than the players’. The perfect blackjack strategy charts are based on the slightly different versions of the game. Most casinos I’ve been to have single deck or use six decks. Also, some casinos require the dealer to stand with a soft 17, and some mandate the dealer to hit with a soft 17. If the dealer has to stand with a soft 17, that will give you better odds. As a result, casinos are more likely to insist that players do not reveal their cards to one another in single-deck games.
Always split aces & 8s
The object of the game is to beat the dealer by scoring more points in a hand without exceeding 21. Cards are scored by their numerical ranking, with all picture cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) worth 10 points. Aces can play as one point or 11, depending on which number benefits the player best. Casino card games don’t come more exciting or simple to understand than Blackjack.
Blackjack is dealt on a special table that is semi-circular in shape. When you sit down you must buy chips from the dealer or bring them from another table. You then put your bet in the betting circle in front of your space. Be aware that you have to add a second, equal bet alongside your first bet if you’re splitting, to represent the new hand. These hands are treated entirely separately, and played one at a time.
When to Hit or Stand in Blackjack
The game begins when each player is dealt two cards face up by the dealer. The dealer will then deal themselves one card face up and one card facedown, known as the hole card. He must hit until he has 17 or higher, and then he must stand. Even if all the players at the table have 18, the dealer must stand if he ends up with a 17.
If your cards total higher than the dealer’s cards without going over 21, you win. It’s an interesting feature not only of blackjack but of all casino games that the house—or casino— always has the advantage. Which in the case of blackjack is 5 percent (meaning for every dollar bet, the casino keeps, on average, five cents).
Get the edge with our blackjack strategies
When the dealer’s upcard is 7 or higher, the dealer will likely have a hand value between and players may want to take more risks in their gameplay. Players with a blackjack win a bet plus a bonus amount, which is normally equal to half their original wager. A blackjack hand beats any other hand, also those with a total value of 21 but with more cards.
Whether or not the dealer must hit on a soft 17 (a hand of 17 containing an ace being counted as 11) differs from casino to casino. There might even be blackjack tables with different rules within the same casino. In handheld games, the cards are dealt face down and players are allowed to pick up their cards. In a shoe game, the cards are dealt face up to the players, who are not allowed to touch them.
While playing blackjack, as soon as a player is dealt a winning hand, the house pays out immediately. The only time the player will not receive an immediate payout on a blackjack 21 hand is when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, or any card worth 10 points. The combination of an ace with a card other than a ten-card is known as a “soft hand,” because the player can count the ace as a 1 or 11, and either draw cards or not. For example with a “soft 17” (an ace and a 6), the total is 7 or 17. While a count of 17 is a good hand, the player may wish to draw for a higher total.