Blackjack Rules and Explanation – Blackjack difficult? Well no. You learn the rules of this card game in 5 minutes. Read here step by step the rules of the game, with clear explanations and examples.
Already familiar with the rules, but want to learn more about the best strategy and tips to improve your chances of winning? Then read the detailed explanation about blackjack strategy.
Blackjack is the most popular card game in the casino. That’s not surprising, because it’s exciting, fast and the rules are easy to learn. Blackjack online is also very popular.
You often hear that the goal of blackjack is to get as close to 21 points as possible. That is not true. Your goal as a player is to beat the dealer.
If you have 12 points and the dealer buys himself ‘dead’, you win, even if you are nowhere near 21 points.
But first the blackjack rules of the game.
We’ll start with the basics. This is followed by an explanation of a number of special situations.
The basics of blackjack
Blackjack is played with one or more full decks of cards (a deck has 52 cards). In Holland Casino you play with six decks, just like in most online casinos.
The value of the cards is easy to remember:
- Ace: 1 or 11 points
- King, Queen, Jack (the ‘pictures’): 10 points
- The rest of the cards are worth as much as the number on the card.
The suit of the card does not matter in blackjack. It doesn’t matter whether a card is Clubs, Spades, Diamonds or Hearts.
In blackjack, there is always one person at the table who deals the cards. This is called the dealer or ‘the bank’. All players at the blackjack table play against the bank. So they don’t play against each other.
Betting and the first sub-round
Before the dealer starts dealing the cards, you place your bet, for example 10 euros. When all players at the table bet, the dealer deals everyone two cards. These are open on the table, visible to everyone.
The bank also deals itself two cards, only one of which is face up.
NB. In some casinos, the bank receives one open card. There, the bank only deals itself a second card when all players have finished their game.
Do you have blackjack?
Are your first two cards an Ace and a 10 or a face, so together 21 points? Then you have ‘blackjack’.
You immediately win 1.5 times your bet. If you bet 10 euros, you now have a total of 25 euros.
It’s your turn
Then the players take turns one at a time, starting with the player sitting furthest to the left of the dealer (as seen from the players’ right).
When it’s your turn, the dealer in the casino says out loud how many points your two cards are worth. For example, if you have an Ace and a 6, the dealer will say, “Seven or seventeen.” In an online casino and so with blackjack online you see the number of points next to the cards.
You now have three choices:
- Pass : You get no additional cards and keep your two cards.
- Hit : You get an additional card from the dealer. This is also called a ‘buy card’. The dealer will now say your new score out loud. You can then choose again whether to pass or take a card. You may buy as many tickets as you want until:
- You decide to pass or
- Your total number of points exceeds 21. Then you are ‘dead’ and the round is over for you. You have lost your bet.
- Double/Double Down : You double your original bet and the dealer gives you one more card. After this you will not get any more cards. For example, this can be a smart choice if you have 11 points. You then have a good chance that the next card is a 10, giving you 21 points.
In some casinos, you can only double if your first two cards together are worth 9, 10 or 11 points. In blackjack online you can often double on any number of points.
But beware: you can always double down only after the first two cards. You should never double down later in the game. And you always only get one card after you double your bet.
Two of the same cards? You can split
If you have two cards with the same value, for example two Sevens or a Jack and a 10, you have an extra option: split.
If you want to split the cards, you place your original bet once. The dealer separates the two cards and gives you a second card for each card. So you now have two hands with two cards each. You may decide again per hand whether to fold, hit, or double.
Game round of the bank
When all players have had their turn, it is the bank’s turn.
The bank now opens its second card. If the two cards together are worth 16 points or less, the bank must add one card. This continues until the bank has 17 points or more.
From 17 points, the bank must pass. Even if the bank has an Ace and a 6. The Ace in this case always counts for 11 points.
If the bank has more than 21 points, the bank is dead.
These rules are fixed in blackjack. The dealer can therefore never decide for himself whether he buys an additional card or not.
The bank can also never split or double.
Payout: Win or Lose
If the bank bought itself dead, all players at the table who were still in the game win.
If the bank has not bought itself dead, you win if you have more points than the bank.
In both cases you win 1 time your bet. If you bet 10 euros, you now have a total of 20 euros.
Unless you won with a blackjack. Then you get 1.5 times your bet, as mentioned before.
Do you have as many points as the bank? Then there is a ‘stand-off’ or ‘push’. You gain nothing and you lose nothing.
If you have less points than the bank, you lose your bet.
Five special situations
What you have read so far is the basics of blackjack. You can usually get along perfectly with these rules. But before you take your seat at the blackjack table, it’s good to familiarize yourself with some ‘special situations’.
Is the open card of the dealer is an Ace, you can “insurance” ( insurance purchase). This insurance pays out if the bank has blackjack (ie Ace plus a 10 or face).
To insure, you bet half of your original bet extra. If you had bet 10 euros, you would therefore pay 5 euros for the insurance.
If the bank does indeed have blackjack, you lose your original bet, but the insurance pays out 2 to 1. In that case you break even: you win or lose nothing this round.
2) Even money
If you are the first two cards dealt an Ace and a 10 or face, then you have blackjack. Normally you win 1.5 times your bet.
But beware: if the bank has an Ace or a 10 as an open card, then the bank can also have blackjack. You then have to wait until the second card from the bank is revealed.
If the bank does indeed have blackjack, then it is a tie. So: you win nothing and you lose nothing. Unfortunate.
If the bank’s upcard is an Ace, the dealer will ask you if you want even money for your blackjack. That means that you are satisfied with 1 times your stake as a profit instead of 1.5 times, but you will get that profit immediately.
If you opt for even money, you no longer run the risk of a ‘push’ if the bank also has blackjack.
3) Blackjack is not the same as 21 points
Note: Only if your first two cards are an Ace and a 10 or a face, this counts as blackjack. If you collect 21 points later in the game, this ‘just’ counts as 21 points.
Why is this important? A blackjack counts as a higher card combination than 21 points that you collect in a different way.
Suppose you have a 6, a 7 and an 8 (together 21), but the bank has Ace and King, then you lose unfortunately.
If you have Ace and King and the bank has a 10, a 5 and a 6 (also together 21), you win.
4) Split Aces
If you split two Aces, you only get one card on each Ace. After that you can no longer buy tickets. So it is mandatory to fit.
If you get an Ace on one of your Aces, you can split these cards further.
If you get a 10 or a face on one of your Aces, this usually does not count as blackjack, but as ‘regular’ 21.
By the way, each casino has its own rules regarding splitting. Sometimes, if you are dealt the same card again on a split card, you are not allowed to split again.
There are also casinos where you are not allowed to double after you split. If you play blackjack online , you can always click on the help function to read the rules that apply.
5) The dealer checks for blackjack
In online casinos, and almost all casinos outside of Europe, the dealer immediately gets two cards at the start of the game: one face up and one face down.
If the face-up card is a 10 or an Ace, the dealer ‘peeps’ into the face-down card to see if the dealer has blackjack. (With an Ace, the dealer will of course first ask if you want to insure.)
If the dealer does indeed have blackjack, the game ends immediately. All players lose unless you have a blackjack yourself. Then your bet stands.
Blackjack at Holland Casino is different: the dealer only gets one card there. Only after all players have settled their hands does the dealer receive the second card.
And now further…
These are the rules of blackjack. After a few rounds of play, these become second nature that you don’t have to think about anymore.
But knowing the rules of the game is one thing. It is also wise to delve into the right strategy. When to pass, when to split? Is insurance wise and if so, when?
The more you learn about the right choices, the better your chances of winning become.
Read the detailed explanation about the best strategy for blackjack .
Lots of fun….