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Rules Of Playing Blackjack At A Casino

In standard blackjack casino rules, all players face off against the dealer. Two cards are dealt to each player and two to the dealer. Each player can then choose to receive extra cards or accept the hand as it is. In order to win a hand, players must finish with a higher total than the dealer, without exceeding 21. Rules: How to Play Blackjack? The following information contains all the basics that you need to start playing our online blackjack games with confidence: Card Values: Your numbered cards are worth the amount displayed (their face value) while picture cards have a value of 10. Depending on what suits your hand best, Aces can be worth 1 or 11.

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Playing Blackjack the player tries to draw cards with a total of 21 points. The main aim of blackjack is to beat the dealer. To do this the player must have a hand that will be higher than the dealer’s and not to go over 21.

The suits of the cards do not play any role in the game. The hand value is simply calculated by summing up the point value of each card in the hand.

The Value of Cards

= 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
= 10.10 and all the face cards have the value of 10
= 1 or 11. An Ace is counted as 1 or 11.
Rules Of Playing Blackjack At A Casino

Blackjack Hands

Let’s now consider the most common hands in blackjack that players should remember.

=21 Blackjack or Natural is a hand of two cards that equals 21 immediately after the deal. The hand is formed by an Ace and a card with a value of 10.

=16 Soft Hand is a hand with an Ace where the Ace can be counted as 11 without exceeding a total point value of 21.

=16 Hard Hand is a hand without an Ace, or a hand with an Ace where the Ace is valued at 1 point.

How to play blackjack?

Blackjack is played with 1 through 8 decks of 52 cards. The cards are dealt from a special box, known as a shoe. As a rule, the decks are reshuffled after each game.The player makes a bet before any cards are dealt. Then the player gets two cards and the dealer has two cards too, one of them is dealt face up and one is face down. The dealer’s hole card remains unknown until the player has completed his hand. The player makes a decision about how to play the hand based on the two dealt cards and the dealer’s face-up card. After the player has decided to stand (stop taking cards), the dealer turns over his hole card. If his hand is 17 or more he must stand. If the dealer’s hand totals 16 or under the dealer must hit (take more cards). Sometimes a casino lets the dealer hit on a soft 17, adding to the house edge.

If the first two cards total 21(an ace and any 10-value card ), it is Blackjack, the highest hand of the game. If the player has blackjack he wins unless the dealer has blackjack as well, in this case the hand is a “push” or a tie.

If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, the player can make “insurance” to guard against the risk that the dealer holds a blackjack. The insurance pays 2:1 if the dealer’s hand is a blackjack. Minot vegas hotel poker tournament. The dealer with blackjack wins except the player’s hand that also has a blackjack.

All the possible bets are posted on the table. The player wins 1:1 that is the same amount as he bets. The payout for blackjack is 3:2.

Player Options

The player can HIT meaning he wants another cards. The player can hit as many times as he likes until he busts or forms a hand of 21.

The player can STAND. When the player stands, it means he doesn’t want to take more cards.

The player can DOUBLE DOWN the bet after the first two cards have been dealt. Some of the casinos allow doubling only on a total of 9, 10, or 11 though some others allow doubling on any hand. After doubling down, the player will get only one more card.

If the player has a pair he may SPLIT it, and play them independently. The original bet will go with one card and an equal amount will be added to the new hand.

Extra Blackjack Options

Besides these blackjack options there are some extra blackjack options: Insurance, Even Money and Surrender.

Insurance. An additional side bet, half of the original bet, available to players after the initial deal when the dealer shows an Ace. If the dealer turns up a natural 21, the player with insurance is paid 2:1 on the insurance bet, but not the original bet. If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, the Insurance bet is lost.

Even Money. In the event of the player has a Blackjack and the dealer’s up card is an Ace, the player can place an Even Money bet, which costs half of the original bet. The Even Money bet protects player from a push if the dealer has Blackjack as well. If the dealer has Blackjack, the player will get his initial bet back and the Even Money bet, 2:1.

Surrender is the option which is not available in all casinos. Surrender allows the player to surrender half of his original bet if he considers that he has a losing hand. This bet can be made before the player says: “Hit” or “Stand”. Thanks to this option the player can save half of his original bet.

There are two types of surrender – EARLY and LATE. Early Surrender allows the player to take half of his bet before the dealer checks for Blackjack. The Late Surrender allows the player to surrender only after the dealer has checked his hole card for Blackjack.


It’s easy enough to find how to play blackjack articles on the internet, but a lot of them ignore the subtler aspects of the blackjack card game’s rules.

This post is my attempt to correct that and focus more on the rules of play than the basic stuff.

At the same time, this post should be more useful for the blackjack beginner because it covers rules that other pages don’t cover.

A Broad Overview of Blackjack Card Game Rules

You play real money blackjack with the same standard 52-card deck that’s used for poker or other casino card games like baccarat. The joker is never used, and there are no wild cards in blackjack. Most casinos use multiple decks of cards, usually 2, 6, or 8 decks.

The dealer uses a blank card to signify when it’s time to reshuffle the decks, and if the casino is using more than 4 decks, the cards are dealt from a box called a “shoe.” In single deck or 2-deck games, the cards are dealt by hand.

The object of the game is to get a score as close as you can to 21 without going over. You have one opponent – the dealer. How the play of the other gamblers goes has nothing to do with your own outcomes.

The cards have point values based on their rankings. In other words, the 2 of spades is worth 2 points, the 3 of hearts is worth 3 points, and so on. The suit doesn’t affect the point scores for the cards.

Face cards – the jack, queen, and king – are each worth 10 points.

And an ace counts as 1 or as 11, depending on which is better for the player.

Blackjack Betting Rules (Cash and Chips) – How to Bet on the Card Game

Before you can play, you must buy into the game. This usually means exchanging cash for chips at the blackjack table, but in many casinos, you can play cash, too. Usually you only play cash once when you first sit down at the table, though – as soon as that first hand is dealt, the dealer will want to convert your cash to chips.

It’s important that you don’t hand your cash directly to the dealer. Lay it on the table. The dealer doesn’t want to be accused of stealing your money, which is why they have such specific procedures in terms of counting your money on the table in such a way that it can be filmed by the camera above – the “eye in the sky.”

You’ll find a placard at the blackjack table which lists the betting limits. You’ll rarely find a casino offering a minimum bet of less than $5 per hand, and $500 per hand is often the maximum bet. High roller rooms often have higher betting maximums, but it’s important to know the minimum before sitting down.

You don’t want to buy in for $300 at a $100 minimum blackjack table and wind up with only 3 chips to play with.

The Rules for Dealing Blackjack – How to Deal the Card Game

The cards get shuffled periodically at most casinos, usually when the deck has been dealt down to the cut card. In some casinos, though, a continuous shuffling machine is used. In this case, you can forget all about counting cards.

The Dealer Has Specific Rules for How to Deal

She waits until everyone has placed their bets and the decks have been shuffled. Then she gives each player a card, one at a time, clockwise around the table. She also gives herself a card, face-up.

The players’ cards are dealt face-up in a game dealt from a shoe, but if the game is being dealt from the dealer’s hand, the cards are dealt face-down.


After everyone gets their first card, the dealer gives each player a 2nd card. The players either get both cards face-up or face-down, depending on the nature of the game. But the dealer’s 2nd card is always face-down.

That’s how the initial deal goes.

After that, it’s time to make game-play decisions.

Blackjack Rules for Naturals

The first thing that happens after the deal in this card game is the adjudication of “naturals”, AKA “blackjacks.”

A blackjack, or natural, is a 2-card hand worth 21 points. To get a blackjack, you must have an ace, but you must also have a 10-point card. It doesn’t matter if it’s a face card or a 10, it still counts as a blackjack if it’s 2 cards that make up a total of 21.

If a player gets a natural and the dealer doesn’t, the player immediately gets paid off at 3 to 2 odds. In other words, if you bet $5 on the hand, you win $7.50 immediately. That’s it for the hand.


Some versions of blackjack only pay off at 6 to 5 odds. You should avoid such games, as they give the house a much higher mathematical edge than the standard version of the card game.

If a dealer gets a natural and the player doesn’t, the player immediately loses. But you only lose the bet. You don’t pay a penalty or anything like that.

If both the player and the dealer get a natural, the result is a push. The player gets to keep his bet, but he doesn’t get any winnings. A push is basically the same thing as a tie.

A natural only happens about once out of every 20 of your hands, so it’s common enough that you’ll see it often.

But most of the time, you’ll still have to play your hand.

Blackjack Gameplay Rules – How to Play the Card Game

So far there hasn’t been much gameplay to discuss – just betting, shuffling, dealing, and checking for naturals.

Once all that’s done, the gameplay begins, and that’s where the rules for this card game get interesting.

The player to the dealer’s left acts first, and play proceeds around the table. The dealer acts last.

The 2 basic moves in the game are to stand or to hit. To stand means to decline any additional cards and take the total you have to the showdown. To hit means to accept another card from the dealer to increase your total score.

You have no limit to the number of additional cards you can take, but you can also decide to stand at any time.

But, if at any time, you hit and get an additional card that makes your total 22 or higher, you immediately lose and the dealer collects your bet.

This is, in fact, where the house gets its edge. Even if the dealer also busts, you’re already out of the game if you’ve busted. What should be a tie in a “fair” game is a loss for the player.

But, if you play with basic blackjack strategy, the house edge for blackjack is one of the lowest in the casino. It’s less than 1% depending on the conditions of the game.

Also, this is a good time to point out the importance of an ace. Since it can count as 1 or 11, you have more flexibility in how aggressively you play your hand. That’s why your total number of points when you have an ace in your hand is called a “soft” total. It’s impossible to bust a soft total because you can always decide to count the ace as 1 instead of 11.

The Card Game Rules for Other Player Options

Hitting and standing aren’t your only options. You can also do the following with your hand:

  • Double Down – This means to double the size of your bet and take one – and only one – additional card.
  • Take Insurance – This option is only available when the dealer has an ace. Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has a 10 for her face-down card, giving her a blackjack. The size of the insurance bet is half that of your initial bet, and it pays off at 2 to 1. Of course, if you win the insurance bet, you lose your main bet, breaking even for the hand. That’s why it’s called “insurance.” You’re insuring your hand against the possibility that the dealer has a blackjack.
  • Split – When you have 2 cards of the same rank, like aces or 8s, for example, you can put up an extra bet and play 2 hands. The starting card for each of the 2 hands comes from your hand, and you get a new card on top of each of them. You play each hand independently from that point forward.

Rules Of Playing Blackjack At A Casino Tunica

Rules for How the Dealer Plays Her Hand

Once all the players have busted (gotten a total of 22+) or stood, the dealer plays her hand. The dealer doesn’t get to exercise judgment when playing her hand; she must play according to the house rules for the dealer.

This means the dealer must hit any total of 16 or lower. It also means the dealer must stand on a total of 17.

There’s one wrinkle, though – a soft total of 17 might force the dealer to stand, or it might force the dealer to hit. If the dealer must stand on a soft 17, that’s an advantage for the player. If the dealer hits a soft 17, the casino has a higher edge than in the other version of the game.

Once the dealer stands, the bets are paid off. If the dealer has a higher total than the player, the dealer wins the player’s bet. If the player has a higher total than the dealer, the dealer pays the bet off at even money.

Rules Of Playing Blackjack At A Casino Play

If the dealer and the player stand on the same total, the bet is considered a push. The player gets his bet back, but he gets no winnings on top of it.


That’s my best, most complete, and simplest explanation for blackjack card game rules.

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If I left anything out, let me know in the comments.

How To Play Blackjack Rules

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