How to Play Blackjack: The Basic Guide

Learning how to play blackjack can be a challenge or a thrill, depending on how you approach it. With our extensive blackjack guide, you will learn how to play black jack and get the best value for every bet you make.

Whether you are looking to learn how to play blackjack at home or how to play casino blackjack, our guide will give you all the basics you need. In fact, once you are done with this guide, you will know how to play black jack like a pro, making the optimal decision every single time.

This section of the site deals with blackjack rules and teaches you how to play 21 blackjack the right way. Every time you are dealt cards, you will know whether to stand, hit, double or split depending on the exact situation you find yourself in. Furthermore, you will learn how to bet on blackjack the right way and when to increase or decrease your bets based on circumstances.

Our guide is meant to teach you how to play blackjack simple way, without too many fancy words or professional gamblers' lingo. All the terms you will need to learn can be learned within minutes, and the basic strategies which you will need to follow will not take much longer to learn either.

While the strategies page will teach you about the more intricate rules and strategies of the game, this page teaches you only the rules you need to know in order to start playing and hopefully winning at the tables.

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Blackjack Rules: The Basic Rules of the Game

Casino blackjack rules are pretty simple and easy to learn even for novice players. In most live and online casinos around the world, official blackjack rules are used which are universal across the board. These standard blackjack rules apply in most versions of the game and are usually understood by all players.

Before you can actually start playing, you should know at least the simple blackjack rules which describe how the game is played. A basic hand looks like this:

  • Player is dealt two cards, face up.
  • A dealer is dealt two cards, one face up, one face down.
  • Dealer announces the value of the player’s hand.
  • Player decides whether to hit, stand, double or split.
  • A dealer deals additional cards to the player as requested.
  • A dealer deals himself additional cards based on blackjack dealer rules.
  • The hands are compared, and the winner is announced.

As you can tell from the example above, blackjack is a game where players make actual choices. Contrary to the likes of baccarat or roulette, blackjack is a game of skill as well as luck and player decisions play an important role in the outcome of any hand. This is why it is important for players to understand what each decision means and how it affects the outcome. These are the plays which you can make in a blackjack hand:

  • Stand: If you are satisfied with the value of your hand or believe the dealer will bust, you may stand and not take any additional cards.
  • Hit: If you wish to increase your hand value, you may hit and request an additional card be dealt with you.
  • Split: When you are dealt a pair, you may split your hand. You will pay an additional bet, and you will play two separate hands against the dealer's. You may request further cards on each of the hands.
  • Double: You double your overall bet, you are dealt one more card and are forced to stand after this card.
  • Surrender: Available in some forms of the game, surrender allows you to give up on a hand and only lose half of your bet.
  • Insurance: If the dealer is showing an ace, you may take insurance worth half your initial bet. If the dealer has 21, you win your insurance bet.

Before you start playing, you should also understand the rules of blackjack when it comes to card value. All number cards in blackjack are valued at their face value, while picture cards are worth 10 points each. The ace is valued as 1 or 11 points depending on your other cards and may change in value as you are dealt more cards, making it a very powerful one to have.

Common question players have regarding the ace card is what does hard and soft mean in blackjack. Essentially, a hard hand is a hand that has no ace in it, while a soft hand is one with an ace. Having an ace means you can draw a picture and turn the ace to be valued 1, still not busting, which is what makes soft hands favorable over hard ones.

The best blackjack rules allow for all of these options, but surrender is only available sometimes and is rarely advisable. In addition to these basic rules of blackjack, you may also want to learn about blackjack betting rules which apply to some strategies, but more on that in our strategies section.

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How to Win at Blackjack: The Pro Tips

A question all players have when first starting out is: is it possible to consistently win at blackjack? The answer to this question is a complicated one. The game, like all gambling games, gives the casino an edge, but following some advanced strategies can help you negate that edge and find the best way to win at blackjack.

A question all players have when first starting out is: is it possible to consistently win at blackjack? The answer to this question is a complicated one. The game, like all gambling games, gives the casino an edge, but following some advanced strategies can help you negate that edge and find the best way to win at blackjack.

If you are looking for answers as to how to win at blackjack without counting cards or how to win at online blackjack, you may want to remember that counting was invented for a reason as it was the ultimate edge that players needed to defeat the house at all.

However, players who are looking at how to win at video blackjack should use our tips and strategies in their game, and they will surely come as close to winning in the long run as humanly possible. The rest may be up to luck, but when you give yourself the best possible shot, the luck tends to cooperate as well.