How to Play Blackjack: Core Rules and a Detailed Example

The popularity of Blackjack is undeniable. In fact, it's one of the most played casino games around the world. And if you're planning to jump the bandwagon, you've got to know the basics. Below are all the relevant details about this game. The information provided will help you evaluate whether or not Blackjack is worth the hype.

How this Game Climbed to the Top Spot?

The earliest predecessor of Blackjack was Vingt-Un, that was the English variant of Twenty-One. This particular game was mentioned in a book about Don Quixote, written by the famous Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes. In France, the game was first recorded back in the 18th century. It was then introduced into the US in the early 1800s during the Klondike Gold Rush.

However, its initial release wasn't widely acknowledged by the public until dealers started adding bonus payouts to the players with a specific hand of cards called "Black Jack", which included either jack of spades or jack of clubs along with an ace of spades. Such move attracted the crowd, making it a staple in most casinos. But what does Blackjack have that make it so lovable among gamblers and card enthusiasts? Well, the main reasons include the simplicity of its rules and the fact that the odds of winning depend on a combination of both luck and strategy. Henceforth, many individuals are drawn to this card game better than roulette, baccarat, and the like.

What Are the Blackjack Guidelines?

Throughout the years, Blackjack has evolved into a highly prominent card game. Because of this, a lot of variations have been developed that add extra entertainment to the players. Even so, the basic guidelines are still the same.

Understanding the goal

When playing Blackjack, you don't compete with other players but have to beat the dealer's card by having a higher total. However, you also need to ensure that your cards are not more than 21. If so, you bust and lose the game.

Mastering the card values

So, how do you calculate the cards? Well, it's pretty easy. All the cards have corresponding values that remain the same throughout the game duration. Number cards such as 2 to 10 follow their reflected value. Face cards like Jack, Queen, and King hold a value of 10. Lastly, Ace can be equivalent to 1 or 11. Generally, it's counted as 11 but if your total is more than 21, its value becomes 1. Hence, having this card is an advantage.

Knowing the primary moves

When it's your turn, you are given two basic choices ― hit and stand. Hit means that you acquire another card from the deck. You can do so by motioning your hand towards the dealer or simply saying "hit". Another allowable move is stand, where you just keep your current cards. You can say "stand" or wave your hand when the dealer asks you.

Kicking off the game

Blackjack begins with every player placing a bet. The dealer then gives one face-up card to each player, including himself. For the second deal, all players get one face-up card each, while the dealer gets a face-down card. What happens next? Read on to know more about different ways.

Playing and Winning the Game

If both your face-up cards have a total of 21, you get a Blackjack or Natural. This means that you automatically win the round. Your reward is 1 and a half of your bet. Then, you are given the opportunity to get another card from the deck. Hitting does not have any limitations. However, you need to take into account the sum of your cards because once your hand gets more than 21, then you bust and lose the game. As a result, the dealer takes your bet.

If you opt to stand, you just wait for the revelation of the dealer's cards. This is where the game of luck kicks in. The dealer goes through each hand before opening his/her face-down card. If the dealer's total is 16 or below, s/he has to get another card. If the total is 17 and above, then there's no need to add another one and only the two cards will be used as the basis.

On contrary, when the dealer's total cards are more than 21, then s/he busts, and each available hand on that round gets twice their bet. The hand who initially won the round will not be included, but can still play for the next round. In case the dealer doesn't bust, only the players whose total is higher than the dealer's can get a reward of twice their bet. Those with a sum that is lower than the dealer's lose their bet for the round.

A Sample Blackjack

Now that you understand the fundamentals of Blackjack, it will be easy for you to play. Below is a mockup game to polish your skills beforehand. All figures below are just examples.

The game begins with the dealer having one face-up card (8) and one face-down card. You, on the other hand, have 3 and a king card. If you choose to hit, then you will get another card. For instance, you get 6. This means your current total is 19 (3+10+6). After asking the other players one by one, the dealer then reveals his/her card. For this example, his/her face-down card is 5. Therefore, the dealer's total is just 13, which means s/he needs to get another card because it's lower than 17.

If his/her next card is 7, then you lose your bet because his/her sum is now 20 (8+5+7) and yours is 19. However, if s/he gets 4, then his/her total is just 17 (8+5+4), which means it's lower than your total. As a result, you get twice your bet. If the new card is a king, then s/he busts because the total is now 23 (8+5+10). Therefore, you win the round.


Playing Blackjack is such an entertaining game for all ages. The rules are straightforward and the winning percentage is pretty exciting. So, if you want something that will add fun to your leisure, this game does its job well! Start honing your skills now and get those coveted wins!