Blackjack is one of the oldest card games in existence. Likewise, no one can deny its popularity. There are millions of players all over the world that play it today. Thanks to its popularity, blackjack in land-based casinos became online blackjack. Casino sites make sure to feature varieties of the game because of players’ different tastes. Learning the blackjack rules is essential to play this awesome card game online.
The game is also known as 21. This is the total amount that neither the dealer nor the player should surpass. This an essential rule that makes up the basic blackjack rules. The player (or players) plays against the dealer who represents the “house”. The goal is to have a combination of cards to a value higher than the dealer’s combination but not higher than 21 (you’d go “bust” by surpassing).
The blackjack card game rules aren't that difficult to learn if you put in the time as the player and the dealer are both dealt 2 cards each. Naturally, the cards in the deck have different values. The Ace counts as 1 or 11 (more about this later). Cards 2 to 10 have their face values. Additionally, the Jacks, Queens, and Kings have a value of 10. The values of the cards on hand are added. The highest total combination wins (unless surpassing 21!).
The casino blackjack rules will vary depending on the variation of blackjack played. There are slightly varying house rules and dealer rules, most commonly about technical rules or when the dealer has to “stay”. The standard variant is played with one deck but there are variants played with 2, 4, 6, or more decks. This also affects the rules and the house edge. When it comes to the house edge among casino games, blackjack has the lowest. It’s one of the reasons why it’s a popular game. The basic blackjack rules are all you need to play the regular versions of this game online.
The Basics of How to Play Blackjack
To learn how to play blackjack you have to master the basics, you have to learn the card values, the soft and hard hands. Besides, you have to know the blackjack 21 rules. This way you’ll know the limitations of the dealer and the options available to you.
Knowing the simple blackjack rules and having basic skills are the first steps towards becoming a better player. To improve your skill you can play blackjack for free. Also, you can find a blackjack chart that will help you out. These charts will show you what you need to do in different situations. Betting is a part of the game so you have to know the blackjack betting rules.
The Rules for Blackjack Betting
Naturally, the blackjack game rules include some betting rules. The betting happens before the dealer deals the cards as a form of “blind bet” to let the dealer know you’re playing this hand. Once the cards are dealt you can now choose additional bets, such as doubling-up, making a safety bet, or splitting the hand (more about this below). If the player likes the dealt hand, they can “Stand”. The dealer’s second card will determine whether the decision was right or not.
Alternatively, if the player isn’t happy with the hand dealt and the total value of the cards is very low, players can “Hit”. If they do so, the dealer gives them another card face up, adding to the value of the hand. The player has the option to Stand or Hit again only if the value still is lower than 21. If it’s over 21, then the hand’s bust and the player loses the bet. Additionally, if the value equals 21, it stays.
If the 2 initial cards dealt equals the value of 21 - it’s “blackjack” (an Ace + a 10, J, Q, or K) and the player wins a payout of 3:2 (unless the dealer also has blackjack, then it’s a tie, also called “push”, and the bet remains on the table for you to battle out another hand).
The golden rules of blackjack in terms of winning are simple. First of all, you need to fully make sense of how the game works. Then you need to hone in on your own skills. Quick thinking together with memorizing all the details is important. Finally, the golden rule states that you shouldn't underestimate the role of Lady Luck. Even with "mad skills", you still need to have some good luck in order to secure solid prizes.
Splitting the Hand
If you’re dealt 2 cards of the same value, you can split the hand into 2 one-card hands and are thus dealt 1 additional card to each hand. This process may be repeated, but remember that each split costs another bet equal to your initial bet. Depending on the house rules there’s a limit on how many times a player can split. In general, a player can split their cards up to 4 times. After an initial split, players can hit, stand or double down. These are the basic blackjack split rules.
A good rule of thumb is to split your Aces. An Ace is a good card to have. If you manage to get a 10 afterward, then you get a regular 21. This is one of the blackjack ace rules. Another good rule of thumb is to split your eights. The combination of 16 has poor chances of winning. By splitting them you increase your chances against the dealer. However, this decision depends on the dealer’s card. If the dealer has a 9 or 10 you might want to reconsider.
Double down is another option players have. This is a risky one since it could lead to either your victory or defeat. The idea behind the blackjack double-down rules is simple. You can double your bet after the initial cards are dealt. Players do this when they have a favorable hand. If you choose this option you’re dealt an additional card.
The total value then stands. If you manage to get another good card then you win double the amount. On the other hand, if the card’s unfavorable, then you lose. Some house rules determine a maximum hand-value for the double down bet.
The safety bet (also known as “insurance”) is also available as an option. If you research real blackjack strategies then you find out that insurance is a no-go. By opting for the insurance bet you’re giving the house a better chance. So the insurance bet isn’t an option for more experienced players.
The insurance bet becomes available if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. If you think the dealer might have blackjack you may place an insurance bet. The bet is half of the initial wager. This can go 2 ways:
If you guess right, that the “hole card” (the dealer's face-down card) has the value of 10 and the dealer indeed has blackjack, and you’ve lost the hand, you still win a payout of 2:1 due to the insurance.
But if you’re wrong, and the dealer doesn’t get blackjack, you’ll lose your insurance bet and the hand is played out in a normal fashion.
Variations of Blackjack Rules
There’s more than one variant of blackjack out there, which is why there are variations of blackjack rules. The traditional blackjack popular back in the day follows the Las Vegas blackjack rules. These differ from blackjack rules today. Blackjack tournament rules also differ. A tournament will have several varying limits. A certain number of players can join, the table limits will vary in different stages, and so on.
You’re given a set of blackjack card rules depending on the casino. These rules may include limits to the value of initial cards when doubling down. Also, casinos place limits on the number of times a player can split, and whether or not a player can surrender. Players can do this by surrendering half of their bets after the deal. You can do this if the dealer has a strong hand. Depending on the casino, players can surrender early or late. Also, some casinos don’t have such an option.
The blackjack rules for beginners are the same as for everybody else. As a beginner, you just have to concentrate more on remembering all the details that you might not have heard about before.
When it comes to online blackjack regular versions, all the blackjack standard rules apply. However, each game provider may modify these basic rules in order to create their own unique variants. This helps them to stand out from the rest.
Whenever you participate in a blackjack tournament online, make sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly. If not stated otherwise the blackjack tournament rules should follow the basic guidelines of this game.
Blackjack Dealer Rules
The player isn’t the only one that plays by the rules. There are blackjack house rules that apply to the dealer. These are the blackjack dealer rules. Moreover, these rules are there to make sure the dealer plays without making a mistake. This goes for human dealers in land-based casinos and dealers in live blackjack games. RNGs make no mistakes.
Mainly, the dealer rules dictate when the dealer must draw another card or stay. Some casinos will have the dealer draw another card if the hand-value is 16 or less, other casinos will use a different value. Generally, the higher the dealer will have to draw another card the more likely the dealer will go bust.
Other Rule Variations
So far, it’s evident that there are many variants of blackjack available. They exist because of the number of decks the dealer uses which affects the rules. These rules come in the form of options players have in certain situations. One such example is the Reno Rule. This rule states that a player can only double down if they have a hard 11, 10 or 9.
The blackjack rules 7 cards are obviously going to be different from the 5-card variant. That's because the number of cards in play have an important role in this game. The blackjack rules 5 cards is simpler, according to some players.
The side bet rule is a possibility in other rule variations. This type of bet is more available online than it is offline. The insurance bet is the side bet that is available everywhere. There’s a variety of side bets players can place. Players can bet on the dealer busting on the first draw. Additionally, they can place a side bet if they’re dealt a certain pair of cards. They can also place a side bet if the total of the initial cards is a certain number. But should you place them?
Unfortunately, the side bet isn’t in favor of the players in most cases. That’s because these bets have a higher house edge than the regular ones. Beginners should avoid placing them until they improve their skills. On the other hand, side bets can be useful in specific situations.
One of the European blackjack rules states that players can only double down on a hard 10 or 11. This is another rule that isn’t in favor of the player in several situations. Doubling down on a soft total between 12 and 18 can help out the player a lot.
There are too many blackjack rule variants for a single article. If you’re curious you can always research all of them yourself. You should know the rules of the blackjack variant you’re playing. By doing so, you’ll know your options in different situations.