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Blackjack rules

The rules of Blackjack

There is more than one way to play Blackjack, but there’s only one really common way. That’s the gameplay that’s based on Atlantic City and Las Vegas multiple deck casino rules. 


The golden rule of Blackjack 

To start off, we wish to clarify a common misconception about the game. The objective of blackjack is NOT to get a hand as close to 21 as possible. But rather, the true aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21.

It might seem like an irrelevant distinction, but it’s one thing that serious players must really understand. This is because you can beat the dealer on a hand that’s way lower than 21. Simply because it’s a better hand than the dealer possesses. 


The Blackjack rulebook

There’s no need to complicate a simple game, and the rules can be learned and committed to memory within a day. 

The simplistic nature of Blackjack means that there are only a finite number of things that could happen, and it’s a fairly short list. 

Here’s how the game of Blackjack comes together:

  • Place the bet amount in chips in the designated area on the table, the dealer can never do this for you.
  • Players always play against the dealer, never against other players.
  • Before deciding to hit, stand, double down or split, players must wait to be dealt two face-up cards.
  • The dealer plays against each player one at a time, in a clockwise direction.
  • When it’s your turn, decide if you want another card or not, based on the combined value of your two cards
  • You can hit as many times as you like, but if you go over 21 then you’ve lost the game.
  • Once you stand, your turn is over and you’ll have to wait for the dealer to play to see if you’ve won or not. 
  • If you get a natural blackjack then your hand is unbeatable and will payout at one and a half your bet, unless the dealer also has a natural, in which case you ‘push’.
  • To ‘push’ means you get your bet back without any profit.
  • Once the round is over you can choose to play again, by putting more chips in the designated area, or end the game by leaving the table.


Blackjack in practice 

The best way to explain the rules of Blackjack is by practical example. 

There are only five things that could happen with every hand of blackjack you are dealt. 

Let’s work off a simple example. Say you walk up to a table with a single $100 chip and you bet it all on one hand. There are five ways it could play out, you can either:

  • Lose $100, or
  • Win $100, or
  • You can win $150 – in case you get a natural, or
  • Win nothing and lose nothing in case of a push, or
  • You win $200 or more – if you’re able to double down or split.

If you are looking to gain more than just an understanding of the basic Blackjack rules then you should check out our article on Blackjack strategy or our practical guide on how to play Blackjack

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