The purpose of the Blackjack game
The game starts with receiving 2 cards from the dealer. You need to get as close as possible to 21 points but not over the 21 points. When you collect exactly 21 points and the dealer doesn't have 21 points you are the winner and you receive a payout of 1,5 times your bet. But you will also win with a lower total of points when the dealer has less value cards or bust himself with more than 21 points.
Value of the cards
The cards have the following value:
- Ace: 1 or 11 points
- King, Queen and Jack: 10 points
- Rest of the cards have the value of the card
The color of the cards and the card suits have no influence on the game results.
Start of the game
Before the dealer gives the cards you need to place your bet. The minimum bet is different for each table and you can see the minimum and maximum bet when you open a blackjack table in an online casino. When all players placed their bet the dealer will give two cards to all players. These cards are open on the table so everybody can see them.
The dealer gets two cards with one open and the other one face down so you can't see it.
Do you have blackjack?
When your first two cards are a combination of an Ace and 10 value or Jack/King/Queen you have a blackjack (21 points). You will win direct 1,5 times your bet. So with a bet of 10 euro you will win 15 euro.
When you don't have Blackjack and it's your turn to play the dealer will ask you to fold or deal. When you fold you will not receive anymore cards. When you decide to deal you will receive a new card from the dealer. After this you need to make the same choice between fold or deal.
You can receive as many cards as you want until:
- you decide to fold
- you have more than 21 points and you are bust. You now lost your bet.
You can also decide to double your bet. You will get one more card from the dealer and then your turn is finished. Many players choose to double when they have 11 points and are hoping to receive 10 points with the next card. The risk is to receive a lower value and then you can't ask for more cards.
You can only double with the first two cards. After that you can not double anymore.
You can also decide to split your cards when you have two cards with the same value, for example two Jacks or a Jack and 10 value card. When you decide to split your cards you will need to add the same bet. The dealer will split your cards, deals a new card and add the extra bet to the new card combination. For each new combination you can decide to fold, deal or double.
The turn of the dealer
When all players finished their turn the dealer will play his cards. The dealer will open his card to show his combination. When the total value of his combination is 16 or less the dealer has to take another card. This continues until the dealer has a total of 17 points. From 17 points the bank needs to fold, even if the bank has an Ace and a 6, so the Ace only counts for 11 in this case.
When the bank has more than 21 points the dealer is busted and all players who folded will win their bet.
The dealer can never split or double his cards.
When the dealer is busted and you folded your cards you win 1 time your bet
When the dealer folded and you have more points than the dealer you will win 1 time your bet.
Only when you have won with a Blackjack you will receive 1,5 times your bet and you will receive this immediately after your turn.
5 different situations
The above explanation are the base rules of Blackjack. When you know these rules you are able to start playing. But it's good to know the following 5 situations to become better at Blackjack.
1 - Insurance
When the dealer has an Ace as open card you can buy an insurance. This insurance will pay you whenever the bank has a Blackjack. To do this you need to add the half of your bet (so with a 10 euro bet you add 5 euro).
When the dealer has a Blackjack you will loose your initial bet but the insurance will pay 2 against 1 so you will not loose or win this hand.
2 - Even money
When you have blackjack with your first 2 cards you will win 1,5 times your bet. But the dealer can also have a blackjack when he has 10 points. You will need to wait until players played their hand and it's the turn of the dealer.
When the dealer has a blackjack it's a draw. You will not win or loose anything.
The dealer can ask you for even money whenever his open card is an Ace. This means that you agree with 1 time your bet instead of 1,5 and you will receive this immediately. You will not take the risk on a push when the bank also has a blackjack.
3 - Blackjack is not the same as 21 points
Only when you have a 10 value card and a Jack/King/Queen you will have a blackjack. When you don't have this combination and you collect 21 points with more cards then this is not a blackjack.
This is important because a blackjack has a higher value than a combination worth 21 points. So when you have a card with value 6, 7 and 8 (21 points) but the bank has a blackjack then you will loose the hand. The same counts when you have a Blackjack and the dealer 21 points, then you will win the hand.
4 - Split Aces
When you split two Aces you will receive on both Aces 1 new card. After this you can't ask for more cards. You can split again when the new card is an Ace. When you receive a card with 10 value then it doesn't count as Blackjack.
The rules for splitting difference per casino.
5 - Dealer checks for blackjack
In online casinos and most land based casinos outside of Europe the dealer will receive immediately 2 cards at the beginning of the new round. When the open card is a 10 value or an Ace then the dealer will have look at the closed card if he has a blackjack.
The game will stop when the dealer has a blackjack and all players will loose their bet, even if you have a blackjack yourself.
Getting better in Blackjack
Now you learned the rules of Blackjack and are ready to start playing in a new online casino. After a few hands you will see that you will get better in playing blackjack and feel more comfortable with your decisions.
If you feel that you still don't know enough or you want to get better then it's good to read more about Blackjack Strategy.
Good luck in playing Blackjack online or in a land based casino.