Blackjack Game Rules

The complete game rules for playing Blackjack online.

Blackjack History

The history of Blackjack has been a topic of debate among historians for decades with researchers still unsure of the true origins of the blackjack game. However most agree that the first roots of blackjack appeared during the 17th century in France. A game called Vingt En Un, translated to mean "21" was played in casinos across France. Although not thought to be the first ancestor of blackjack it is the earliest recorded game with the right similarities of blackjack we see today.

Over time the game of blackjack, also known as 21 has developed into one of the most popular casino games ever played, appearing in casinos around the world as well as thousands of online casinos.

Basic Rules of Blackjack

The basic objective of Blackjack is to form a hand closer to 21 than that of the dealer, without ever going over 21 and busting your hand. Although more than one player can play at the same time, they are competeing only against the dealer and not with each other.

Card Values in Blackjack

Calculating the value of your blackjack hand is a simple matter of adding together the number from the Value to give you your total. Suits are completely discounted in the game of Blackjack. Aces can be used as per the table as either a 1 or an 11, you do not need to specify which as it will be assumed that whichever figure is preferable will be used to complete your hand.




1 or 11

2 to 10

Face Value







Betting & Dealing of Cards in Blackjack

Before the cards are dealt all bets are made by the players at the table. Once the bets are made the dealer will deal the cards out starting at his left and making two passes. The dealer will turn over one of his cards making the card visible to all players at the table.

Once the cards have been dealt play will continue starting with the player from the dealers left, also known as first base. At this point you as the player need to indicate how you would like to proceed, by either sticking with your hand or drawing another card depending on your blackjack hand.

How the Dealer Plays His Hand in Blackjack

The blackjack dealer must play his hand in a specific way depending on the rules of the casino or online casino you are playing at.

Blackjack Dealer Stands on all 17s

This means that the blackjack dealer must stick on any amount drawn over 17. This includes Aces which are always counted as 11 as long as the total does not exceed 21. So if the dealer were to receive Ace/6 he would be forced to stand on 17. The dealer has no choice in how he plays his hand, he must draw cards until he reaches at least 17 or goes bust by hitting over 21.

Hitting Blackjack

Hitting Blackjack or what is also known as a Natural requires you to hit 21 from your first two dealt cards. In order to do this you must hit an Ace and any other 10 value card thus declaring blackjack. Hitting 21 from more than two cards is not known as Blackjack and affects your pay out from the dealer. When hitting Blackjack you will receive 3 to 2 odds on your initial bet, meaning if you were to bet $10 your win would be $15. A player hitting Blackjack will beat any dealer hand apart from the dealer themselves hitting Blackjack, in which case the hand is a tie.

Splitting Pairs in Blackjack

If you are dealt a matching paid of cards in a game of blackjack, for example two Aces, you are able to perform what’s known as a split. A split in blackjack allows you to split the hand into two separate hands and play them independently, you bet must be doubled to cover each hand and if you win you will take twice the win. You are unable to achieve Blackjack when splitting however in the correct situation you are able to greatly increase your odds of winning. For example, you are dealt two 8's giving you a total value of 16. This figure is below the standing point of the dealer but a risky number to draw against as you could easily exceed the 21 limit. In this situation your best option is to split, and attempt to draw a better pairing thus increasing your chances of winning.

Doubling Down in Blackjack

The Double Down rule in blackjack allows you double your bet and receive one extra card, and only one. This can be useful if you draw a low scoring hand such as a 5 & a 6 as the first two cards giving you a total of 11. You can at this point double your bet and you will receive one extra card giving you a good opportunity to increase your win.

Blackjack Insurance

The insurance rule is one of the least understood rules in Blackjack. If the dealer turns up an Ace card he will offer "insurance" to the players, this allows the players to bet up to half the amount of the original bet as a side bet with the dealer. If the dealer has a hidden 10 card he will pay out the insurance bets at 2 to 1 odds in essence "insuring" your original bet against the dealer having blackjack.

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