Last Updated by Rohit Parmar on March 13, 2023
After poker, blackjack is one of the most popular card casino games worldwide. With simple rules and thrilling gameplay, blackjack is attractive among casino players who enjoy creating card strategies. So, here we’ll discuss the blackjack rules and much more about this popular card game.
The blackjack objective is for the player’s cards to reach a sum of 21 or closest to 21 without going over. The game is played between the player and dealer, even though one to seven players can play on one table.
To win at blackjack, you need good skills, a good strategy, and some luck!
The players place their bets before the game starts, and the dealer deals cards to each player, starting from the left (first base) to the far right (third base). A single card is placed in front of every player clockwise from the dealer’s left, a single card is placed in front of the dealer, and another card is set to each player. It is straightforward to understand and play Blackjack, as there are simple rules of blackjack that the dealer and players follow.
The classic blackjack rules for the dealer are always the same, as it ensures the house edge will always be in favor of the house in the long run. It also provides that the more players try to beat the house, the more the house will win. When the dealer reveals their hole card, they always follow the same casino blackjack rules for their next move:
If their card sums up to 16 or lower, the dealer always draws another card and continues drawing cards until the house hits 17 or goes bust going over 21. If the dealer cards hit 17 without an ace, called hard 17, the dealer must stand. If they hit a 17 with an ace, called soft 17, they continue drawing cards until the total becomes a hard 17 or the hand goes bust, hitting over 21.
The blackjack dealer always follows the same rules and strategy!
After the cards are dealt in blackjack, the player must take appropriate action: they can stand with their cards or choose to get more cards, called hit. The player can also choose to double down, split, or surrender. The player decides when to stand and go up against the dealer’s hand. There are also side rules in blackjack which we’ll outline below.
|Hit||Get another card|
|Double down||Double the initial bet when you have a good hand|
|Split||Split the same suit cards into two hands|
|Stand||Stop making any actions and don’t get any cards|
|Surrender||Forfeit the hand and lose only half the initial bet|
Blackjack can be played with a single standard 52-card deck, but most casinos use the more common six-deck combination or 312 cards or the eight-deck combination with 416 cards. Using multiple card decks is more common as it does not allow easy card counting.
One to eight decks are used in blackjack!
The card values in blackjack are essential to know as they decide the blackjack gameplay:
A face card with an ace is a natural blackjack!
The blackjack rules are very straightforward, but each blackjack variation has some variations on its rules. For example, there is a commonly accepted rule about the dealer hitting or standing at a soft 17. The rule is usually printed on the table or displayed on the online blackjack playing field. Soft 17 means when the player has an ace and a six, and if the dealer can hit again is referred to as H17, and the standing is S17. If the dealer must stand on a soft 17, the house edge is reduced by about 0.2%.
The blackjack game comes with a house edge – the statistical advantage the casino has built into each game. The main blackjack house edge comes from the fact that the player loses when the player and dealer bust. Thus, it comes down to the fact that people who use basic strategy in blackjack lose, on average less than 1% of their action over the long run, making blackjack one of the casino games with the lowest house edges. Another thing that affects the house edge is the player’s strategy.
The number of decks used is also affecting house edge in blackjack. It is because the statistical probability of a specific outcome gets progressively higher as more decks are added to the game. You can see how the house edge changes using more blackjack decks.
|Number of decks||House advantage|
As we said, the main blackjack objective is to get 21, or as close to 21, without going over. The player places the initial bet on the table, with each table having a minimum and maximum accepted bet. Now, several betting options in blackjack can impact your bankroll:
Many blackjack variants also allow side bets: additional wagers that can enhance the stakes and provide more significant payouts. Here we’ve compiled a list of the usual side bets in blackjack that some of the most popular blackjack variants allow:
|Insurance||It covers you against the dealer getting a blackjack||2:1|
|Perfect Pairs||If you have the first two cards in the same rank||25:1|
|Royal Match||If you have cards of the same suit, like king & queen||25:1|
|Over/Under 13||You can predict that your cards will add above or below 13||Even money|
|21+3||You bet on your first two cards and the dealer’s upturned card: suited cards, consecutive cards, three of a kind, consecutive suited cards, three of the same rank and suit||5:1; 9:1|
|Super Sevens||You bet that you will get one 7, two 7s, or two suited 7s||1000:1; 5000:1|
|Lucky Ladies||You win if your cards add up to 20, are suited, and are of the same rank and suit. You win more if you get two queens, or two queens of hearts and a dealer blackjack||4:1; 10:1; 25:1
In a live casino blackjack game, the dealer shuffles the cards and lets a player cut the deck by inserting a plastic card between the cards, so about 60-70 cards remain below the card that is not used for playing. This is done to prevent players from counting cards. However, in online live blackjack, the dealer cuts the cards, and the game starts.
The blackjack player has the following options as outlined by the online blackjack rules. Please note that the online blackjack rules follow the classic blackjack rules found in land-based casinos, only honed to fit the online blackjack game:
Hitting means that the player takes another card from the deck. The player can hit multiple times before deciding to stand as long the sum does not go over 21.
Surrendering in blackjack happens when the player has little chance of winning. In the case of surrender, the player loses half of their initial bet.
The player can decide to split their cards if they receive two cards of the same rank. It splits the cards into separate hands, but the player must provide an additional bet to do this.
Doubling down means doubling the initial bet when the player believes they can win the hand. After you double down, you can only receive one more card, and following the online blackjack rules, you can not hit again.
When the player is satisfied with their hand, they can decide to stand, not take any more cards, or make other decisions. It is a safe play when you have a high score close to 17, as it is very easy to get a high card and go over 21.
In blackjack, the player places a bet, takes action, and waits to see if they have a better hand than the dealer.
There are three ways to win in blackjack:
Still, it requires the player to play each hand optimally and employ a strategy that will consider all the options, including the dealer’s card. When using the basic strategy, the long-term advantage becomes minimal.
For example, if the dealer card is a good one, like 7, 8, 9, or 10, the player should not stop until they reach 17 or more. If the dealer card is lower, like 4, 5, or 6, the player should stop drawing when he gets 12 or higher. The basic strategy is never to take a card if the player can go bust, hoping the dealer will go over 21.
The guide above may seem confusing, but believe us when we say that following the online blackjack rules couldn’t be simpler. Also, when it comes to playing online blackjack, the available payout is 3:2 or 2:1.
The important thing is to know when to hit and when to stand, when to split, when to double down, and when to surrender. Each of these affects the house edge, and while it may be tricky for a novice player, it becomes easier once you start playing.
You can use several strategies to improve your winning chances, as blackjack is ultimately a game of skill. However, there is only one “real” blackjack strategy that gives you a real edge over the dealer. Yes, we are talking about counting cards in blackjack, as it lets you keep track of the cards as the game progresses and make better decisions.
Counting cards improve your winning chances in blackjack, but it is very tricky to do!
Here is a list of the standard terms used in blackjack:
Blackjack is legal in India if you join a reputable international online casino that accepts Indian players.
You can find plenty of online options to play blackjack in India, but we have recommended a list of trusted online casinos you can join, and the following online casinos top our list: 22Bet, 1xBet, Betway, and 10Cric.
The player and dealer get two cards each, and the objective is to reach 21 or the closest without going over. The player can take action before the dealer and decide when to stand, in which case the dealer takes effort, and the showdown happens, where the winner is determined.
Playing blackjack online is very straightforward – you join a reputable online casino, deposit money, claim your welcome bonus, select any of the provided online blackjack games, and have some fun.