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Basic rules for blackjack

Blackjack is a comparing card game that is played with one, two or multiple decks 52 cards each. The number of decks for a game ranges from one to eight. The blackjack game is played at a semi-circular table with 5 to 9 playing positions (usually 7). Here you can read about the basic rules for blackjack and main decisions while playing blackjack.

The initial card hand includes two cards. According to the rules for blackjack, the players can draw cards in order to bring their hands closest to the value of 21, but not to exceed it. The dealer must fail to bring his card hand value up to the players' total or go bust with a total exceeding 21. In fact, in blackjack the players can see each other's cards as they play against the dealer, not against each other.

Card values

Each card in the game of blackjack possesses its own value:

  • The value of cards representing numbers corresponds to the actual number of each card - 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10.
  • Cards representing pictures ('face cards') - Jack, Queen& King - get value of 10.
  • The value of Aces depends on the player's current hand totalvalue and is either 1 or 11. The hand with an ace valued 1 or 11 is called 'soft hand'.

The total value of each hand is determined by summing up all individual card values of the player's hand.

Game process

The game begins with the players making bets. The bets are placed in the "betting boxes" at each playing position. According to the rules for blackjack, the dealer then announces that no more bets are possible.

Each player is dealt two face-up cards. The dealer who plays after the players gets one face-up and one face-down card called "Up Card" and "Hole Card" respectively. The cards are dealt out either face-up (the players cannot touch their cards) or face-down (the cards can be held with one hand only).

The player, whose initial two-card hand value makes 21, has "Blackjack"("Natural").It can be reached if the player has an Ace (now valued 11) and any other 10-valued card - either 10 or a 'picture'. The payout is 3 to 2 and is distributed immediately.

The face-up card of the dealer is visible to the players and they can make playing decisions accordingly. If the dealer's face-up card is an Ace or a card valued 10, the dealer checks the other card for "Blackjack". If the dealer gets "Blackjack", other players lose.

When initial hands are dealt, the game continues with the first player sitting on the left of the dealer. The rules for blackjack define a whole range of different decisions the player can make while playing blackjack. These can be:


  • Hit or Stand. The player either takes another card (hits), or reveals his current hand value and attempts to beat the dealer.
  • Double. The player doubles his or her bet and draws one card.
  • Split. The player who has same value initial cards (like two Queens or two fours) makes another bet and splits his or her cards into two hands. A card is added to each of the split cards to make two normal 2-card hands.
  • Surrender. The player may give up half of his or her bet and quit the game before any actions are taken.
  • Insurance. Possibly one of the most ambiguous rules for blackjack, extra blackjack insurance bet can be made when a player supposes the dealer has "Blackjack" and wishes to reduce his or her possible loss.