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Ben Horlock

Learning how to play blackjack involves receiving two cards and trying to get as close to 21 as possible without going over, while also beating the dealer’s two cards with a higher hand.

It may at first seem daunting having seen it in movies and wondered how you can get started? But, by learning the game’s basic rules and a few tips and strategies, you’ll be up and running in no time.

Introduction To Blackjack: The Facts

Blackjack is often perceived as a game of luck in the US, winning at blackjack requires a lot more than just luck. To learn how to play blackjack at a casino, let’s have a look at the basic overview of the game and what it means to play online. Blackjack is a card game in which players aim to get a hand that totals 21 or as close to 21 as possible.

You receive two cards to start with; you can then decide to get more (“hit”) or keep your hand as is (“stand”). In online blackjack, you either play against a computer or a live dealer, but the goal remains the same: beat the dealer’s hand without busting. All hands online are randomized fairly with RNG (random number generators). Most of the top crypto casinos and other fast payout casinos have detailed documents on how the games work and how the numbers are generated.

Blackjack Rules: A Step-By-Step Guide

If you want to learn how to play blackjack at home, the easiest way to do that is to see how the game flows in a few simple steps. Knowing how to play the blackjack card game starts here, with the blackjack rules.

  1. Buy Chips

    Players buy chips from the dealer.
  2. Decks Shuffled

    The dealer shuffles the deck(s) of cards and offers the player to cut the deck(s).
  3. Place Bet

    Each player places their bet.
  4. Cards Dealt

    The dealer then gives out two cards to each player and two to themselves. The cards are dealt face up for the players, but one of the dealer’s cards is dealt face down.
  5. Play Hand

    Players decide how to play their hand based on the value of their cards and the dealer’s upcard by hitting, standing, etc.
  6. Dealer Reveals

    Once all hands have finished, the dealer will then turn over their facedown card.
  7. Dealer Plays

    The dealer must hit if their hand totals 16 or less and stand on 17 or higher.
  8. Dealer Closes

    If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, the players win.
  9. Winnings Distributed

    If the dealer’s hand is still in play, it is compared to each player’s hand. Players who have a better hand than the dealer win even money (1:1) on their bet. Players with a lower hand total lose their bet. Players with the same hand total as the dealer push (tie) and their bet is returned.
how to play blackjack hand

Playing Blackjack – The Layout

Truly understanding blackjack and how to play can only be done when you understand the table and its layout. If you want to learn how to win at blackjack, you first need to appreciate the nuances of the table.

The Table

The blackjack table is where the game takes place. It typically seats multiple players and features a designated area for bets, cards, and the dealer’s position. If it’s online blackjack at the best online casinos, you’ll notice that they do their best to simulate seats around the virtual table.

how to play blackjack table

The Two Betting Areas

The blackjack table has two main betting areas: one for the main bet and another for optional side bets like insurance or doubling down. This is where you place your bets.

The Dealer

The dealer manages the game, dealing cards to the players and themselves, collecting bets, and enforcing the rules. The dealer follows specific rules for playing their hand, such as hitting or standing, based on the total value of their cards.

Discover Card Values in Blackjack

When you learn how to play casino blackjack, it’s vital to understand the card values. Card values are pivotal in winning hands, which is why you need to familiarize yourself with them before you start.

Tens & Picture Cards

In blackjack, Tens and Picture Cards (Jack, Queen, King) all have a value of ten. This means that receiving any of these cards as part of your initial hand contributes ten points toward your total hand value. These are often the best cards to be dealt initially, so keep that in mind as you learn how to play blackjack.

Numbered Cards

Numbered cards (2 through 9) in blackjack have their face value. For example, a 5 of hearts is worth five points, a 7 of clubs is worth seven points, and so on. These cards directly contribute their numerical value to the total hand value.


Aces are unique in blackjack because they can have a value of either 1 or 11, depending on what is most beneficial for the hand. If counting the ace as 11 would cause the hand to bust (exceed 21), it counts as 1. However, if counting the ace as 11 does not result in a bust, then it counts as 11.

Understand Different Types of Blackjack Games

Learning how to play blackjack online doesn’t just mean one variation that we all know and love. Instead, you can learn blackjack game rules for a host of different variations of the game.

how to play blackjack variations

Double Deck Blackjack

In Double Deck Blackjack, the game is played with two decks instead of the traditional single deck or multiple decks. This variation can affect both the strategy and blackjack odds.

Six Deck Blackjack

Six-deck blackjack is a common variation in which six decks of cards are used in the game. The increased number of decks can change the game’s dynamics and influence player strategy.

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is played with a deck that does not contain any 10s. With this type of blackjack, you have the option to double down on a number of cards. You can learn some different strategies when you try to understand how to play 21 blackjack.

Blackjack Switch

In Blackjack Switch, you are dealt two hands of two cards instead of one. You then have the option to switch the second cards of each hand to try to make the best hand possible.


Pontoon is a British blackjack variant where your hands are known as “pontoons” instead of “blackjacks.” The game features different terminology and rules compared to traditional blackjack, including the ability to “twist” (hit) after doubling down.

European Blackjack

European Blackjack, while almost like standard blackjack, is slightly different in that the dealer gets one card face up at the start of the hand. Most of the top cash app casinos offer European Blackjack along with special variations of it.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

Vegas Strip Blackjack is a popular variation commonly found in Las Vegas casinos, some of the top poker casinos, and other highly rated online casinos. It typically features liberal rules, such as the dealer standing on soft 17 and the ability to double down after splitting.

What’s the Difference Between Online Blackjack & Offline Blackjack?

Whether you are learning how to play blackjack in a casino or online, it’s helpful to appreciate the pros and cons of both options.


  • Offline blackjack has a great community feel to it
  • Online blackjack is super convenient
  • Promotions can be claimed when playing online blackjack


  • Offline blackjack doesn’t have any promos or rewards to cash in on
  • Online blackjack lacks that social feeling that land-based casinos offer

Improve Your Blackjack Skills: Tips & Strategies

To learn how to play online blackjack with instant payout at the best gambling sites, you’ll need to know a few strategies or take on a few blackjack tips to help you get better at the game.

Basic Strategy

Mastering basic blackjack strategy is essential for improving your blackjack skills. Basic strategy is all about basing your decisions on mathematical probability. Charts and tables are available that outline the best move to make in every possible situation, helping you minimize the house edge and maximize your chances of winning. These charts and tables are a great way to learn blackjack for beginners and you can use the best no ID verification casinos to register seamlessly and start playing blackjack.

Splitting Pairs

Knowing when to split pairs can improve your blackjack performance. Generally, you should split pairs of Aces and 8s, but avoid splitting pairs of 5s and 10s. Splitting Aces gives you a chance to form two strong hands while splitting 8s helps you avoid a weak hand total of 16.

how to play blackjack splitting pairs

Doubling Down

Doubling down is a feature of the game that lets you double the size of your bet and receive one more card. This strategy is advantageous when you have a strong hand, and the dealer’s upcard is weak.

how to play blackjack double down

Advanced Strategies

Learning advanced strategies, like card counting, can provide an edge in blackjack. While not essential, understanding basic card counting principles involves tracking the ratio of high cards to low cards remaining in the deck. Remember, these strategies are very tough to learn, and you won’t find them in many how to play blackjack for beginners guides.


Blackjack insurance is a side bet offered to the player if and when the dealer is holding an ace. It lets you bet that the dealer has blackjack, thereby protecting your original bet. However, insurance is generally considered a poor bet in the long run, as it does not offer favorable odds.

how to play blackjack insurance


Surrendering is an option where you can forgo half of your initial bet and get half back before the hand has ended.

Avoid Side Bets

While side bets may seem tempting, they often have a high house edge and can quickly deplete your bankroll. It’s generally advisable to avoid side bets and focus on playing the main blackjack game according to basic strategy.

Managing Your Bankroll

Effective bankroll management is one of the most important things you can do to sustain your blackjack play over time. Set a budget for your gambling activities and stick to it, avoiding the temptation to chase losses or bet more than you can afford. The best casino apps provide options to toggle wagering settings inside the app to help you with your bankroll management.

Practice, Practice, and More Practice

Improving your blackjack skills takes time and practice. Many online casinos offer you the chance to play free blackjack games where you don’t need to bet any real money. Here, you can learn the ins and outs of the game and develop strategies with minimal risk.

Stay Disciplined

Maintaining discipline is key to becoming a successful blackjack player. Always play what is in front of you, and never rely on what you think are lucky numbers.

Blackjack Glossary

There are many blackjack phrases to be aware of, from ‘dealer busted’ to ‘hand signal’, so here are a few popular terms you need to know if you want to learn how to play blackjack.

  • Blackjack: This is where you are dealt a hand total of 21 right off the bat.
  • Bust: Going over a hand total of 21.
  • Dealer: The person dealing the cards.
  • Double Down: As the name suggests, this is where you double your bet. You are also then dealt another card.
  • Hard Hand: Generally speaking, it’s a hand that doesn’t contain an ace.
  • Hit: Asking for an additional card from the dealer.
  • Hole Card: The dealer’s unrevealed card.
  • House Edge: The statistical advantage the casino holds over players in a particular game.
  • Insurance: A side bet you can take if the dealer has an ace as their face-up card.
  • Push: This is a draw between the player and the dealer. When both your hands amount to the same value.
  • Shoe: The device used multiple decks to hold and dispense cards to the dealer in games.
  • Soft Hand: A hand containing an Ace valued at 11 without busting.
  • Split: This is where you split two of the same cards you have been dealt to create two hands.
  • Stand: Keeping your current hand.
  • Surrender: Tapping out by giving up half your bet.

Learn How To Play Blackjack: Questions and Answers

Here are a few frequently asked questions about playing blackjack.

Can I play blackjack online?

How do you play basic blackjack?

Is blackjack a skill or luck?

What are the rules of blackjack?

Is blackjack the same as 21?

Ben Horlock

Ben is an experienced news and features writer who specializes in providing expert guides on all aspects of online and in-person gambling. Ben has over ten years experience writing for web-based audiences and has strong expertise in casinos, online cryptocurrency gambling platforms as well as slots and table games. Ben has been published across a number of english international news outlets, including InstantCasinos and BitcoinCasino. As well, Ben has worked in social media for four years in the sports gambling industry.