Blackjack Rules and Guide for Beginners

You might have seen Blackjack being played in the movies, or simply saw commercials for it on various sites that advertise smartphone apps. But if you never played Blackjack you probably had a hard time following what’s going on in the movie, or simply ignored the ad. Blackjack is actually a pretty easy to learn card game that’s very dynamic, fun, and usually played at casinos. 

Here we will be going over How to Play Blackjack, give an overview of the rules, and also some strategies for the beginners. If you heard those lines that you need to know how to count cards in order to win and do crazy mental calculations, don’t worry, none of that is actually needed in order to play and enjoy this game. 

Blackjack rules

The game is played with the entire deck of cards, except for jokers of course. Each card has value or worth. The cards in your hand are added together and compared to other hands at the table, the player with the higher score wins. However, the keywords here are higher, not the highest. Any hand with a score of 22 or more, automatically loses.

The cards are valued based on their rank 2 equals 2 points, 5 equals 5 points, etc. Face cards all have a set value of 10 points, just like card 10. The exception to this rule is an ace which can either be worth 1 point or 11 points, which is up to you depending on the situation. In other words, if you get 1 and any card that has a score of 10 you automatically win.

In order to play blackjack, you need a dealer and at least one player who is going to play against the dealer, but more players can join the table. Regardless of the number of players, your hand will always be stacked against the dealer’s hand. So, even if other people at the table have better scores than you so long as you beat the dealer you are entitled to your winnings. 

Start of the game and player actions

The game is played using chips and each player needs to put down a minimum amount of chips for each game. Each player will be dealt 2 cards that are face-up, apart from the dealer who gets one face-up card and one face-down card. Depending on the cards you’re dealt you get to decide on one of the two following actions.

  • Stand – meaning you don’t want any additional cards and you are happy with your hand
  • Hit – you want an additional card, after which you decide whether you want to stand or hit again

In case you are dealt two same cards you can choose to split your hand and take the same actions for each of those hands independently. 

You can also double the number of your chips before taking each action if you feel you are going to beat the dealer. 

Once each player decides to stand the dealer will reveal his face down card, and if the total score of his hand is below 16 he must draw another card. The dealer has to draw until he hits 17 and has to stand if he has exactly 18. Bear in mind that the dealer always acts last, so if you get 22 or more you still lose, regardless whether the dealer acted or not. 

Lastly bear in mind that surrender is an option as well, if you don’t feel you can win, you can choose to surrender and only half of your chips will be lost.