Blackjack Rules and Overview

There is one game that is played in the casinos more than any other game known to mankind. That very special game is blackjack. The object of this classic is to get your cards to total 21 or closer to 21 than the dealer. Do not go over the 21 count or you have “bust” and automatically lose the hand.

Did you catch the sweetest part of blackjack? You only need to beat the dealer! While there may be six other players sitting with you at the table, you only need to beat the dealer. This fact and the opportunity to see almost all the cards played gives strategic players a great advantage.

When counting your blackjack cards towards your 21 points, the numbered cards are worth their face value. The Jack, Queen, and King are worth 10 points. The Ace is a special card that has two very important possibilities. Your Ace may be worth 11 points or 1 point; you choose.

To begin the hand, you will place your bet and the dealer deals each player two cards face up (although some styles still deal the players’ cards face down). The dealer’s hand will be one card down and one face up. Players take turns taking more cards. If you want another card to try and get closer to 21, this is called a “hit” and you are allowed to take as many as you want to get closer to the 21 goal.

Once you are happy with your cards’ total, say “stand” or “stay”, to let the dealer know you are finished taking cards. The dealer has a set of guidelines from the casino on whether or not they are to “hit” or “stay”. In fact, there is not a simple answer for you, but do look at the table where you play. 17 is the magic number, and all dealers “stay” with a hard 17. If they have a soft 17, some casinos allow the dealer to hit on that hand. Look on the table for a H17 (for “hit” on soft 17) or S17 (“stays” on all 17) to denote which rule they are using.

It is completely possible to reach a tie after all of your hard work. What happens in the case of a tie against the dealer? A tie is called a “push” and no one wins. All of the chips that you have put in the pot are returned to you.

Blackjack is really a simple game, but there are so many levels to dig deeper into so that you can make a more informed play. Blackjack players are encouraged to understand the “basic strategy” of blackjack. There are so many great strategies, as simple or as complicated as you like. That is what makes blackjack such a popular game for players of all backgrounds. Casinos online and on land all over the world offer a great variety of blackjack games for you to learn about and play.