How to play Blackjack

unnamedAlso known as Twenty One, Blackjack is the most widely played casino game in the world. It is a card game where players are playing against the dealer (as opposed to a game like poker where you are playing against the other players at the table). Blackjack is one of the oldest casino card games, with references dating back to the early 1600s – it is believed that it is likely that it originated in Spain, with early literary references by the Spanish author (and noted gambler) Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote the classic work Don Quixote.

How the game works

The object of the game is to beat the dealer and there are three key ways in which this can be done.

1. The player can get twenty one points with the first two cards dealt (as long as the dealer does not also get twenty one points with the first two cards);

2. The player can reach a final score that is higher than the dealer’s final score (as long as the player does not exceed twenty one); or

3. The dealer draws cards that take their score above twenty one which means that the player who is holding a score of less than twenty one will win.

Card values

Face cards (kings, queens, and jacks) are scored as ten points. Aces can be scored as either one point or eleven points, this is determined at the discretion of the player. All other cards are scored at face value. A standard deck of fifty two cards is used to play the game.

Casino rules

Blackjack tables are one of the main features at most casinos. The casino’s dealer will generally be dealing to seven positions at the table. Multiple decks of cards may be used by the dealer – usually between one and eight standard decks are shuffled together. The dealer will deal to the players working from left to right. Each player is dealt two cards which are dealt face up. When it is their turn each player must decide whether to take another card (often referred to as a “hit”), to sit on the cards that they have and the bet that they have made (often referred to as “stand”). If a player has two cards of the same value they can choose to separate them and create two hands that the player can play simultaneously (often referred to as “split”). If at any point the player’s score exceeds twenty one then they are referred to as “bust” and the dealer collects their bet. The dealer must keep drawing cards until their score has reached 17 or higher. If the dealer busts then all remaining players win and the dealer must pay their bets.


Blackjack is an easy game to learn and a lot of fun to play. Whether you are playing in a casino, online, or just at home with friends, the rules are easy to learn and the betting is simple and easy to follow. Definitely a card game you should have in your repertoire.


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