Learning blackjack is very easy and requires a few steps for you to get started. In order for you the master the game and develop you own unique strategies, you certainly need to learn the rules of the game.

In this guide, I will outline the blackjack rules for beginners.

Understanding blackjack

Blackjack is a card game where players get to compete with the dealer. The main objective of the game is to beat the dealer in order win. Therefore, your hand has to be greater than that of the dealer’s hand. Blackjack assigns a point value to each card. If the first two cards total a value of 21 you are awarded with a blackjack and the payout is 2:1.

How to play

The moment when players take their seats, you would have to place your bets before cards are dealt. After bets have been placed, the dealer deals 2 cards (face-up) to each player and finally deals 2 cards to himself – one card face-up and the other face down.

Each card is assigned a point value. Face cards – 1 to 10 carry their face value and K, Q, J have a point value of 10 while the Aces is given two point values. The Ace can act either as an 11 or 1. The only possible way to get a blackjack is with a 10 and an Ace.

In blackjack, the fundamental rule is to get a hand value that is equal to 21 or close to 21 and it should be higher than the dealer’s hand value. If your hand value is equal to the dealer’s hand value, it is known as a ‘push’ and you neither lose nor win. If the hand value of the dealer or player exceeds 21, it is known as a ‘bust’ and you lose.

Thus, in this game, players are competing with the dealer. On the other hand, the dealer should abide to certain rules. Usually, the dealer is meant to ‘stand’ on soft 17. This means that if the dealer’s hand value totals 17 he should automatically stand. Hence, during the game, the dealer’s objective is to get a hand value that is equal or slightly above 17.

Therefore, during game play, you can target to get a hand value slightly above 18 and there are greater chances of winning the hand when you have a value equal to 18 or above. Before game play, all players would have to place their bets, cards are dealt to each player, and the betting round commences.

For the players, you also need to abide to certain rules during game play. The betting options offered include Hit, Stand, Double, Split, Insurance, and Surrender. Players can call as many cards as they wish as long the value does not go above 21. Depending on the variation, a player is not allowed to double down on any hand. You can only double down on a hand value of 9,10 and 11. For the split option, some variations will only allow you to split and re-split on anything while others do not allow re-splits as well as splitting on Aces.

Each variation makes use of a certain number of decks. Other variations use 4 or less decks while others may use up to 8 decks. Thus, if you are a card counter, you certainly need to know the number of decks used by the variation so as to select the best card counting system of choice.


Blackjack is an easy game to play but for you to win big you need to practice more often. There are various blackjack variations available and one as to try out each variation so as to select a variation that suits your style of play.