Blackjack Rules

Blackjack Rules

If at anytime you are unsure of a term used, check out our blackjack glossary of termssection.

The rules of BlackJack may differ slightly from casino to casino, whether it’s an online casino or a live casino. So, it is very important to review the rules at each casino before sitting down and even better yet, will help teach you how to play blackjack online.

The Basics
To win, your cards total value must be closer to 21 than the dealer’s cards without
busting (value more than 21).

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If you make a total of 21 with the first two cards dealt to you (a 10/face and an Ace), you win automatically. This is called ‘Blackjack’. If you have Blackjack, you will win one and one-half times your bet, unless the dealer also has Blackjack, in which case it is a Push or a Tie and you get your bet back. If you beat the dealer without getting “blackjack”, than your bet is matched by the house.

The numerical values of the cards are:

10, J, Q, K = 10

Ace = 1 or 11

All other cards = face value ex. 3 = 3 and 6 = 6

The Table
The BlackJack table seats a dealer and one to seven players. The first seat on the dealer’s left is referred to as First Base, the first seat on the dealer’s right is referred to as Third Base. A betting square is printed on the felt table in front of each player seat. Immediately in front of the dealer is the chip tray. On the dealer’s left is the deck or shoe and beside that should be the minimum bet sign.

On the dealer’s immediate right is the money drop slot where all currency and tips (chips) are deposited. Next to the drop slot is the discard tray. Play begins after the following ritual is completed: the dealer shuffles the cards, the deck is “cut” by a player using the marker card, and the dealer “burns” a card. Before any cards are dealt, the players may make a wager by placing the desired chips (value and number) into the betting box.

Once all the bets are down, two cards (one at a time) are dealt from left to right. In many Vegas casinos, players get both cards face down. In Atlantic City and most every where else the player’s cards are dealt face up. Should the cards be dealt face up, don’t make the faux pas of touching them! They are dealt face up for a reason, primarily to prevent a few types of player cheating. The dealer receives one card face down and one card face up.

General Rules for the Dealer
If the dealer’s hand is 16 or less, he/she must take a card. If the dealer’s hand is 17 or more, he/she must stand. Note that some casinos allow the dealer to hit on soft 17 which gives the house a very small additional advantage. The dealer’s strategy is fixed and what you and the other players have is immaterial to him/her as far as hitting and standing is concerned.

Insurance comes into play when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. If a player wants insurance, half the original amount bet is placed on the semicircle labeled “insurance” which is printed on the table.