September 10, 2019

Blackjack: How To Play

Blackjack: How To Play

Blackjack—a game that switches between a game of skill and a game of luck. Is it a gambling game or is it a game you can learn, master and win with special systems and methods? If you’re interested in playing blackjack, it’s important to learn the rules as well as table etiquette first. Don’t worry, this article will walk you through all everything that covers what you need to know about this game.

History of Blackjack

Blackjack, like most modern games we know, wasn’t invented at any one time by any particular person.  There were already similar games played in France in the 1700s. One particular version was known as vingt-et-un, the French word for 21. The game spread to North America as the French colonized parts of the continent. Eventually, the game evolved over the years and has become the blackjack as we know it today.

Blackjack was still called “21” when gambling was first made legal in Nevada in 1931. In order to attract more attention to the game, several casinos made a special bet: a hand featuring the Ace of Spades plus either of the blackjacks on deck (the Jack of Spades or the Jack of Clubs) would pay 10-to-1 odds on the player’s bet. Even though the casinos have long stopped offering these special payouts, the name “blackjack” stuck. It continues to be one of the most popular table games at casinos all over the world to this day.

The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is actually quite easy to play and the rules are really simple, which is why it continues to be popular up to this day. The goal is to get a hand with a value as close as possible to 21 without going over. If a hand goes over 21, it’s called a bust.

In blackjack, the players do not play against each other—they play against the dealer. Each player’s goal is to beat the dealer’s hand.

The suits have no meaning in blackjack. Number cards are worth the same as their number, while the rest of the picture cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) are worth 10. Aces can either be worth 11 or 1 depending on what benefits the person holding the hand. For example, a hand with an Ace and an Eight would have a value of 19 (the Ace is worth 11 and is called a Soft Ace). An Ace with a Four and a Nine would have a value of 14 (in this case the Ace is worth 1 and is called a Hard Ace, because the hand would bust if the Ace were valued at 11).

Blackjack Gameplay

After all the bets are placed, the dealer distributes two cards to each player, moving around the table and handing out one card at a time.

  • There are two different ways to deal in blackjack: Nevada Deal and London Deal. In a Nevada Deal, the player’s cards are dealt face down and the dealer deals two cards to himself—one face up and the other face down. In a London Deal, the player’s card is dealt face up and the dealer deals one card for himself face up. In both Nevada and London Deal, the players can see one of the dealer’s cards.
  • Each player, then, checks if his hand is close enough to 21 that he can beat the dealer’s hand based on the dealer card that is visible. If it is so, he stands, and the game moves on to the next player.
  • If a player wants to try and get his hand closer to 21, he requests a hit, and the dealer hands him an additional card.
  • If a player hasn’t gone bust from the first hit, he has to decide if he wants to be hit again or if he wants to stand. The game doesn’t move on to the next player until the current player either busts or stands.
  • Once all the players have had their turn, the dealer will then reveal his second card (for the Nevada Deal) or will deal himself a second card (for a London Deal) face up.
  • IF the dealer’s hand amounts to 17 or more, he has to stay. On the other hand, if his total amounts to 16 or less, he has to hit. The dealer has no choice—he has to play by these rules for every game. If the dealer busts, every player who didn’t bust wins.


On the other hand, if the dealer doesn’t bust, his hand is compared to each player’s hand. The one with the highest total wins; with a tie, a player gets his bet back, but doesn’t win anything.

If you get a blackjack (an Ace and a card worth 10) as your opening cards, then it’s almost as good as winning. It pays 3-2 or one and a half times the original bet. If the dealer also gets a blackjack (which is entirely possible), everyone at the table loses. If both the player and the dealer get a blackjack, it ends in a push.

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