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Blackjack Rules - The Basics

Blackjack Rules - The Basics Image

Blackjack Rules - The Basics

Compared to the majority of other table games available in an online or offline casino, Blackjack needs the player to make quite a few decisions during play. The game is extremely popular and you can find many different variations with some exclusive to a particular casino along with any special rules.

Here at Free Casino we offer guides to the most common Blackjack rules of play you will come across. Online casinos generally offer the most variations of the game but we will be looking predominantly at European (Classic) Blackjack.

The Basics

Just like its original name of “Vingt-et-un” (meaning “21”), the aim of the game is to get the total of your cards as close to 21 points as possible without exceeding 21. The numbering of the cards to create your total points is straightforward from 2 to 9 but the Jack, Queen and King are each worth 10 points and an Ace counts as 1 or 11 points. It is the player that decides what points to allocate for the Ace dependent on the hand during the game.

If the total points in a players hand exceeds 21 then they are 'bust' and instantly lose. If however the dealer exceeds 21 then all players still in play win with their bet plus winnings being returned which is generally the same amount as the bet.

If both the dealers and the players hands are under 21 then whoever is the closest to 21 wins.


The game of blackjack allows multiple players to take part in the same game at the same time against the dealer with each player in turn making their decision on their hand. Not only this but the game usually allows each player to have multiple hands during the same game. However the total of hands in play is limited to usually a maximum of 6 or 8 as a combination of single player and multiple player hands.

The Dealer

As you play the game you will see that the dealer is not having to make any decisions. In all the most common variations of the game of Blackjack the dealer will have to hit up to and including 16. If the hand has a total of 17 to 21 then the dealer has to stick. The dealer is also not allowed to double-down or split or make any other decision.

Playing Blackjack

As the game itself first starts a player must make their bet on the Blackjack table before any cards are dealt by the dealer. Once all players bets have been made the dealer can then deal the cards from his left. Each player and the dealer will receive 2 cards with the players being shown and the dealer having only one card shown.

If any player at the table is lucky enough to be dealt a blackjack then they have instantly won and receive a 3 to 2 payout. If this is not the case for the dealer or the player then the first player at the table now makes their decision on whether to hit or stand.

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