Blackjack Rules


Blackjack is one of the most common games in casinos. The main objective of a blackjack game is to beat the dealer. A blackjack game play involves several players, usually 5 to 7, and a dealer.

The players play against the dealer but not against other players. ‘Beating the dealer’ can be done by;

Getting a ‘Blackjack’ (21 points) with the first 2 cards, without the dealer having a blackjack

Having a higher score than the dealer without reaching 21 points

The dealer drawing cards until the hand exceeds 21 points.

Point to note: scoring above 21 is considered a ‘bust’ that is a loss.

Value of Cards

An ace can be counted as a 1 or an 11

The other cards, 2-9, are counted the same as their numerical value

The 10, Queen, King and Jack are valued at 10.

The Rules

You will need to buy chips for placing bets after selecting the appropriate table. You must know what the buy in amount is at a specific table. Chips are color coded for different denominations. Most of these are standardized but sometimes they a vary with regions.

The dealer uses 1 to 8 52-cards decks.

Up to 3 players place their bets in the betting box

The controlling player is the one with chips that are at the front of the betting box. This player makes the decisions on the plays in that particular hand.

A player can not touch the chips in the betting circle once the bets have been placed.

The dealer passes out cards from their left and makes 2 passes. That means that each player will have 2 cards (including the dealer). Cards may be dealt either face down or face up depending on the game. In a shoe game, the cards are dealt face up, in a hand held game, face down.

The dealer exposes the value of one of their cards by flipping it. The second card is the ‘hole card’ and is not revealed to the players. The dealer can only reveal the value of the hole card if it makes the hand a blackjack.

If a dealer has a blackjack, then all the players lose their bets. In case another player has a blackjack too, then this results to a ‘push’.

Play begins from the left side of the dealer, known as the ‘first base’. The player has the following options;

Hit- a player draws an additional card from the dealer. If the total points exceed 21 after a ‘hit’, then the player loses

Stand- the player does not take any more cards.

Double down- player doubles the bet and is all woe only one more card

Split- a player splits their cards into individual hands (if the initial 2 cards are of similar value). Each hand then gets an additional card. A player may then ‘double’ the hands or ‘stand’. An ace that has been split can only get one additional card.

Surrender- a player forfeits half their wager and keeps the other half. The player can not play out their hand after this.

A ‘split’ or ‘surrender’ is only allowed at the initial 2 cards (after the dealer has checked for blackjack)