How to Play Blackjack: Here Are the Rules

Some games are simpler than others, and blackjack is among the many games that most people can learn how to play relatively quickly. For a game that is played only against one other person, blackjack is definitely a game that ends up confusing more people than it should.

For a 1v1 game, blackjack often seems like it is a game where you compete against other people as well. It is not so. Here are the rules of blackjack, so that you always know what you are up against.

The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a rather simple game of you against the dealer. The game is played with a standard 52 deck, however, multiple decks are almost always used, typically six of them, for a total of 312 cards. They are shuffled together prior to any gameplay.

The object of the game is to get to the number 21, or as close as possible to it. If you go over 21, you go bust and lose. The game has two phases, the one where you bet and the other one where you play.

You basically place chips on the little square at the table. After you have placed your bet, you are dealt two cards face up, as well as the dealer. Variations of blackjack allow you to have one card face up and another in your hands, but that is rare nowadays.

Once you get the cards, you can choose to be hit, or get another card, or to stand and pass. Numerical cards are worth their value, face cards are each worth 10 points and the ace is worth 1 or 11, whichever helps the player more. 

You play until either you or the dealer go bust or hit a 21, or until you pass. 

Basic Blackjack Calls

You can call Hit to get another card. This can be signaled with a tap on the table. You can call for a Stand, which means that you don’t want more cards dealt, which can be signaled by waving your hand sideways, hand palm down. You can double down on your bet if you feel sure that you will win the following hand. You can surrender, in which case you are given half of your current bet, in case that you don’t find your cards advantageous. 

You can split your bet, meaning you place an exact bet. The condition required for that is to get two cards of the same value. Splitting a bet is useful if you have two cards that you think could help you win two or one of the two separate bets.

Tips and Tricks

Blackjack is about you and the dealer. There may be other players at the table, but their cards mean nothing. You don’t need to look or care about their cards. The other players at the table play their own game against the dealer. What you care about is whether you can win against the dealer. 

You also want to avoid going bust. Surrendering if you have a huge initial score with just the two cards is a viable strategy, unless you get a 20, in which case you might as well stand. 

Blackjack is a relatively simple game that anyone can learn how to play. You can play it in casinos or online, if you want to practice. You can also play it in person, you just need another player.