How to Play Blackjack

A classic favorite game at most casinos is Blackjack. It is important to understand how…
How to Play Blackjack
ZA Casinos

A classic favorite game at most casinos is Blackjack. It is important to understand how the game is played, from the basic rules, the objective, and strategy. You will be in a position to play smarter, which is important in this fast paced game of strategy. Many rulebooks will tell you that the purpose or goal is to get as close to 21 when you add your cards together, but this isn’t the whole story. The key is to get as close to 21 without going over, but you also want to beat the dealer, which can happen in a number of different ways. Read on to learn how to play Blackjack.

Card Values in Blackjack

In Blackjack, all cards between 2 and 10 have their face value. The suit of the card is irrelevant. The face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) have a value of 10 points, and the Ace is worth either one point of eleven points. You determine the value of your hand by adding all of the cards together. If you have an Ace and a Jack, you have 21, which is blackjack.
If you have a queen and a five and the dealer has a king and a five, you both have 15. There is no added value given to the King over the queen.

Placing Your Bet

When you sit down at a Blackjack table, you will place a bet. Most tables have a minimum, and some have a maximum. You will normally use chips, and you should trade cash to the dealer. If you have $100, you can get chips in denominations of $1 (white), $5 (red), 25 (green), $100 (black) and so on.
You can place your chips on the table to indicate that you are going to play. There is a spot called the betting box where you should place your bet. Once the bets are placed, the dealer will deal the cards. The dealer’s cards will have one up and one down, and the players can either have cards showing or cards facing down. You will be allowed to hold the cards, but they must be above the table at all times, and you can only use one hand.

Once you have your cards and can see the dealer’s face-up card, you have to make a decision. This involves knowing more rules.

How to Ask for a Hit in Blackjack

When you ask for a hit, you are asking the dealer to give you another card. Often, you can show the dealer you want a hit by placing your forefinger on the table and swiping toward your cards, or you can tap behind your cards. If you are holding your cards, you can swipe them on the table. You should move for a hit if you want another card.

How to Stand in Blackjack

If you are happy with your cards and do not want another card, you can wave your hand across the tops of the cards with your palm down to indicate that you want to stand. You can also place your cards under the chips in your betting box. This shows the dealer that you do not want another card.

Splitting Pairs

If you have two of the same card, you can split them, but you need to place an equal bet on the second card. You will then take a hit on each card, and you will be laying with two sets of cards instead of one. This is especially common if you draw two Aces or eights. If you split Aces, many casinos will only allow you to draw one card on each.

Doubling Down

When you double down, you are doubling your initial bet. You will only receive one draw card. The time to do this might be if you have a five and a six, because there is a high likelihood of drawing a card worth 10 points. When you choose to double down, you can place a chip next to your original bet to indicate that you want to double down.


If the dealer has an Ace showing, he or she will offer insurance to the players. If you choose to take insurance, you can bet half or less of your original bet. You will win if the dealer has a card worth 10 points.

Even Money Bet

If you have a Blackjack hand (an Ace and a card worth 10 points) and the dealer has an Ace showing, the dealer will ask you if you want even money. If you take it, the dealer will pay you at a rate of one to one before checking his or her card.

Rules for the Dealer

When you play Blackjack, the dealer doesn’t have many choices; he or she must play by specific rules. If the dealer’s hand is less than 16, he or she must take a hit. The dealer has to stand if the cards total between 17 and 21 points.


Your goal is to get as close to 21 without going over, but it is also to beat the dealer. You can use the dealer’s rules as a standard, and many people do follow those rules. If the dealer has a two through six showings, many people play as if the dealer has a 10 underneath because there are more 10 cards than any others. This means that you assume the dealer has to take a hit, which you can also play the odds and assume it will be a 10. The idea is that the dealer will bust.

Many people choose not to take a hit if their cards total 12 or higher in this situation. Everyone has a different strategy, but the idea is to play the odds and try to beat the dealer. Blackjack can be a lot of fun, and if you have any questions, watch the table for a few rounds before you play.