Back to basics: Blackjack


    Blackjack, also known as 21, is a popular card game played between a player and a dealer. The objective of the game is to have a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21.

    No matter what type of player you are, it’s always good to refresh yourself with the basics, so you’re prepared for each game.

    With this in mind, we’ve put together a small list of Blackjack basics worth knowing or refreshing yourself with before your next casino online game.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to playing Blackjack, stripping back to basics…

    Card values

    In Blackjack, numbered cards are worth their face value. Face cards, also referred to as royal or picture cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are each worth 10. The Ace can be worth either 1 or 11, depending on which value benefits the player the most.


    The game begins with each player and the dealer receiving two cards. The players’ cards are dealt face-up, while one of the dealer’s cards is face-up, and the other is face-down.

    Player’s turn

    Starting from the left, if thinking about the entire Blackjack table, not just your own hand, each player takes turns deciding whether to “hit” or “stand”.

    “Hitting” means requesting an additional card to improve the hand, while “standing” means being satisfied with the current hand and declining any more cards.

    Players can continue to “hit” until they are satisfied with their hand or until they exceed 21, resulting in a “bust” and an automatic loss.

    Dealer’s turn

    After all the players around the table have completed their turns, it’s the dealer’s turn. The dealer reveals the face-down card and plays according to predetermined rules. Usually, the dealer must hit on a 16 or less and stand on a 17 or more.

    Hand resolution

    Once the dealer has completed their turn, the hands are compared. If the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21, the player wins and is paid out at even money.

    If the player’s hand exceeds 21, they bust and lose the bet.

    If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, the player wins.

    If both the player and dealer have the same hand value, it results in a “push”, and the player’s bet is returned.


    A “Blackjack” is a special hand consisting of an Ace and a 10-point card (10, Jack, Queen, or King). Getting a Blackjack automatically wins the hand, typically paying out at a higher rate, such as 3:2.

    Insurance and side bets

    In some Blackjack variations, players have the option to take insurance against the dealer having a Blackjack.

    Side bets may also be available, allowing players to bet on additional outcomes, such as pairs or specific card combinations. However, this isn’t offered in all games or casino establishments both on and offline.

    Now you’ve refreshed yourself with the basics of Blackjack, will you be sitting physically or virtually at a Blackjack table any time soon?