Blackjack is a card game in which one or more players compete against the dealer. This game is unique to most other casino card games because the players do not compete against each other. The object of the game of blackjack is to get 21 points or reach a final score that is higher than the dealer’s without exceeding 21. Points are tallied up based on the cards in the player’s and dealer’s hands. The point values assigned to each card are listed below.
Blackjack Point Values
- Two = 2 points
- Three = 3 points
- Four = 4 points
- Five = 5 points
- Six = 6 points
- Seven = 7 points
- Eight = 8 points
- Nine = 9 points
- Ten = 10 points
- Jack = 10 points
- Queen = 10 points
- King = 10 points
- Ace = 1 point or 11 points
- Hit = asking the dealer for another card after the initial two have been dealt
- Stay = end the player’s turn by not receiving another card from the dealer
- Double or Double-down = double the initial bet and receive one more card from the dealer which ends the player’s turn
- Split = dividing a hand of two cards of the same value and turning them into two new hands with an additional bet
How To Play
The game begins once the player places their bet on the hand. In a real casino, there is no obligation for each player to place a bet on each hand. Online, a player can play at their own pace and bet when they are ready to play. Once the bet is placed on a hand, the dealer will deal two cards to both the player and themselves. The player’s cards will both be face up while the dealer will have one card face up and one card face down. Unless the dealer is dealt a hand equalling 21, the game continues by the player choosing to either hit or stay.
A player can take as many hits as they want until their hand is over 21. If player’s hand reaches a value of 21 then the game automatically stands, and the player will win as long as the dealer does not get 21. That scenario would turn the game into a “push” with the player getting their money back but no additional money from the dealer. If a player decides to stay, that means that they are happy with their hand and think that the dealer will bust trying to beat them. A bust is when a hand reaches over 21.
If the player is dealt two cards of the same value, they can split their hand. A split means that the player now has two separate hands with an equal bet placed on each. When the player has ended their turn, the dealer must now hit their hand until a total of 17 or more is reached. The dealer will always stand at 17. The player will win if their hand is greater than the dealer’s or if the dealer busts while trying to beat the player’s hand.
Two other types of bets in blackjack are the “double down” and the “insurance” bet. To double down means that the player will double their bet in exchange for one more card from the dealer. Doubling down is typically done when the player has a hand of either 10 or 11 because the likelihood of getting blackjack (21 points) is greater than the chance of busting. When the dealer has an ace, the player can place an insurance bet. This bet is and extra half of what they originally bet in anticipation of the dealer hitting blackjack. The player will be given a payout on the insurance bet if the dealer gets blackjack.
Blackjack is typically played with six to eight decks but can also be done with just one or two decks of cards. It is important to know how many decks of cards are being used to help determine the likelihood of getting the card that you need for your hand to be successful.