Blackjack, formerly Vingt-Un and now equally well known as Twenty-One, is an iconic casino game.

While it’s a game of chance with simple rules, only players with a high strategy can beat the odds. But, yeah, you need some luck as well in this ultimate challenge against the house.

So, how do you play it, and what’s the premise of the game? Let’s learn.

How to Play Blackjack

We play 21 with between 52 to 416, i.e. one to eight 52-card decks. But 312 cards (the six-deck game) is the most popular.

Of these cards, Aces assume both the highest (11) and the lowest (1) value, while the Face cards count as 10. The points Ace awards are subject to how it favours the hand. But the rest of the cards take the value of their ranks.

Before the game starts, you place your bets. The game has three outcomes, player win, tie, or the house wins.

Blackjack starts with the dealer dealing two cards to every player, including themselves as the representative of the house. One of the dealer’s cards faces up. The second card, called the hole card, faces down.

Most players, even the most experienced, hardly get the object of the Blackjack game right. They think it is to get as close to 21 much as possible without exceeding it.

Well, that’s half true. The object of the Blackjack game is to beat the dealer in getting to 21. It follows that your card total, otherwise referred to as the hand total, should be greater than the dealer’s sum but less or equal to 21.

When your total goes above 21, then you bust, losing the game instantly. Likewise, if you push the dealer to burst their hand, then you win the match.

Once everyone has had their turn, the dealer reveals the hole card. In most cases, the house draws another card if the dealer’s hand is 17, including an Ace and other card or cards, or is less than 17.

Blackjack Lingo

Blackjack is only simple to understand if you know the language of the game. Understanding the terminology helps you to make the right decision, especially when playing blackjack for real money.

So, here are some key terms you’ll come across in the game:

  • Hit: Pick another card to add to your hand. It can either burst or bring your total closer to 21.
  • Stand: Also referred to as ‘sitting’. You stand when you are comfortably close to 21, ending your turn.
  • Double: Increase your bet with the same amount but pick another card.
  • Split: Separate your cards into two different hands, each representing an individual player. But it only happens if you have two cards of the same value, you double your bet, and receive a card each of each hand.
  • Surrender: Some casinos’ blackjack games allow you to surrender once you receive the first two cards. If you do, you give up half your wager but salvage the other half.

Note: You can have up to four hands from resplitting. Some games, however, don’t allow splitting of Aces.

The Blackjack trick lies in counting the cards. When playing a live dealer game or at a brick-and-mortar where humans determine the outcome of the game, you can easily manipulate the opponents using your tactical card counting skills. For online casinos, though, the Random Number Generators (RGNs) produce the results, making online blackjack purely a game of chance.

With these basic rules and terms, you are ready to try your hands at free blackjack before you play for real money. Now can you put what you have learned to practice?