How to Play Blackjack Tutorial

How to Play Blackjack

Tutorial on playing Blackjack

This tutorial is useful to read before you launch into playing Blackjack. Learn the rules and find free demos for basic information, and then you can go on and play.

Step one: Bets placing and cards dealing

The game will start as the players put their bets. Lay your chips in the place specified for betting, a circle or a square. If you are slow to do that, you will get help from the dealer, for instance, in showing you where you must put your chips, or may deal you out. A minimum and a maximum amount are in effect for the bets at Blackjack tables. `You must bet between the minimum margin and the maximum one. You can, too, make more bets, not just one, and play multiple hands.

After the bets placing, the cards dealing takes place; that is done by the dealer. The box for keeping the cards is called the Shoe. You, and each other player, too, will get two cards. It is a must not to touch the cards, or you will be thought to be a cheater. Two cards will be lying before the dealer, too, one of them face down. Only in the Double Exposure variation both cards lying before the dealer are with their face up. The card lying face down is the Hole Card, the name the other card is called is the Up Card.

The player’s goal

You, the player, must devise a way of the best playing to win. The other name Blackjack is known by is 21, because your cards total should be the nearest possible to 21; the total must not be beyond it. If your total is over 21, you will bust, that means you automatically lose. The bets will be taken, the players will get turns, finally the dealer will show the Hole Card. Don’t Bust even before the dealer plays. You will Bust when you take more cards, not on your first two ones.

What is Hard Hand and Soft Hand

The value in points for each Jack, King, and Queen, or face cards, is 10 points. With the other cards, what counts is the number on the card, that is the face value. The Ace makes an exception, with 1 or 11 points; choose either, as you prefer. The Soft Hand has an Ace with total less than 21 or equal to it, whether you count it as 1 or as 11. Soft is used to mean that for the hand, two totals are possible. For instance, with an A-6, your hand’s total could be 7 or 17, according to your preference. With A+1, 1+6=7, and with A=11, 11+6=17. For the first deal, Soft occurs f you get an Ace. But you will not manage to exceed 21 with another card.

In a Hard Hand, only one total is possible. If, when you count an Ace 11, you get over 21 as total for that hand, you must count the Ace as 1. With no Ace in your hand, it is hard. Another example of Hard Hand is an Ace you must count as 1.

The dealer's hand

For the first dealing, the highest number always is for the hand of the dealer; the Ace is 11. The only exception depends on the options for the dealer’s Hitting or Standing on a Soft 17. That rule is well known, displayed on the table. With A-6, the dealer will have it count as 17, remain on 17, not get more cards, and attempt to get a higher total.

But for Hit on Soft 17, the dealer’s A-6 will count as 7; when the turn comes for the dealer, what he or she will do is take another card. The rule is not beneficial for players. It is better if at your playing table it is Stand on Soft 17 for the dealer.

Winning, losing and payouts

Your goal must be to strive for a total with which you will surpass the dealer’s total, and will not get beyond 21. When, for instance, there is 17 for the dealer, and you finish with 18, you are to win. Should you both get 17, you push (known, too, as tying): your bet will stay; leave it for the next bet, remove it, or add to it. That is the rule for standard Blackjack. The exception is in Blackjack variations; in some variation the opportunity exists for the dealer to win some ties. If the dealer gets 17, and you get 16, then you will lose.

How to Play Blackjack Image

What does it mean to get a Blackjack

Blackjack occurs with two cards which, taken together, total 21. So it is, too, called Natural 21. Only the first deal gives the opportunity for a Natural 21, or the Blackjack. It ranks higher compared to a 21 comprising three cards, or more than three cards. If the combination for the dealer is a three-card 21, and for you the combination is a Natural 21, you win. Another benefit is your payout will come with a more lucrative rate. But on different casinos diverse exceptions are applied, as casinos strive to drive more money in their own coffers.

Ace showing for the dealer

In such cases, several rules apply: Insurance, Even Money, and, more rarely, Early Surrender.

What is Insurance

With Ace showing for the dealer, you can buy Insurance, after the cards dealing, but before the players have started taking hits. This represents a side bet: you bet assuming that with the dealer there is a Blackjack, and that the hidden card’s worth is 10 points. Proceed to make another bet, with up to half the size of your original bet. When the players have finished taking turns, making, or declining an Insurance bet, the dealer will disclose what the hidden card is. If the Blackjack is with the dealer, all the Insurance side bets will win, with a 2:1 payout rate.

The Insurance will enable you to retain part of your betting amount, to avoid losing everything when the case is a Blackjack with the dealer. When the dealer uncovers an Ace, and when you assume there is a Blackjack with him or her, that will beat you, so think about buying Insurance. But be cautious, because things will rarely work ideally. Very often there may be no Blackjack for the dealer, and unfortunately you will lose both the bets.

The Insurance will not affect the regular bet you make. In practice, winning one bet and losing another bet is possible; in worse cases, you may lose both. Winning both the bets is very unlikely: the exception is a Blackjack variation where the player having a Blackjack ties, but that is unusual.

When the dealer has a Blackjack, it leads to the following: the players that do not have it will lose; those with a Blackjack tie, unless they have taken Even Money. Finally the hand’s end comes, and the new hand must be started.

In the event of no Blackjack in the dealer, the players having Insurance bets lose, and the players with Blackjack win.

Even Money

If you get a Blackjack, and, too, for the dealer an Ace is showing, you can get an Even Money offer for that Blackjack. Get that chance for obtaining a guaranteed win, with a smaller payout. The payout is 1:1. It is not 3:2. You will get the offer from the dealer before he or she checks for a Blackjack.

The common advice you will get is not to grab the offer. You have a more favorable chance if you stick to the higher payout opportunity. But you can decide not to rely on chance, and opt for Even Money, where the payout will be guaranteed.

How to Play Blackjack Tutorial

Early Surrender

With dealer’s Ace showing, the option of Early Surrender is great, though not often observed in casinos. It is often said that this option is especially great if you count cards. You can opt for giving up, not playing that hand, and you will forfeit half of the size of your bet. That is suitable if you are afraid your loss is almost certain, and is an option for reducing that loss by half. Surrendering will always take place before the dealer’s taking other cards additionally to the first two ones. The offer of surrendering will come immediately after the dealing, and before the check the dealer makes for a Blackjack.

Besides Early Surrender, there are also Late Surrender, and, too, Surrender Anytime.

You can be offered Late Surrender after the dealer’s checking has been made for a Blackjack, and when your turn is coming. But if you opt for taking it, you must do that before you have taken other cards additionally to your first cards.

Surrender Anytime enables your surrender, even after taking hits. The number of the cards that you have drawn does not matter here. That is supported at most Blackjack tables, unlike Early Surrender or Surrender Anytime.

When your turn comes

The actions described above happen almost instantly, without many words said. You must notify a dealer you are still learning, and your choices will be explained for you. Otherwise you will be treated like an experienced player.

After the first options, the crucial part comes, after the dealer’s turning over the Hole Card. Players get the chance of taking additional cards, Splitting Pairs, Doubling Down, or Late Surrender.

Splitting Pairs

When you get a matched pair, for instance, two Eights, two Kings, two Aces, it is your right to Split Pairs. Only one variation is possible, for unmatched Tens.

The rule for Splitting is to have the exactly matching card number, regardless of the suit. Examples of exact matches are: two Tens, two Jacks, etc.

Split Pairs means you make one more bet, further to your first bet, and you bet an amount of the same size. When you place the second identical bet, and the two bets are side by side, the dealer knows you want to Split Pairs. The cards will be split for you into two hands; each will have one card and one bet. For each hand, you will play individually.

When you are Doubling Down on a matched pair, it is good to show clearly your intention to the dealer, lest the dealer assumes you are Splitting. Your placing the additional bet over the first one is a sign you are Doubling Down. You can also show Split intentions, by putting them side by side.

After Splitting Pairs: Rules

When you Split Pairs, the variations are many.

After splitting, you may not enjoy the opportunity to Double Down.

Sometimes a Blackjack is not counted Blackjack

There are instances in which a Blackjack will not be taken as Natural 21, for example, in the event you Split a Pair, and, then, get a Blackjack. So its rank will be lower than that of a Blackjack when you are dealt. The common payout on split Blackjack is 1:1, not the common 3:2.

According to the rule common for European Blackjack, a player’s Split Blackjack loses against a casino’s Natural Blackjack. The rules vary with the diverse tables.

Double Down

That is doubling your bet, and you will take just ONE more card.

Doubling Down is achieved when you put another bet, of identical same amount, alongside your first bet. Then one more hand will be dealt for you, for the hand currently on. For Doubling After Splitting, the will continue with your next hand, or with the next player’s hand.

There are different rules for Doubling Down in different casinos: in some, on first two hands only, in others, even after having taken a hit. You may do it on any hand total, or only on a hand totaling a specific amount. You may be able to Double Down after Splitting Pairs.

Late Surrender

Above we have mentioned Late Surrender. When the dealer has checked, if you know he or she has no Blackjack,  but before taking more cards. You will give up, you will lose half your bet, and will not take hits. If another hand is remaining, the game will go towards it, or else move towards the next player.

Taking Hits

After all the options have been offered, you must Hit or Stand. Hit is taking another card, Stand is not taking more cards, just going on with your hand. Hit is also called Draw. When your total is under 12, there is a risk for you of Busting, or going over 21, for each Hit. When you opt for Busting, you will lose the hand, your bet, and, too, your cards will by rule go to the dealer. The continuation will be either with your next hand, or else with the next player’s hand.

Before a Hit, think what your winning chances are, whether there is a likelihood of winning as your hand stands, or it is better to consider getting a higher total. The risk the dealer is faced with, of going Bust, is also present at all times.

The dealer must proceed with the taking of hits, until he or she gets 17 minimum. With total 15 or 16, the big chance for Busting is present for the dealer, after taking a Hit.

The dealer’s Standing on Soft 17 occurs on reaching 17. The cards taking by the dealer will stop, no matter whether there are Aces equal to 1 or 11. Hitting on Soft 17 means the dealer has 17, but should there be an Ace, it could be taken as less than 17.

Hand end and payouts

The end of players’ playing hands comes after they have had Split, Double, Bust, or have their cards lying on the table. Now, turning over the Hole Card, the dealer starts taking Hits, and that will go on until the dealer reaches minimum 17. Should the the dealer Bust, not go beyond 21, all the remaining hands will win. Otherwise, a comparison will be made of the dealer and each player, what hands they have. The owner of the higher total wins; the exceptions are when that is a tie. The task will be for the dealer to take the bets done by all the losing hands; the winners will be paid; the round will now be finished.

Edward Griffin


Edward Griffin

Hey I'm Edward Griffin, one of the people behind I have been living, playing and working in the online casino world for the past 15 years. I am here to help you make the most informed decisions for your online casino experience.