What Are the Basic Rules for Blackjack?

In blackjack, the objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand by having a higher total than the dealer without going over 21. All cards are worth their numeric value, with face cards worth 10 and an ace worth either 1 or 11.

If you are dealt an ace and a 10-value card (known as a “blackjack”), you automatically win unless the dealer also has a blackjack, in which case it’s a push.

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Before each hand begins, players must place a bet within the table limits. Once all bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to each player and two to themselves, one face up and one face down. The player then has a few options:

-Hit: Take another card from the dealer.
-Stand: Keep your current hand.
-Double: Double your bet and take only one more card.
-Split: If you have two cards of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands and place another bet.

You then take additional cards for each hand as normal.
-Surrender: Give up your hand and lose half your bet. This option is not always available.

PRO TIP:1. Always split Aces and 8s.
2. Never take insurance or even money.
3. Always hit a soft 17 (Ace and 6).
4. Always stand on a hard 17 (7, 7, 3).
5. Double down when you have a 10 or 11 and the dealer has a lower card showing.
6. Only split identical value cards (e.g., two 8s).

If at any point your hand totals more than 21, you “bust” and lose your bet. If you reach 21 or stand with a higher total than the dealer, you win and are paid out at 1:1 odds (meaning you win an equal amount to your bet).

If the dealer busts but you do not, you also win. If both you and the dealer bust or have the same total, it’s a push and no one wins or loses.

After all players have either busted or chosen to stand, it’s time for the dealer to play their hand according to set rules. They will always hit if their total is 16 or lower and always stand on 17 or higher. Some casinos may also have additional rules in play such as hitting on soft 17 (a hand containing an ace that totals 17). Once the dealer stands, all players who did not bust compare their totals to the dealers.

Those with a higher total win while those with a lower total lose. If it’s a tie, it’s a push and no one wins or loses.

The basic rules of blackjack are simple enough that even complete beginners can pick up the game relatively quickly. Of course, there is more to blackjack than just hitting and standing as there are many different betting options available to players on each hand.

However, understanding the basic rules is essential before moving on to more advanced concepts such as strategy .