Blackjack is a true classic and is considered the ultimate in numerous casinos. So there is no question that the interest in the card game is also breaking all records online. The fact that Blackjack enjoys such great popularity is due to the high chances of winning, and on the other hand to the quickly learned rules. Another reason why the game is very popular, especially among experts, are the various possibilities to individually influence the course of the game with strategic decisions. But beginners also get their money's worth within a few seconds - regardless of whether they rely on renowned tactics or simply listen to their gut feeling.
The seats at the Blackjack table are arranged in the form of a semicircle around the dealer or croupier, who distributes the cards. Each seat at the table, is marked by a betting field (Player's Bet). To start a game, place the desired bet on the betting area by selecting the desired chip at the bottom of the screen and clicking on the betting area. To place your bet you can also use different coins at the same time, if you have placed a wrong coin you can take it back by clicking the respective button.
Your bet will be displayed on the betting area at all times during the game. The chips are not moved until the end, where you are either paid your winnings or the chips are collected (if you lost).
After all players have placed their bets, the dealer deals 2 cards from the deck (Dealing Shoe) clockwise to all players (Player's Hand) and himself. The cards are always dealt one at a time and from the dealer's point of view from left to right, so from your point of view from right to left. At the end of the round, the dealer also gets his cards (Dealer's Hand), but he only puts the first one face up in front of him.
After that the game can begin! There are some rules, which may vary from table to table. These are briefly explained in the middle of the Blackjack table. Mostly it is mentioned there, up to which card value the dealer takes further cards, how much a Blackjack or the insurance pays out. More information about the traditional rules can be found below.
Card values in Blackjack
Blackjack is played with poker cards, which unlike typical Swiss Jass cards also include the numbers 2 through 5. As a result, a deck of cards consists of 52 cards and not 36 as in Jass. To reduce card counting, Blackjack is usually played with 6 sets of cards, and online it is often played with 8 sets of cards, which means that the game contains 312 or 416 cards.
The card values in Blackjack can be learned very quickly. All cards with a number correspond exactly to this number value. The face cards, i.e. Jack, Queen and King, all have the value 10. This leads to the fact that 10 points occur most often, since there are 4 cards per suit with this value (10, Jack, Queen and King). The Ace is the special case in Blackjack, because it can take two different values: It takes the value of either 1 or 11, depending on which is better in the given context. Basically, you can remember that the ace always counts as 11 points, unless it would make you exceed 21 points (the explanation of why the 21 points are important can be found in the chapter «Objective of the game»), in which case the value changes to 1.
Objective of the game
In Blackjack, everything revolves around the number 21 and getting as close to that value as possible, but without exceeding 21 points. Unlike poker, however, you are not playing against other players, but only against the bank.
The goal in Blackjack is to get closer to 21 with your cards than the dealer. The points are added up as described above. If your score is still too low after the first two cards, you can request («buy») more cards from the dealer until you feel you are close enough to 21 points. But be careful: As soon as you exceed the 21 points you have lost the game! Therefore, think carefully about when to ask for an additional card and when not to!
The same rules apply to the dealer as to you: The goal is for him to get as close to 21 as possible, but as soon as he «overbought», all players who are still in the game win. However, in Blackjack, the dealer cannot actively determine when to pick up more cards and when not to, as the players can, rather he follows clear rules up to which value he will draw more cards.
For you as a player, there are three different ways to score a success:
- The player has Blackjack, which means the total number of his points is 21 after the first two cards. If the dealer also has Blackjack, the player only gets his bet back, otherwise the player wins the hand even if the dealer has 21 points. In most cases, the payout for blackjack is 3:2 instead of the usual 2:1.
- Your own hand counts exactly 21 points, but after more than 2 cards. The player wins against any hand of the dealer below 21 with a payout ratio of 2:1, but loses against a dealer Blackjack.
- The total of the player's own hand is 21 or less, but greater than the dealer's value.
- Your own hand has a total value of 21 or less, while the dealer's cards exceed 21 points.
If you and the dealer have the same score (of 21 or less), the game ends in a tie and you get your bet back.
At the beginning of the game, the dealer deals each participant two cards, which are placed face up. He also deals himself two cards but turns over only the first one. The face down card is called the hole card.
After you have received your two cards, it is up to you to evaluate your own cards as well as the dealer's face up card. You then have to decide if you are already satisfied with your score, or if you want to ask for another card from the dealer. There are also some other actions you can take, you can find more about them under «Strategic options».
The decision whether you want another card («hit») or to forego another card («stand») continues until you are satisfied with your score and therefore do not take another card, or when you have exceeded 21 («bust»). If you overbought and thus exceeded the 21 points, you automatically lost, even if the dealer also overbought himself.
The dealer also follows clear and defined rules in Blackjack. Once all players have finished their turn, he must reveal his second card. If he has 17 or more points in his hand, he stays at his value. If, on the other hand, he sees 16 or less points in front of him, he draws another card. The rules for the total number of cards the dealer must draw may vary, so be sure to check the table rules. An ace in his hand is always counted as 11 points. The only exception to this rule is if it exceeds 21.
When the croupier has finished his turn, the game of Blackjack is over with different results. If the dealer exceeds 21, all remaining players collect their winnings. Otherwise, the participants who are closer to 21 than the dealer are successful. If the player and the dealer have the same score, the game is a draw. No one has won, the player gets his bet back.
You have understood the basic Blackjack card game rules? Then you're ready for the many other options you'll encounter throughout the card game. For more detailed explanations of the different Strategic Options, visit our Blackjack strategies page.
If the dealer's face up card is an ace you have the option of taking out insurance on a dealer's Blackjack. The cost of the insurance is half your bet, with a payout of the insurance amount of 2:1 (for different payouts, read the respective table rules) in the event of the dealer's Blackjack.
When splitting, you split two identical starting cards into two hands. This gives you the opportunity to turn what was originally an unfavorable starting hand into two games of (hopefully) better odds.
- DOUBLE DOWN:
If the cards are particularly good, there is the possibility of doubling the bet and thus, of course, to win twice the amount at the same time. But beware: after doubling down, you will only receive a single card.
In certain cases, it is already clear in advance that a game will be difficult to win. In this case, you are free to surrender in some versions of Blackjack and get half your bet back in return.