How to Play Blackjack

Discover how to play blackjack and improve your skills by learning the rules, strategies, and tips to maximize your chances of winning.

By Jade Kyra
Published Jun 26, 2023 and Updated Aug 28th, 2023
How to Play Blackjack

How does that saying go? Always bet on black…jack. As one of the most popular gambling games out there, blackjack pulls in thousands of players daily due to its simple gameplay and fair payouts. 

Blackjack is easy to understand and play, but there are still lots of mistakes that can be made. In order to fully enjoy and benefit from your blackjack gambling experience, we wanted to break down everything you need to know about how to play blackjack. We will cover the basics of the game, how to play, the different types of blackjack, and some great blackjack betting strategies. Overall, we just want to make sure you have all the knowledge you need to avoid a bust and beat the dealer to claim victory. Now let’s get blackjack betting. 

But before we get started, be sure to check out our list of recommended and reviewed Blackjack Casinos

Aim of the Game

Blackjack is one of the less complex gambling games out there, the overall aim is to achieve a hand that is higher than that of the dealer’s hand, without going over the 21 limit. It is also made even simpler by the fact that you are not in competition with any other players, but rather the dealer. It’s 1v1, rather than competing against 7 other people. 

21 is the limit, so you must try to get as close to that number, or hit that number specifically, to claim a win. Ultimately you just have to have a higher hand than the dealer without going bust (exceeding 21).  If the dealer goes over 21, you automatically win. You have to make strategic decisions based on your first 2 cards dealt, but at the end of the day, it is still a game designed primarily on luck. 


Jack, Queen, and King cards hold a numeric value of 10 in most blackjack games. Ace cards can be played as an 11 or 1 value depending on the rest of your hand.

Blackjack card values

Step-By-Step Blackjack Gameplay

Now that you know how the game works, we are going to teach you how to play. Again, this is one of the more simple gambling games, but that does not take away the risk of loss especially when playing uneducated. So let’s dive into a step-by-step blackjack gameplay: 

  1. Place your bet: Select the amount you want to bet and place your stake in the betting area. 
  2. An initial hand is dealt: The dealer will hand you two cards to everyone at the table, including themselves. All players’ cards are handed up face-up except the dealer’s second card. 
  3. Make strategic decisions: This is the time when players can choose whether they want to hit, stand, split, double down, or surrender. Hit to get an additional card. Stand to lock in your card set and not claim any more cards. Split to split your initial hand into two separate hands, which are played independently. Double Down allows you to increase your initial bet value on your current hand. Surrendering allows you to forfeit your hand and receive half your initial bet back. 
  4. The dealer’s turn: After you have locked in your hand, and all other players have also made their final calls, the dealer will reveal their second card. The dealer can then decide to stand or hit for more cards.
  5. Winner decided: Hands higher than 21 are bust and the player with said hand loses. If the dealer busts, all players who didn’t bust win automatically regardless of their hand. If neither the dealer nor the players go bust, the win is awarded to whoever has the highest-valued cards. 
  6. Payouts: If you win with a higher value hand, your best is paid on a 1:1 ratio. If you have blackjack, 21, then you are generally paid on a 3:2 ratio. You lose your bet if you go bust or the dealer has a higher hand. 
  7. Starting a new round: All cards are collected and new bets can be placed. The whole process then starts over. 

According to most house rules, if a dealer’s hand is valued at 16 or less, they must hit and take an additional card. If the dealer’s hand is valued at 17 or more, they must stand.

Example of how to win a hand of blackjack

Types of Blackjack Games

Although blackjack is a somewhat simple game, with the vast amount of variants out there, each with its own unique rules, it helps to know what hand you are playing. We wanted to highlight some of the most common types of blackjack games: 

  • Classic Blackjack: Played with one to eight standard decks of cards.
  • European Blackjack: Played with two standard decks of cards.
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack: Played with four standard decks of cards.
  • Spanish 21: Played with six to eight Spanish decks of cards, meaning the 10 cards are removed. 
  • Pontoon: Played with six to eight standard decks of cards.
  • Double Exposure Blackjack: Played with six to eight standard decks of cards.
  • Blackjack Switch: Played with six to eight standard decks of cards.
  • Live Dealer Blackjack: Played with eight standard decks of cards.

Blackjack Strategies

Most casino games are luck based, although blackjack does border the line between luck and skill more so. But because it is still primarily a game of chance, no gambling strategy can truly guarantee a win. These gambling strategies can however help you maintain your bankroll balance to optimize your gameplay in order to secure more wins. But again, strategies do not guarantee wins in games of chance. These are some of the best blackjack betting strategies: 

Flat Betting: This strategy requires players to keep betting the same amount on every hand. It is as simple as that and helps new or established players manage their bankroll. 

Martingale System: This strategy will see players double their bet after every loss and return to their initial bet amount after a win. This strat helps players recover their losses with a single big win, hopefully. 

Paroli System: This strategy will see players double their bet after every win and return to their initial bet amount after a loss. This strat aims to help players optimize their profits of “winning streaks”. 

Stand on 18: This strategy relies on the general house rule that dealers must stand if their hand is valued at 17. Meaning if you land an 18 or higher, you have already technically beat the dealer. It is also a good rule of thumb as landing a low card or ace to 3 is unlikely. 

Betting on Blackjack

Now you know how to play blackjack, and you can get out there to start claiming your profits. Don’t forget to have some fun along the way. Blackjack is an entertaining game and has a certain level of immersion that games like slots lack, so enjoy it. 

Never bet money you are not willing to lose and never try to recover from losses by going outside of your budget. Enjoy the wins, learn from the losses, and treat gambling as a form of entertainment rather than a way to make money. You can never have a bad gambling session if your focus is on the love of the game. With your new-found knowledge, you can have fun and hopefully enjoy the big wins that come with it. We hope this article helped guide you as to how to play blackjack. We regularly release content educating our readers on the crypto gambling space, so stick around, and learn some more with Bitcoin Chaser. 

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