Blackjack for Beginners

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games, second only to poker. Commonly referred to as 21, blackjack is a comparing game, meaning that each player competed against the dealer instead of against one another. It’s loved for its simplicity yet exciting level of play. The objective of blackjack is to get as close to 21 without exceeding this number.

Learn How to Play Blackjack

Source: Wikimedia

The Basics of Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack can be played with 2-8 players (including the dealer) using a standard 52 pack of cards. Blackjack is played a little bit different in casinos than it is at home with your friends. The main difference is that a house dealer managers shuffling, dealing, and bets at a casino. This is referred to as a “permanent bank.” This contrasts a “changing bank” where each player is allowed the opportunity to be the dealer of cards. Additionally, casinos use a 6 pack totaling 312 cards.

Table Setup

Blackjack tables are shaped in a semi-circular configuration. This allows for easy facilitation of game play. Typically the green felt on the blackjack table will have a circular patch where you place your bet and a rectangular area where new deals are handed out to players. You can find a table for your game room by checking out this page.

Object of the Game

The object of blackjack is to be the player with the highest score without going over 21. This is why blackjack is often called 21. Your number is calculated by adding up the numeric value of each card. Face cards include the King, Queen, and Jack and are given a value of 10. The ace has an optional value of 1 or 11 depending on how you wish to play the card. As you can imagine, this swing card can come in very handy.  Blackjack occurs when your cards add up to exactly 21.

If you go over 21, you “bust” and you lose. Likewise, if the dealer’s card count exceeds 21, every player who has not gone over the limit will win no matter how small the hand. In the case where a player’s score is equal to that of the dealer, this is called a “push” and in effect, it is a draw. The player does not win or lose on a push.

The Shuffle, Cut, & Deal

Cards are shuffled until everything is mixed up very well. Then the dealer has another player “cut” the deck to ensure that the game is not rigged to give an advantage to the dealer or a player.

The dealer gives each player 2 cards, dealing cards in a clockwise rotation. Each player is dealt a single card face down. Once the first round has been dealt, the dealer places another card face up on top of the first card of each player. This allows players at the table to be able to know only one of the cards that opposing players have, making the game a bit more interesting.


Once each player has been dealt their cards, they have the option to “hit” or “stay.” When you hit, you receive an additional card. If you feel confident in your hand, you choose to “stay” and receive no more cards. Remember, the name of the game is Twenty-One. You want to get as close to 21 without going over. The dealer must always “hit” until their card total is AT LEAST 17.

Whether you’re playing blackjack at home or at the casino, there are tons of strategies that you can play blackjack and win. Some people even teach themselves to count cards but that’s another topic for another post. If you’re learning how to play blackjack, you should start getting the hang of it after a few rounds. It’s really simple and straight forward.