Blackjack Basics and Rules

Blackjack has been around for so long, its exact origins are unclear. What is clear is the fact that it remains one of the most popular options at the casino both online and land-based for its fast-paced action, ease of play, and massive, worldwide accessibility. Odds & Chances has the basics to get you playing, and the strategies to take it to the highest level.

The Intro

The player places chips on the table to start the game. The Dealer gives the player two cards and himself two cards, one face up and one face down. The object of the game is to have a hand value closer to 21 than the Dealer’s without going over. The number cards are face value, the face cards Jack through King are worth 10, and the Ace is worth one or 11, depending on which makes the stronger hand. Each card in an individual hand added together determines the total hand value.

Blackjack, Payouts, and Insurance

An automatic win is awarded if an initial hand is valued at 21, which is known as a “Blackjack.” While beating the Dealer will result in a 1 to 1 payout on your wager normally, a Blackjack usually pays out 3 to 2. If the player and Dealer tie, this is known as a “Push” and the wager is returned to the player. If insurance bets are permitted, a player can bet half their wager that the Dealer is holding a Blackjack if the face-up card is showing an Ace. If they’re not, the additional half wager is lost and the game moves forward.

Hit, Stand, Split, & Double Down

If the player and the Dealer are both dealt a hand other than a Blackjack, the game continues. The player can be “Hit” with as many cards as they like until they choose to “Stand,” which means the player receives no additional cards, deciding their final hand. If the player is dealt a pair of the same card, they can “Split” those cards, making an additional hand, though an additional bet equal to the original is required to cover it. The player can also choose to double down, wherein they double their bet and receive only one additional card, making their final hand.

Blackjack Terminology

  • Blackjack: A two-card hand valued at 21
  • Bust: A hand with a higher value than 21
  • Push: A tie between the Dealer and the player
  • Hit: The choice to receive an addition card
  • Stand: The choice to make the current hand your final hand
  • Split: Separating two of the same cards into two separate hands
  • Surrender: Forfeit the game and lose half the bet
  • Soft Hand: A hand that contains an Ace
  • Hard Hand: A hand that does not contain an Ace.
  • Blackjack Chart: A grid detailing the best next move in correspondence with the card the dealer is showing and the player’s hand value

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