How to Play Blackjack: A Guide for Beginners

Blackjack, sometimes called 21, is one of the most popular card games in the world. Its rules aren’t hard to understand, and it’s fun to play with both friends and strangers. 

The group atmosphere gives players a sense that they’re on the same team, although that’s not always the case. 

Blackjack is thought to have been invented in 18th Century France, and it remains popular to this day. 

Are you planning a trip to Vegas and want to learn how to play blackjack? Maybe you have a party coming up, and blackjack is on the menu? Or, you could be going to a charity event with casino games? 

If you need some blackjack knowledge, keep reading below. 

What’s Needed to Play Blackjack?

The tools or equipment needed to play blackjack are simple. All you need is a table, a full deck of cards (52), playing chips, simple math skills, and a little luck. 

A casino or will have several decks mixed up in what is called a “shoe” that they deal from.

Depending on which casino you attend, there could be anywhere from two to eight decks at a time. Most people think this is to prevent card counting, which it is, but it also speeds the game up. 

Chips should have different values so bettors can choose how much they want to wager in a given hand.

Typically blackjack tables at casinos have different limits. There are anywhere from $5 tables to $1,000, to unlimited for high rollers. 

Basic Blackjack Rules

There are some basic blackjack rules you should know.

You put in your initial bet that’s at least the minimum. The dealer deals a round of one card to each person and then another—the closest person to 21 wins. Every player can beat the dealer. 

Blackjack’s pay 2-1 or 3-2 depending on the casino or table. The dealers must hit (take a card) on 16 and stand (no more cards ) if they have 17 or higher. 

Players can hit all they want until they surrender, stand, or bust. 

*At home, you should take turns being the dealer. Switch every hand, every three hands or five. But if you have enough money and want to be the “house,” that works too. 

How to Play Blackjack (Intricate Rules)

Some of the more intricate blackjack rules are the double down and split.

If you want to double down, you do it after you’re dealt your first two cards. You double the amount of your original bet, and you only get to draw one more card. 

Typically you should only do this when you have 10 or 11 in your hand. But if you think the dealer is stuck on 16, then you might want to do it with an eight or nine. 

When you have a pair of something, you can split them. Again, you place a chip equal to your initial bet, and you’ll get another set of cards. You’re playing two hands at this point. 

Hit Me

Now you’re ready to hit the casino, play with friends, or attend that blackjack charity function. You’ve got the basic rules of the game, and you know some intricate rules on how to play blackjack. 

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