ace and king making 21 blackjack on red table


Blackjack is among the oldest casino games played worldwide. Yet many people still don’t understand how to play it. This guide will help you learn more about the game. There are many misconceptions about the objective of Blackjack, making it look more complicated than it is. However, there is only one purpose – beat the dealer. Get all the insights you need to succeed in the game here.

Todd Knowles
  • Todd Knowles

What is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a contest of both chance and skill. It is even more popular than the classic game of Craps, in both online and land-based casinos. Blackjack dates back to the 16th century. It was formerly referred to as Black Jack, or Vingt-Un, and is the American affiliate of the global banking games that more commonly refers to as twenty-one, and whose family includes the European game of Vingt-Et-Un and British game of Pontoon. Its most immediate predecessor is its English variant; twenty-one, also known as Vingt-Un.

Understanding Blackjack
Basically, it’s a comparing card punt, pitting a dealer on one hand and one or several players, in which each player, plays against the dealer. Although many players can be involved; each one plays only against the dealer and not each other. One player’s result doesn’t affect the others since they all play independently.

Apart from online poker games, Blackjack is the most predominantly played game in most online and land-based casinos globally, and it entails the use of one or more decks (each with 52 cards). The number of decks is decided by the number of players per session.

How to play Blackjack

The main objective of the play is to beat the dealer. You can beat the dealer by having a sum as close to as possible but not exceeding 21, or having a number higher than the dealer but slightly below 21.

To start playing, you must make a deposit and place a stake. This rule applies to players, not dealers. However, it also depends on the casino you’re playing from and whether you’re a novice or veteran. While many casinos offer free trials for beginners, some offer free spins and bonuses to their veteran subscribers.

If you want to play for real money, the best way to do it is to place a stake since most free trials do not attract payouts even if you win. The free plays from bonuses and promotions, on the other hand, attract payouts when you win, but there are terms and conditions for cashing out.

After placing a wager, the dealer gives each player two cards. The first card is face-up while the other one is face down, depending on the casino table. In some countries like the US, the dealer also gets two cards, usually one hidden (face down) and one exposed (face up).

In most other countries, usually, the dealer is only dealt with one card (face up) at the beginning of the game and the other later in the play. If your hand value after the first two cards is 21, you hit the Blackjack and automatically win. If the dealer’s hand sum is also 21, then it’s a tie (push), and no one wins.

dealer shuffling cards at blackjack table with one player seated

How to determine the value of the card

Every card has a value. For all the cards labeled two through to ten, the numbers are their pip value (two to ten).

Face cards (Queen, King, and Jack) are all worth ten, while Ace cards can either be one or eleven, depending on what will be most advantageous to the player.

A hand’s value describes the sum total of all cards value a player has. You are free to take additional cards to increase your hand’s value.

The hand having an Ace value of eleven is known as “soft” since it can’t bust by drawing additional cards. On the other hand, the Ace value becomes one to foil the hand from busting, and is described as “hard.” To win, your values must be close to but not more than 21.

Playing your hand

If you don’t get Blackjack, you have a few options to consider. But the first step is to examine the two cards you have and the dealer’s face-up card before deciding which way to go. Depending on your hand’s value, you can choose to:

  • Hit-Ask for another card from the dealer. You can continually ask for extra cards until you decide to stand. While doing this, watch out, so you don’t bust (go beyond the sum of 21)
  • Stand-You can choose to take no additional cards. This way, the dealer then starts to play his hands
  • Double down-You can decide to double the amount of your stake—here, you add an extra card, then stand
  • Split-If you have two cards with equal value, you can split them into two distinct hands. The bet is similar to the original bet, so basically splitting doubles your bet
  • Surrender-If you feel you’re likely to lose your hand, you can choose to surrender your bet in half. This action puts an end to the contest and gives the dealer a win
  • Insurance-If the face-up card of your dealer is an Ace, you can opt for insurance. This is a bet of half your original wager, and you bet on the probability of the dealer getting a Blackjack

The dealer’s hand

Blackjack is played against the house. The main target of this contest is to have a sum as close to as possible, but not exceeding 21 and beating the dealer’s sum. Despite the rules and mathematical guidelines, it’s still a game of chance, and luck can play a significant role. Some of your moves can place the dealer ahead of you. The dealer’s hand looks like this:

  • The dealer wins if you attain a sum that is more than 21 (bust), or you surrender
  • If the dealer’s total value is more than yours and closest to 21, he/she wins
  • The dealer also stands when the sum of hands is either 18 or more
  • He/she also stands after attaining a hard 17
  • However, he/she must hit if he/she has a soft 17

blackjack winning hand ace and queen of hearts on a blue blackjack table

How to win a Blackjack game

Playing a good Blackjack game is about tactically considering all the possibilities and opting for the move that offers you the highest anticipated returns. While playing, it’s essential to apply your knowledge carefully to increase your odds of winning against the dealer. However, it’s still a contest of probabilities, and luck may play a more prominent role than the skills. Some of the ways you can win or lose the game include the following.

After you and the dealer play your hands, the sum of the value in each plus the factors stated here is what determines the winner.

  • If you’re dealt a card valued at 10 and an Ace, you automatically become a winner (natural or you get Blackjack), and you get rewards in the ratio of three to two
  • If the dealer’s sum surpasses 21 while you don’t, you’re a winner
  • If you attain a total sum higher than the dealer and below 21, you win, and you’re rewarded in the ratio of one to one

The dealer wins when:

  • You bust even if the dealer also busts, you lose, and they win
  • If you exceed a sum of 21 while the dealer doesn’t
  • If you surrender

Otherwise, if you both receive a sum of 21 or get a Blackjack, then we say there is a tie, push, and no cash changes hands. In other words, you draw.

Different online casinos can also offer various side bets, for instance, perfect pairs. Such offers depend on the online casino you’re using. Most casinos also indicate the payouts on or next to the tables.

Furthermore, a Blackjack contest is variant, and the rules apply differently with every type. However, these are the basic rules that apply to both, and grasping them will make it easy for you to understand whichever type of the play you choose to enjoy.

When to hit and when to stand

Despite having fun, betting, and winning is the key driver of why people play Blackjack. Hitting and standing are the major choices to make when playing Blackjack. As a result, it’s fundamental to understand when you’ll need to stand and when to hit.

when to stand your hand

Only stand when you’re satisfied with the sum, and you wish not to increase the totals. Remember that once you stand, you can’t take any further action.

When to hit your hand

The main aim is to improve your hand’s total. As a result, only hit when you’re sure you won’t go beyond 21. If you hit a total of 17 or 18, it’s safer to stand.

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How to deal Blackjack at a casino

Blackjack is fun and can also make you rich. While enjoying the contest, you can indeed also take up the position of the dealer and deal with other players. The rules apply even when you are a dealer. Additionally, you can use these tips to make your dealing successful.

First, you’ll need to shuffle the cards, and if you have several players, you can combine two or more decks. Then ensure all your players place their bets. While you deal, watch carefully to make sure that no cheating takes place.

Dealing with Players

  1. Deal each player’s first card face down.
  2. Start with the players on your left, moving to the right and down to the remaining players.
  3. Deal yourself one card face down.
  4. Deal the players another card face up.
  5. Deal yourself your final card face up. If your card is an Ace, ask your players if they would like to purchase insurance. If they do, take each player’s insurance, which is half their original bet.
  6. Flip over your second card and check whether you have a Blackjack.
  7. If you get a Blackjack, pick bets from the other players who didn’t purchase insurance. Members who buy the insurance and those who get Blackjack receive their original stakes back alike.

Blackjack is a mathematical play grounded in odds and probabilities. It uses mathematical rules that you can’t tamper with. As a result, players and dealers alike must take time to learn the tactics and master the rules that pertain to the activity. While playing, watch your bankroll and have it under your control because, like any other gambling sports, this contest is also quite addictive.

We advise you to master the basics of Blackjack before you start applying the strategy described in this article. We also advise you to apply this strategy to low stake games first. Once you get the hang of it, you can start earning a lot of money at high roller tables.

ace king of spades held by man's hand on red blackjack table

The ultimate strategy

The best strategy for winning at Blackjack is counting cards. However, this method is prohibited in most Canadian Online Casinos. Besides, most Blackjack tables play with a pack that consists of 6 to 8 card decks. As a result, it becomes very hard to count cards.

Like any other game, the casino always has the advantage: The house edge. In other words, in the long run, it is impossible to beat the casino. However, with our ultimate strategy, you create the best chances of winning. Ultimately, it is all about one thing: How do you get the most value out of the right cards! Let’s start right away.

Use the strategy chart

Use the Blackjack cheat sheet while playing. The cheat sheet is a tool designed to maximize the opportunity of winning by reducing the house edge. The overview helps to make the right choices during a hand. Unfortunately, it is not allowed in most casinos. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about this when playing online.

Blackjack table

The chart used for this strategy is based on the situation where the dealer is positioned at soft 17. A soft hand refers to a situation where the hand contains an ace, and the player cannot bust after drawing a card. All possible soft hands are summed up as follows:

  • A2 – 3 or 13
  • A3 – 4 or 14
  • A4 – 5 or 15
  • A5 – 6 or 16
  • A6 – 7 or 17
  • A7 – 8 or 18
  • A8 – 9 or 19
  • A9 – 10 or 20
  • A10 or any fancy card equals Blackjack

As visible, the cheat sheet is constructed with different letters. Each letter represents an action based on your cards and the dealer’s cards:

  • Hit: Ask for an additional card. There is an opportunity to improve your chances of winnings.
  • Stand: Keep your cards. Statistically, the casino has the lowest house edge.
  • Split: Split two cards with the same value into two new sets. The dealer draws two new cards for these sets after splitting.
  • Double: Increase your current wager two times. We recommend you to play at tables that allow the option to double down. This option can be very lucrative.

To summarize, apply the right action based on your cards and the dealer’s cards when a new round starts or a new card has been added to your hand.

Stick to the basic strategy

Blackjack is solely based on probability. Whether the pack consists of 4, 5, 6 or 8 card decks, it doesn’t matter. The best strategy for winning at Blackjack is learning the statistics of the game. In the beginning, use the cheat sheet to help and to get familiar with card combinations. And slowly work your way up until you don’t need the sheet anymore. Eventually, you will find out the overall chances of winning are 42%. Apply the ultimate strategy once you completely dominate the game, which is playing with high stakes in the right situations.

blackjack dealer dealing cards in online live casino

Avoid these mistakes

The dealer offers the opportunity to buy insurance if the first card of the dealer’s hand shows an ace. Insurance costs half of your wager. In other words, insurance costs C$10 provided you placed a bet of C$20. However, it is only paid if the dealer hits a Blackjack. Under no circumstances, it is beneficial to buy insurance.

Don’t take advice from someone else
Never take advice from other gamblers. A lot of people claim they have found the best strategy for playing Blackjack. Nevertheless, these stories are often too good to be true. So, always reason from your strategy and don’t take a word from others.

Don’t get mixed up by emotions
Situations where money is concerned, it is difficult to deal with your emotions. For instance, when you are winning streak, you don’t want to stop. On the other hand, when you lose, you expect it to be okay later on. From the moment your choices are determined by your emotions, it’s time to stop. Keep your head cool and stay calm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions regarding Blackjack, how to win or how to count cards? We tried to answer the most critical issues for you below. If your question is still not answered, you can always contact us. We are happy to help everyone!

♣️ What is blackjack?

Blackjack is a casino table game. Moreover, it’s a game of cards where the aim is to hit ‘blackjack’ (21) before you bust or the dealer beats you. The high cards (J, Q, K, and Ace) value is 10, and the lower cards are at face value. Furthermore, a pair of aces value is 1 or 10, depending on how you wish to play.

♠️ How to play blackjack?

The croupier deals two cards to each player, and then to himself. You choose if you want the dealer to ‘hit’ you again with an additional card. For example, the initial two cards can be split, creating two separate hands. In light of this, players can split a pair of Aces.

💰 How much can you make playing blackjack?

Depending on the table you choose, you can make anything from CA$50 to CA$100 in an hour. If you lose, the dealer claims your money. However, if you win, you take the pot. Players can win thousands in Blackjack, it all depends on the stakes.

🃏 How to count cards in blackjack?

First, assign a value to every card. Second, keep count of the cards in play. Third, use this calculation to determine which cards are still in play. Finally, adjust your bets as the cards reveal themselves.

🏆 How to win blackjack?

You should adopt a strategy. Additionally, play free Blackjack games before playing for real money. If your hands hold an Ace and an 8, split them. In conclusion, the chance of you busting on an Ace and an 8 is good. Rather split.

🤔 What is insurance in blackjack?

The dealer has a card face up and is about to deal himself another. You will take an insurance bet that he will hit blackjack. In conclusion, an insurance bet is a side bet, where you win half your money back, even if the dealer hits blackjack.

✔️ When to hit in blackjack?

Always hit if your hand holds two cards totaling under 17. The chances of being dealt another card under 4 are good. However, don’t hit if your hand is 17 or more. Chances are, you will bust.

🔄 How to deal in blackjack?

The croupier deals with the cards, starting from left to right. He deals with one card facing up and in the next round, the dealer’s card is facing down. So, all the players at the table have cards facing up, while the dealer has one face up and the other down. How you deal depends on the blackjack variant.

➗ Blackjack when to split?

Always split Aces as this doubles your bet. Also, Aces are valued at 1 or 10, allowing you the choice of the value. Finally, the chance of you busting on an Ace is unlikely but possible. Players generally split on any hand that contains doubles. This grants them the opportunity to double their wins.

⏸️ When to stand in blackjack?

Standing is when you don’t hit or split your hand. You would stand on 17, 19, or 20. If you choose to hit, chances are you would bust.

⏬ What is double down in blackjack?

When a player ‘doubles down’ it means they increase their bets 100%. It’s an exciting yet risky bet to make, and it’s made in the middle of a game. Double down when you have 11 as you want a high card, totaling ‘blackjack’!