Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack

Blackjack exerts an influence like no other table game in the casino lobby, with the exception of roulette. The game’s appeal has gone beyond the green felt and through TV shows, films, and books it has come to represent a certain combination of skill, strategy and intuition that only the most fearless players can truly command.

But taking your first steps into the fast-paced world of blackjack doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience. Blackjack’s larger-than-life reputation rests on a set of basic rules that can be learnt in the time it takes you to finish reading the rest of our beginner’s guide to blackjack!

The blackjack table explained

The objective of the game is to be the first to hold a hand of cards totalling 21 in value, however, players do not play against each other, but against the dealer. The table is semi-circle in shape, with five to seven players and the dealer at the head of the table. One-on-one games, with a single player competing alone against the dealer are also common, especially online.

Players can place their bets at each of the betting boxes on the table. The dealer then distributes cards from left to right, giving each player two cards facing up, while also giving themselves two cards, one facing up and the other facing down.

How To Play Blackjack

Now that you have a better idea of how the table works, how do you actually start to play blackjack? Playing blackjack is very straightforward: the first thing that players need to do is simply place their desired amount of chips on the designated betting space on the table. There are minimum and maximum amounts that players must abide by when placing their wagers, which usually depend on the individual game.

When all the players at the table have placed their bets, the dealer distributes the cards. The player to the dealer’s left plays first and must decide whether they ask for another card or not, to reach the desired amount of 21. If the player goes ‘bust’ i.e. the amount is over 21, the dealer collects the bet wagered.

How To Play Blackjack – Video Tutorials

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Making sense of blackjack terminology

Hit: You’d like another card from the dealer. You can tap on the table to signal that you want another card.

Stand: You don’t want any more cards to be dealt. Other terms used include; ‘stand pat’, ‘stick’ and ‘stay’ or a sideways gesture of the hand.

Insurance: When the dealer has an ace showing you can choose to place an insurance bet. The insurance bet is a bet of half your original wager and if the dealer has a natural 21, you will win double your insurance bet, though you will lose the original bet.

Split: The dealer will then treat your cards as two separate hands, doubling your winning chances.

Double Down: Doubling down is simply doubling your bet and being awarded just one more card.

Becoming familiar with blackjack variants

With blackjack being the most widely played casino game, there are plenty of variants on the game out there. It’s good to have an idea of the other variations that exist, in case you want to switch up your gameplay from time to time.

Spanish 21: This variation allows for a more liberal approach to the rules, with players being able to double down on any number of cards and having no 10 value cards in the deck.

21st Century Blackjack: This variant is played with multiple decks and players can take turns being the dealer for any number of hands.

Super Fun 21: Players may split their hand up to four times.

Test your skills with online blackjack

Playing blackjack may seem difficult at first, but a simple breakdown of the rules and terminology is enough to get you started. Now it’s time to put to the test what you’ve learnt in this beginner’s guide to blackjack – try your hand at playing blackjack on CasinoEuro. You can check out our blackjack strategy guide if you want to grow your skills further.