Blackjack Basics: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games you can play. Even people who do not normally play cards or table games know roughly how to play it.

If you are wondering whether this is the right card game for you, check our information here to get the basics right before you start.

The basics of blackjack

The dealer will deal you two cards facing upwards. The dealer receives two cards as well, but you'll only see one of them - the other is face down. (In some versions of blackjack, your cards are dealt facing down rather than up, so check the rules to determine which way you'll play.)

The objective is to get as close as you can to 21 without going bust. That's the term for getting 22 points or more. You don't need to get 21 - you just need to be closer to that magic number than the dealer. Of course, if they go bust, you'll win on a lower score.

Does it matter how many people are at the blackjack table?

No - you're not playing against the other players. Everyone plays against the dealer, so theirs is the only hand you need to worry about (aside from yours).

Every card is a number

All cards that display a number are counted as that number. Picture cards always count for 10 points. Aces are different, and can be counted as one or 11 points, depending on whether you're better off with one over the other.

If you're holding a picture card (worth 10 points) and an ace, you'd obviously count the ace as 11, since that would give you blackjack, and you'd win the hand.

Decide whether to hit or stand

You'll see how close you are to reaching 21 with your first two cards. Of course, you can only see one of the dealer's cards, so you'll need to consider whether it is more or less likely they'll get closer to 21 than you if you stand.

If you hit and go over 21, you go bust and the dealer wins the hand. If you hit and get closer, you then see what the dealer holds to determine the outcome of the hand.

There are other elements to learn in blackjack, such as splitting the hand on a pair or doubling down on your bet (although you need to request another card to do this). For now, though, you can get the hang of the basics and see how you get on with blackjack.