How to Play Blackjack

The game of blackjack, also known as twenty-one or pontoon, is the most widely played casino banking game in the entire world. It is also one of the simplest.

Blackjack Bonus Finder

Find the biggest bonus in seconds

Search Bonuses

The objective of the game is to beat the dealer. As the alternative name of twenty-one implies, your aim is to have a hand that is worth more than the dealer’s hand but that does not go over twenty-one. You start with two cards and can choose to be dealt another to add to your hand, but if the value of your cards exceeds 21 then you are “bust” and have lost. If the dealer goes bust and you do not, you have won.

If you get a hand that you are happy with and decide to stick to it, you wait for the dealer to stick as well. You then show each other the hands you have and whoever has the highest value is the winner.

The values of cards in blackjack are very basic. Cards 2 to 10 are at face value, with the face cards of Jack, Queen and King cards all worth 10 as well. An ace can be valued at either 1 or at 11, depending on which is more convenient to your hand.

For example, if your two initial cards are an ace and a 2, the maximum value of your hand is 13. This is not particularly high, so you may decide to draw another card. If you draw anything below a 9, you’ve now got a perfect hand – however, if you draw a 9, a 10 or a face card, you have exceeded 21 and will go bust unless you value the ace card as a 1.

A hand that does not include an ace card is known as a “hard hand” because it only has one possible value that cannot be changed. If your hand does include an ace then it is a “soft hand” as it has two different values for you to choose from.

Share This