Blackjack rule

Blackjack is a casino game that involves fighting the dealer. The goal? To get a higher score than the dealer without going over 21. The ultimate goal is to reach 21 points with only two cards: an ace and a king, an ace and a queen or an ace and a jack. This winning combination is called Blackjack. This game is very quick to finish: between 30 seconds and 3 minutes depending on the game. Because of its complexity it is best played by people 18 years and older. Here we present the European version of the Black Jack rule. 

How does a game of Black Jack work?

The value of the cards in Black Jack

In Blackjack the cards have different values:

  1. The ace is worth between 1 and 11 points depending on what you decided at the start. The value cannot change during the game.
  2. The King, Queen and Jack are worth 10 points.
  3. The other cards are worth between 2 and 10, the value corresponding to what is displayed on the card. A 2 is worth 2, a 3 is worth 3…

The course of the game of Black Jack

First step? The dealing of the cards. The dealer deals two cards to each player. The dealer will deal one card to himself, which must be uncovered if you are playing according to the European rule. Blackjack can be played on the first deal. Provided that one of the players has been dealt an ace and a face card (a king, queen or jack). In this case, the dealer will give the player 1.5 times the initial bet. If the player has bet 100 euros, he receives 150 euros. If a player and the dealer both hit Black Jack on the deal, no money is exchanged. However, the game is not over and the dealer continues the game with the other players.

If the master of the game (the dealer) has an ace, he gives the players the opportunity to take out insurance. They protect themselves from a dealer’s blackjack by betting an amount that does not exceed half of their initial bet.

The first player to speak is the one to the left of the dealer. He is allowed to ask for as many cards as he wants, but not more than 21. If he has no Blackjack he announces that he is staying and the game passes to the second player. And so on.

The different actions in Black Jack

During the course of the game of Blackjack you have several options for action:

  1. Draw a card (or hit). Indicate to the dealer that you wish to take a card by saying “card”.
  2. Stand. Announce this when you do not want another card. This can also be done by waving your hand horizontally over your deck.
  3. Double down (or double). You are dealt a new card if you wish to double your bet. In some rules, you can only do this if you have already been dealt two cards and their total is 9, 10 or 11.
  4. Splitting or making a split. If you have a pair you can bet the same amount on each card. Be careful if you make a Black Jack (21 points) it will not be counted.
  5. Insurance. If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, you can insure yourself against a Blackjack from the dealer. Here your bet will be, at most, half of your original bet. You win two to one if the dealer’s face-down card is a ten. You lose your insurance if it has any other value.
  6. Surrender. If you surrender the game you lose only half your original bet, not all of it.

The dealer’s turn in Black Jack

The dealer plays last after all the players. If he makes Blackjack he collects the bets of all players. He continues to draw until he gets a value of at least 17. If he goes over 21, the other players win. If he doesn’t reach that score, those with a higher total than the dealer win and those with a lower total lose. If a player is tied with the dealer he wins his bet without any bonus.

How to win a game of Black Jack?

To win a game of Black Jack there is of course a part of luck. The quality of the starting deal is fundamental. But you must also know the rules of the game and be attentive to the course. Especially when you ask for your cards. Make sure you don’t go over 21 and stop when you are close to that number. If you are a beginner, apply the basic strategy. This is a chart that tells you what to do based on the dealer’s face card.

Basic principles to know by heart in blackjack

  • Never split cards with a value of 10
  • Never draw if you have a hand between 17 and 21
  • Pair of 8s and Aces are the only hands that split in any situation
  • The hands the player must double down on are between 9 and 11, depending on the dealer’s card
  • Do not draw cards if your hand is between 13 and 16 and the dealer’s is between 2 and 6. Unless you have an Ace in your hand
  • When the dealer has 2 or 3, the only hand (over 10) that draws is 12