Blackjack Rules

Blackjack, also known as Twenty-one, Vingt-et-un (French for Twenty-one), or Pontoon, is one of the most widely played casino games in the world.

The game is played in many variants with slightly different rules. Much of its popularity comes from the fact that it involves a mix of chance, skill, and the publicity surrounding card counting.

Blackjack rules

Blackjack is played with one or more decks containing 52 cards. The game involves adding the value of an initial two cards, hoping for being dealt a value of twenty-one.

If the value is less than twenty-one, the player is allowed to choose to be dealt single cards until they either reach a value of twenty one, reach a value they feel comfortable to play, or reach a value that exceeds twenty-one.

The player loses if the value of his hand exceeds twenty one. The winner holds a hand with a value of, or nearest to, twenty-one without exceeding it.

Player decisions

After receiving his initial two cards, the player has the following options to choose from:

 Hit: Take another card from the dealer.
 Stand: Take no more cards; also known as stick or stay.
 Double down: After receiving the first two cards the player is allowed to double his initial bet in exchange for only one more card from the dealer.
 Split a pair: If his first two cards are a pair, the player can place a second bet equal to the first into an area outside the betting box of the original bet. The dealer separates the cards to create two hands, placing one bet with each hand. Then the player plays two separate hands.
 Surrender: Not every casino offers this option. After the dealer has checked for blackjack, the player may surrender by giving up half his bet and not playing the hand.

Blackjack training game

Blackjack game courtesy of online casinos &'s blackjack guide.

Blackjack payout rate

When using the basic blackjack strategy, the game has the biggest payout rate out of all casino games. The actual rate may vary as there are over 100 rule variations. The average payout rate is around 98%. Some variations can even have over 99.5% rate.

It means that, in the long run, you can expect to win back as much as 99.5% of your wagered money in each single blackjack game.

Blackjack history

The precursor of blackjack was twenty-one, a game of unknown origin. First reference of the game was written in the beginning of the 17th century in Spain.

American casinos tried to introduce twenty-one but it was not very popular. In order to attract players to their tables, casinos started to offer various bonus payouts. One such a bonus was a 10-1 payout if the player was dealt a hand consisting of the ace of spades and a black jack (either of clubs or spades).

This hand was called a blackjack and became the new name for twenty-one. Blackjack gained enormously in popularity even though the bonus payout was soon discontinued. Today blackjack is any hand composed of an ace and any card of a ten-value (10, jack, queen, or king).

Where to play online blackjack?

You can find blackjack at every casino we present in the online casino reviews section. We especially recommend Party Casino, where besides the classic blackjack you can also try an interesting blackjack multi-hand pro variant and receive up to $/€/₤500 welcome bonus.

More casino articles:

 Quick start
 Blackjack rules
 Craps rules
 Roulette rules
 Slots rules
 Betting systems
 Basic blackjack strategy

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