How to play Blackjack

Learn the rules to the playing card game Blackjack quickly and concisely – This video has no distractions, just the rules. While there are variations to Blackjack, this video covers the original base rules.

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The object of the game is to bet against the dealer for hands as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Cards from 2-10 are worth their face value. Face cards are worth 10. Aces are worth 11 or 1, depending on which is more advantageous to the hand. Players make their bets on the round then the dealer passes out one card face up to everyone including themselves. Next the dealer passes out one more card face up to all of the players and one card face down for their own hand. If you are dealt 21, this is called a blackjack, if the dealer doesn’t also have a blackjack you win an amount equal to 1 and a half times your initial bet and you are out for the hand.

The rest of the players always go first before the dealer reveals their face down card. Before a player begins official play, however, they may opt to do either or none of two things: buy insurance or surrender. A player may buy insurance in case that the dealer has a blackjack. Insurance is equal to the bet initially made and is given back to the player if the dealer does in fact have a blackjack. Additionally, a player may surrender their hand if they are confident that they will lose. Surrendering gives the player back half of their bet while the other half is given to the dealer. After this, the dealer checks their hand to if they have blackjack. If they do, they reveal it immediately and the round ends.

Otherwise, starting with the player to the dealer’s left, and continuing clockwise, players try to get their hand closer or equal to 21 than the dealer’s, without going over. This can be done by hitting, standing, splitting, and doubling down.

You can choose to “hit”, and request an additional card from the deck. Hitting can be signaled by saying “hit” or tapping the table. If your hand becomes over 21 after a hit, this is called a “bust” and you automatically lose your bet, regardless if the dealer also bust. You may hit as many times as you like so long as you haven’t busted.

You can choose to “stand” to end your turn and keep the cards dealt. Standing can be signaled by waving your flat hand, palm down, across your cards. You can stand before or after hitting.

You can decide to “split” your cards only if the 2 cards originally dealt to you are a pair. Splitting turns the pair into two individual hands, each with their own bet equal to the player’s first bet. The dealer then deals you two additional cards to complete each hand and the player again has the options to hit, stand, split, or double down.

You can decide to “double down” by doubling your initial bet. After the initial bet is made, the dealer gives you one more card after which you must stand.

Once a player has busted or stood, the next player clockwise goes. Once all the players have gone, the dealer reveals their facedown card and may hit and/or stand; usually revolving around specific rules on what number they do what. Once the dealer is finished, then everyone compares their hand against the dealer’s.

If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21 than yours, you lose your entire bet. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, or your hand is equal to 21, you win an amount equal to your bet. If the dealer busts, then every player who didn’t bust wins an amount equal to their bet. If both you and the dealer have a blackjack or 21, you neither win or lose, this is called a “push”, and no exchange of bets is made.

After each round, all the cards in play are discarded but not shuffled back into the deck. Only once all the cards in the deck have been used is it shuffled.

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