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Classic Blackjack Rules

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Lisa Dawson

My name is Lisa Dawson. I'm a passionate card game player with many years of expertise in the field. Enjoy my guides and articles!

Blackjack, also known as 21, is one of the most popular card games in casinos worldwide. Its combination of luck and strategy attracts both novices and seasoned players alike. If you’re new to the game or just need a refresher, this guide will walk you through the classic blackjack rules to help you master the game.

Objective of the Game

The main goal in blackjack is simple: beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding a total of 21. To do this, you need to understand the basic rules and strategies that can tilt the odds in your favor.

Card Values

Understanding the value of each card is crucial. Here’s a quick overview:

Card Value
Number Cards (2-10) Face Value
Face Cards (J, Q, K) 10
Ace 1 or 11

Game Setup

The game typically starts with each player placing their bets. The dealer then deals two cards to each player and two to themselves, with one of the dealer’s cards face up.

Player Actions

Players have several options to choose from:

  • Hit: Take another card to try to get closer to 21.
  • Stand: Keep your current hand and end your turn.
  • Double Down: Double your initial bet and receive exactly one more card.
  • Split: If you have two cards of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands.
  • Surrender: Forfeit half your bet and end your round early (if allowed by the casino).

Dealer’s Role

The dealer has a specific set of rules they must follow:

  • The dealer must hit until their hand totals 17 or higher.
  • If the dealer busts (exceeds 21), all remaining players win.
  • If the dealer stands, players win if their hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without exceeding 21.

Winning and Payouts

Payouts in blackjack can vary slightly based on the casino’s rules, but here’s a general idea:

Situation Payout
Blackjack (Ace + 10-value card) 3:2
Winning Hand 1:1
Insurance Bet (when dealer shows an Ace) 2:1

Basic Strategy Tips

  • Always hit if your hand total is 8 or less.
  • Stand if your hand total is 17 or higher.
  • Double down if your initial hand totals 11.
  • Consider splitting Aces and 8s.
  • Avoid taking insurance bets; the house edge here is significant.


Mastering classic blackjack rules is the first step towards becoming a skilled player. Remember, while luck plays a role, understanding the game’s basics and employing a solid strategy can significantly boost your chances of winning. Happy playing!

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