Blackjack is one of the most popular table games. Hardly will you enter a land-based or online casino and not find at least one variation of the game. It is fun to play and does not require sophisticated skills as some people may think. In fact, you can learn how to play blackjack in minutes. Throughout this article, we will explain the basic rules and gameplay of blackjack. So keep reading as we explore this famous card-based game.

Blackjack Game Objective

The objective of blackjack is pretty straightforward. Unlike some games, you are playing against the dealer and not other players. The goal is to beat the dealer by having a hand that has the highest value but is lesser than 21. If a hand exceeds 21, it is called a burst, and you lose regardless of the dealer's hand. Although there are several variations of the game available to play, this basic objective is the same for all variations.

As a card-based game, blackjack is played with one or more decks of cards. At the start of the game, the dealer will deal two cards to players from the deck, face down. The dealer will also deal himself two cards from the deck with one of them face up. Once cards have been distributed, players will have to decide how to continue the play by using playing actions - Hit, Stand, Double Down, or Split.

Understanding the Playing Actions

The playing actions determine how you want the game to proceed. If you Hit, you are requesting an extra card from the dealer. This is usually done to boost the total value of your hand closer to 21. While there is no limit to how many times you can hit, you have to be careful not to exceed 21. Stand, on the other hand, is used when you do not want an additional card from the dealer.

The Double Down option lets you double your bet amount. In most variations of blackjack, this option is available at the very start of the game. Once you see your cards, you can choose to double down as a way to increase your profit. The split option is available when your initial two cards are a pair. It lets you split them into two hands and your bet is doubled in the process.

Payouts in Blackjack

Blackjack is not the most lucrative game. This means you cannot expect to win big like in progressive jackpot slots or roulette. Nevertheless, the payouts are quite impressive depending on the variation you are playing. The standard payout is 3 to 2. As a rule of thumb, always avoid playing any blackjack game that is lesser than this amount. The good thing about the online version of the game is you can check the paytable.

As we pointed out earlier, blackjack shares the same basic rules and gameplay, regardless of the variation. However, some variations offer side bets which give players an extra way to win money. These side bets have different payouts depending on their type. As usual, you should always check the paytable carefully to know if the particular variation of blackjack you want to play is the best choice for you. Some popular blackjack variations are European Blackjack and Classic Blackjack.

Play Blackjack Online for Free

If you want to learn how to play blackjack like a pro, you can consider playing the free version online. This will give you the time you need to practice and get familiar with the rules of the game. By the time you understand how the gameplay works, you will find it easy to play the real money version. However, note that the free version of blackjack does not offer an opportunity to win money.