Blackjack is easy to learn and it’s also one of the most popular card games across the globe. You can play it in land-based casinos, at online casinos, or from the comfort of home. Blackjack originated in 17th century France and was called “Vingt-et-un”. This is French for twenty-one, and even today you can find the game under this name. Whether you’re new to playing Blackjack, or just want to brush up on your knowledge, the following guide by NetEnt Games about how to play blackjack contains all the information you need to know about playing this card game.

Blackjack Rules, Objective and Equipment

Blackjack is about getting your cards closer to 21 than the dealer. If this limit is exceeded, the player loses, if the dealer surpasses 21, the game ends with a win for the player by default. Going over 21 is also called a break or burst for both player and dealer.

A special feature of Blackjack is that it is a so-called dealer’s game. This means that no matter how many players are sitting at the Blackjack table, they do not play against each other. Each player tries to beat the dealer.

What Blackjack equipment do casinos use?

Whether it’s Blackjack in a brick-and-mortar casino, online casino or live casino, the equipment for the basic Blackjack version is always the same. Furthermore, in all cases, the chances of winning are determined by the game rules. These are part of the software in online Blackjack, so the RTP is the same as in live Blackjack.

When playing in a casino or online, Blackjack is equipped as follows.

The Blackjack table

The Blackjack table has a semicircular shape, with 5 to 7 players seated on the round side and the dealer on the straight side. The table is covered with green felt, on which the players’ betting area is located. In the middle, different rules of the game for certain Blackjack variants may be printed again. The Blackjack table in online casinos is similar to land casinos, however, it is virtual and contains digital mechanics to automatically broadcast the game, such as card scanners

The Blackjack deck

Single Deck Blackjack can be played with as few as 52 cards. In casinos, however, up to 8 card decks are used. This is due to the fact that some players try to count the cards, which is frowned upon by casinos. Depending on the Blackjack variant, several decks of 52 cards can also be used when playing online.

The shoe and the plastic card

The plastic card is used to indicate when the cards should be reshuffled. It is not dealt, but a player is appointed to place it in the middle of the cards, he is called to cut. The box that holds various packs of cards face down is called a shoe. It allows the dealer to simply draw the cards needed for the game in order.

Blackjack Card Values and Rules

In Blackjack, the cards have different values. They count as follows:

  • The numbered cards from 2 to 10 count with their actual value
  • The face cards such as Jack, Queen, and King have the value 10
  • The Ace can have the value 1 or 11, the player decides on the basis of their hand.

NetEnt Games have developed a detailed guide to Blackjack charts, odds, and strategies that will allow those interested to delve even deeper.

How do you play Blackjack at a casino?

In a land-based or online casino, there is a certain order of how to play Blackjack. The following step-by-step guide makes it especially easy for beginners to follow the game:

Step 1: Select a table

Blackjack tables in casinos are often arranged according to a certain betting range. Depending on the bankroll and experience, the player must therefore first decide which of the Blackjack tables is the most suitable. If a free spot is available there, the player can take a seat.

Step 2: Wait for the end of the current game

After you sit down, you simply wait for the end of the current hand. Then, you can place your casino chips on the Blackjack table in front of you, but not directly into the betting area. This shows the dealer that you want to participate in the following game. When you play at online casinos, your chips are added automatically, usually shown near the bottom of the game screen.

Step 3: Place your bets

When placing the bet, you simply move your chips to the betting area in front of you. This is done in the same way in land-based casinos and online casinos. Online, you use either the touch screen or the cursor to move your chips around the user interface.

Step 4: Dealing the cards

Then the dealer deals the cards. Each player, in a clockwise direction, receives one card face up. The dealer also deals himself a face-up card. The following time, the players are dealt another card face up. The dealer gives himself a second card, but this one is placed face down. This card is also referred to as the Hole card.

Step 5: Decision on the cards

After the card dealing is finished, the dealer turns to each player, starting from the left, to ask them about their cards for a decision. Here, players can choose between the following:

Hit – The player wants to draw one or more cards.

Stand – The player won’t draw more cards

Split – Holding two cards with the same value, the player can split them into two hands. However, splitting the cards requires another bet of the original amount for the second hand that will then be played.

Double down – This option is only available to the player when his two cards reach 9, 10 or 11. With another bet in the amount of the original bet, they can receive one more card for the double down, which is placed face down in front of them. After all bets are placed, this card is then revealed.

Step 6: The dealer checks their face down card

After all players have finished their hand, it is time for the Blackjack dealer to reveal his card, which is still face down.

Step 7: The Blackjack dealer continues according to the game rules

Games rules in most casinos, generally, if the dealer reaches 16 and below, they will hit, i.e. draw another card. If they reach 17 or more, they will stand, i.e. not draw another card. Many of the Blackjack games in Las Vegas casinos work this way. The Blackjack dealer does not have the option of playing split or double down.

Step 8: Payout the winnings and collection of losses

Any player who is closer to 21 compared to the dealer wins. In the opposite case, it is the player who loses the blackjack game.

After the winnings have been determined, they are paid out by the dealer according to the rules, and the losing bets of other players are collected.

When to…

After looking at a game of Blackjack in single steps, players should always be aware of  which decision to take regarding their hand.


A rule of thumb is that the player should play hit until they reach at least 17. This applies in the case when the Blackjack dealer reveals the first card for themselves, worth a 7 to 10 value. If the dealer’s revealed card has a denomination between 4 and 6, the Blackjack player should no longer hit once his cards have reached a denomination of at least 12. If the dealer’s revealed card has a value of 2 or 3, players should stop hitting when they reach a value of 13 or higher.

In case you have a soft hand involving an Ace, players should hit until they reach at least a total of 18.


If the player considers the card denomination to be high enough to beat the dealer, then they should stand and refrain from drawing any more cards. This is usually the case when the dealer’s face up card count is 7-10 and the player’s own cards exceed 17. If the player has a soft hand, they should at least stand starting at 18 points. If the player’s face-up card shows a 4-6, then the player can do without another card even if his own cards are worth 12 points. In case the dealer’s card turns out to be a 2 or 3, the player should choose to stand when their own total score is at least 13.


Even if the player’s two cards have the same denomination, splitting the hand is not indicated in every case. The player should split aces and 8s. If there are two 10s, splitting is not recommended. Players should also not split two 5s, as the sum of 10 from them might be more suitable for playing double down. Two 4s with a sum of 8 are best suited to draw on. For the other numerical values, it depends on the dealer’s open card whether one should split. If the dealer’s face up card shows a value of 8, 9,10 or Ace, players should refrain from splitting their 2s, 3s and 7s. Also, players should not split two 6s if the blackjack dealer’s open card has a value between 2 and 6.

Double Down

The player should always choose double if his cards have a total value of 11. In all other cases, one must additionally orient themselves on the value of the Blackjack dealer’s card in order to make their decision. For example, doubling down in Blackjack is not indicated if the dealer’s revealed card is a ten value card or shows an Ace. If the dealer’s card has a value of 2-6, then the player can double down if the sum of his card denominations is 9.

Additional betting options when playing Blackjack

In addition to the draws mentioned above, players have options to place additional bets in blackjack.

Insurance bet

If the dealer’s face-up card shows an Ace, players have the option of taking out insurance bets. With this side bet, an additional half of the initial bet is wagered. If the dealer’s second card has a value of 10, and he  scores a Blackjack, the insurance is paid 2:1. In addition, the player receives the insurance stake back. However, the original bet is lost if the player does not have a Blackjack. However, it often happens that if the dealer does not score a Blackjack, then the amount for the insurance will be lost.

Soft 17

In some casinos, the Blackjack game rule requires the dealer to hit on a soft 17. This is related to the ace, which can be scored as both a 1 and an 11. Every Blackjack player should find out which rules apply at any given table in a particular casino.


In some Blackjack variants, players can also surrender. In this case, only half of the original stake is deducted, and the other half will be returned. It depends on the casino whether the option to surrender is part of the rules of Blackjack.

Even money payout

If the player scores a Blackjack and the dealer’s hand shows an Ace, there is the possibility of a tie. In this case, players have the option to choose an even money payout in case they do not want to risk their potential winnings. In this case, they receive a 1:1 payout instead of the 3:2 win.

Valuable Tips for playing Blackjack

Blackjack is a game that depends, among other things, on mathematics and a precise knowledge of the rules of the game. To help you improve your Blackjack game, we have the following tips for you:

Know the Game

Even though Blackjack seems like a simple game at first glance, players need a lot of practice to master it. They should not rely on their intuition, but familiarise themselves with the basic Blackjack rules. The best way to play this casino game depends on many factors. Players can make use of Blackjack simulators to try out different game variations or test various strategies to beat Blackjack. In Blackjack, practice makes perfect.

Do not play Blackjack emotionally

Being mentally tense or attempting to recoup losses is a bad situation in Blackjack, which you should avoid. Blackjack is a game where you need to stay cool, and stick to your tried and tested strategies.

Play responsibly

Responsible gambling is just as much a part of Blackjack. This includes players managing their bankroll and not wagering more than they can handle. To control the bets on each game, these should not exceed 20-25% of the bankroll per round.


Blackjack is extremely popular around the world, and for good reason. The logical rules and the option to easily learn it allow players to have a lot of fun and thrill. Even though our guide has explained the basics to beginners, a thorough knowledge of the game, learning basic strategies, and practicing often is required to gain progress in your Blackjack skills. Showing perseverance and learning the intricacies of this card game enables players to play Blackjack even more successfully in the long run.

FAQ on How to play Blackjack

Blackjack is a game that has a high RTP in the long run. This can be up to 99.5%. The house edge would be 0.5% in this case. However, this is only a theoretical value that can ideally be achieved in millions of games. The payout of the game (like 3:2 instead of 6:5), the game rules and the game strategy have a significant influence and can increase or decrease the RTP. When all the downside rules and playing styles come together, Blackjack’s RTP can drop as low as 97.5%.
Since in Blackjack each player bets against the dealer, blackjack is also possible with 2 participants. One of them takes on the role of the player, the other that of the dealer. Blackjack can then be played according to the usual rules.
To play Blackjack at home, you use a single deck of 52 cards. 2 to 7 players can participate. Unlike in casinos, the role of the dealer is filled by each participant in turn.

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