How To Play Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular games in Canada and worldwide. You can find casinos that offer blackjack virtually everywhere, including online casinos.

Unfortunately, many people still don’t understand how to play the game of blackjack. This is because they never took the time to learn how it works after figuring out the rules of blackjack.

This article will explain the main rules of the game and some tips for you to win more often. If you want to try the game, you can visit our free blackjack game at any time to practice. You can also play for real money with trusted online casinos.

The Objective of Blackjack

Blackjack is commonly known as “21”, making many people believe the objective of blackjack is to get 21. This is, however, not true, as the objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer.

You lower your odds of beating the dealer when your hand is close to 21, but since you play out your hand before the dealer, it’s important not to go above 21 (bust), as this will disqualify you from that game round and you will lose your initial stake.

The Rules of Blackjack

The rules in blackjack are simple. They involve certain restrictions and actions you have to take when you have a specific card combination. You win by beating the dealer, and you use card values. To participate, you must place an initial bet, and you should try to avoid exceeding 21, as this will disqualify you from that game round, and you will lose your bet.

This part of our guide on how to play blackjack will detail the rules of blackjack. You will learn the card values, how to win, act, and when to take action.

Card Values In Blackjack

The card values in blackjack

Every card in the deck has a specific value. The values are different from normal card games, where you have suits and number cards. The following table shows what the card’s value is for this game:

  • Ace: can be worth either 1 or 11.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King): all worth 10 points each.
  • Number cards: worth the value stated on the card.

How to beat the dealer

There are several ways to beat the dealer. If you want to learn more about beating the dealer, you should read our blackjack strategy guide. Here’s how you beat the dealer according to the rules of blackjack:

  1. By getting a hand-value below 21 but still higher than the dealer.
  2. When the dealer’s hand exceeds 21 (bust).
  3. By getting 21 on your first two cards, without the dealer also getting a blackjack.

Other Players at the Table

Although blackjack is considered a social game to take part in, other players at the table have nothing to do with winning the blackjack game. This is different from games such as poker, where you play against each other.

However, if you know how to count cards, the information you get from looking at the other player’s cards is essential. This way, you can determine if the deck of cards is hot or cold.

The cards are played out one by one, so you can get an idea of what kind of hand your opponent is working with, but only when the cards have been dealt. Preferably you will be seated to the far left, allowing you as much information as possible before you have to make a decision.

Deck(s) of Cards

Blackjack is originally played with one deck of 52 cards in total. This is, however, only when you play blackjack with friends. In casinos, you will find that all blackjack tables are played with a minimum of 6 decks. When playing blackjack with friends and in casinos, you use all cards except the joker.

Back in the day, this provided great opportunities for card counting, allowing people to win big money by efficiently beating the dealer. The solution to this for the casinos was to add a cut card randomly placed in the back 1/3 of the deck, making it impossible to gain an advantage over the casino.

This cut card is why card counting isn’t as efficient as it used to be. It is, however, essential to win consistently in blackjack, as it gives you a better idea about when the table is hot and when it is cold.

How To Deal In Blackjack

The dealer in the game of blackjack deals out two cards to all players at the table. The cards are dealt one by one, beginning with the player sitting closest to the dealer’s left side and moving clockwise around the table. If you’re playing blackjack online, you act through a virtual dealer programmed into the software itself.

The player’s cards are dealt face-up, which means it will be possible for all players and the dealer to see the value of your hand. The dealer will receive one card face-up and one card-face down. Each player has to finish their game round before the dealer flips over the face-down card for everyone to see.

If a player decides to split a pair, the dealer will have to deal several hands to the player. If the player chooses to double down, the dealer only has to deal one more card to that player before moving over to the next player or themselves.

How To Place Bets In Blackjack

A video on how to bet in blackjack

The rules of blackjack state that you must bet a certain amount before the dealer starts dealing cards. The casino sets the minimum bet at a table and differentiates between tables. This allows the casino to separate the recreational players and the high-staking players.

A player must place the bet in the dedicated betting area to start the game round. This is usually located in front of the player. After this, the dealer will deal out two cards to that player and themselves.

The player now has to decide if they want to stand, hit, split or double down. If you choose to hit or stand, you don’t have to stake more chips. If you decide to split or double down, you’ll have to match your initial bet. You will learn more about this if you keep reading.

The Gameplay In Blackjack

There is little to no variation when you play blackjack. You will repeat the same procedure repeatedly until the player is either out of money or leaves the table willingly. This makes the gameplay in blackjack very easy. This is the order of what happens when in the game of blackjack:

  1. Players placing wagers
  2. Dealer deals cards to the players
  3. Players decide how to play their hands
  4. The dealer plays their hand
  5. Payout

1. Players placing wagers

To make a wager in blackjack, you will have to place your bet in the dedicated betting area.

2. Dealer deals cards to player(s)

The dealer starts dealing out two cards one by one, beginning with the player on his left and moving clockwise around the table.

3. The Player decides how to play the hand

A decision is made by the player on how to continue playing their hand. This can be standing, hitting, doubling down, or splitting pairs.

4. The dealer plays the hand

The dealer flips his face-down card and plays their hand according to what he thinks is best. This is done by checking their cards against the player’s cards.

5. Payout

If you win, you will be paid out according to the paytable. A payout of 1/1 means that if you wager 1 unit of money, you receive two units in return for winning the game round.

Payouts and RTP in Blackjack

The payouts in blackjack are set by the casino and vary from one casino to another. The RTP or “Return To Player” is used to describe how much money a player can expect to win back from a gambling machine if they continue playing through all possible outcomes.

The paytable will usually show the payout for a player’s hand or the dealer’s hand in blackjack. The RTP will be expressed as a percentage and should add up to 100% when all possible outcomes have been taken into account.

The most common payouts in blackjack are 1:1 and 3:2 if the player gets a blackjack. Being one of the best paying casino games, Blackjack has an RTP of 99.29% when played with the basic blackjack strategy.

Actions You Can Take

When bets are placed, and the cards are dealt, it’s time for decision making. A player can make several different decisions, and in this part, we will teach you how to take those actions. Here’s what you can do:

  • Stand
  • Hit
  • Split
  • Double Down


When you stand, it means that you are satisfied with your cards and are finished playing them for this hand. Remember that if you don’t want to play any more cards, you can opt for standing.


When you hit, it means that you want another card and is not yet satisfied with your hand. Say hit or press the “Hit” button when you play online to get another card.


If you split, you want to create two hands out of your original hand. If you have a pair in your hand, it will be worth more if split. Say “Split” or click the button in online casinos when playing blackjack online to split a pair.

When you split a pair, the dealer will give you another card for each card in your split pair, thus creating two hands. You will be able to play these two new hands as you wish. Remember that each new hand is independent of the other, and you have to follow the correct blackjack strategy for each hand.

In some online casinos, you can double down after splitting a pair if this option is available to you.

Double Down

If you double down, it means that you want to double your wager and play another card. To do this, say “Double” or click on the button when playing blackjack online. You can usually double down if your initial two cards total 8 or 9 after the suit has been taken into account.

Blackjack FAQ

  1. How can I count cards in blackjack?

    If you are serious about the game, it would be best to learn a card counting system. You can practice this at Envavo by using our free-to-play blackjack game.

  2. What is the RTP in blackjack?

    The RTP in blackjack is 99.29% when played with the basic strategy.

  3. How do I win at blackjack?

    To win at blackjack, you have to beat the dealer's hand. You can use our free-to-play blackjack game to practice your skills or visit an online casino.

  4. How many decks are used in blackjack?

    The number of decks used vary from one casino to another. Usually, a six-deck shoe is used in blackjack.

  5. How many hands are dealt at once?

    The number of hands dealt at once depends on the online casino where you play blackjack or how big your table is if playing in an actual casino. Up to 8 hands can be dealt at once in online blackjack games.

  6. How do I play blackjack online?

    You can play free blackjack here at Envavo. You will find a free-to-play blackjack game where you can learn or perfect your skills by visiting our blackjack section. If you want to play for real, you'll have to sign up with a trusted online casino.

  7. How do I bet in blackjack?

    You bet in blackjack by placing the number of chips you want to bet in the designated betting area. If you play online, you click on the chips you want to bet and click the “place bet” button.

  8. Is blackjack the same as poker?

    No, blackjack is different from poker. Poker involves betting on your hand against other players, whereas blackjack is about beating the dealer by having a higher total than them without exceeding 21.

  9. Is blackjack the same as 21?

    Yes, blackjack is also known as 21.

  10. Is online blackjack rigged?

    No, online blackjack is not rigged. Online casinos have to follow strict rules to avoid being accused of rigging games. Just be wary of sites that seem too good to be true, as all reputable casinos will offer the same gameplay. One way to make sure you play a fair game of blackjack is by ensuring the online casino is registered and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.