Most people are pretty familiar with blackjack rules. But a lot of blackjack games offer rules variations. So I’m including a couple of things on this page:
- Free blackjack rules
- A free blackjack rules chart
The “free blackjack rules chart” is a list of all the blackjack rules variations you might run across at various casinos. I’ve put those blackjack rules variations into chart form, basically making a “blackjack rules table”. I’ve tried to cover all the possible blackjack rules variants you might encounter, but so many casinos offer so many bizarre and unusual games that I’m sure I’ve missed some.
Basic Blackjack Rules
The basic rules of blackjack are pretty simple. Basic blackjack rules include the following:
- Blackjack is played with a 52 card deck of cards.
- Cards have a value equal to their rank except for aces and face cards.
- Aces are worth 1 or 11.
- Face cards are worth 10.
- Everyone gets two cards to start with.
- The player’s score is determined by totaling the values of the cards.
- Players can choose whether or not to receive additional cards, one at a time. (Hitting).
- Players can choose not to take additional cards. (Standing.)
- If the player’s total goes over 21, he busts, and automatically loses.
- The dealer acts last and hits until she reaches a total of 17 or higher.
- If the dealer busts, she loses, but only to players who haven’t already busted.
- If the player’s total is higher than the dealer’s, the player wins.
- And vice versa.
Other options that the player has available to him:
- Splitting – In most blackjack games, a player who’s dealt two cards of the same rank can split that into two separate blackjack hands by putting up a 2nd bet.
- Surrendering – The player can “surrender” half his bet if he thinks the dealer has a blackjack.
- Doubling down – The player can double his bet and take one and exactly one additional card.
Additional Reading: Tips for playing Blackjack
Blackjack Rules Table – Blackjack Rules Chart
The following blackjack rules chart lists some of the possible variations of the blackjack rules at a particular casino. Some of these variations make the game mathematically better for the player, while others make the game better for the casino.
|Number of decks in play (1-8)||More decks, better for the casino. And vice versa.|
|Dealer stands on soft 17||If the dealer hits a soft 17, that’s better for the casino than the player.|
|Player can double down on any 2 cards||Most casinos limit doubling down to totals of 9, 10, or 11, or 10 or 11 in some cases. The more flexibility available about when you can double down, the better the game.|
|Doubling after splitting allowed||It benefits the player to be able to double after splitting.|
|Surrendering||Some casinos don’t offer surrender as an option. Those that do offer early surrender and late surrender.|
|Blackjack pays 6 to 5 , 7 to 5, or even money||Any game where blackjack doesn’t pay 3 to 2 isn’t a very good game.|
|Dealer looks at her hole card.||In European games, the dealer doesn’t “peek” to see if she has a blackjack before gameplay, which benefits the player.|
Using this free blackjack rules chart to know which rules are better for the player and which rules are better for the casino will help you select a blackjack game where you have better odds.