Blackjack, also known as 21, is a popular card game played in casinos around the world. The game is widely appreciated for its simplicity and strategic depth. Here’s an in-depth explanation of the rules:

Objective: The main goal in blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a hand value closest to 21 without exceeding it.

Card Values:

  • Number cards (2-10) are worth their face value.
  • Face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are each worth 10 points.
  • Aces can be worth 1 or 11 points, depending on the player’s choice and the hand’s requirements.

The Deal:

  • Players are dealt two cards face up, while the dealer receives one face up and one face down (hole card).


  • Players can choose to “hit” (take another card) or “stand” (keep their current hand).
  • Players can continue to hit as many times as they like, but if the total value of their hand exceeds 21, they “bust” and lose the round.
  • If a player is dealt an Ace and a 10-value card as their initial two cards, it’s called a “blackjack” and usually pays 3:2 unless the dealer also has a blackjack, resulting in a push (tie).
  • After all players complete their actions, the dealer reveals their hole card.
  • The dealer must hit until their hand totals 17 or higher and must stand on a “hard” 17 (a hand without an Ace) or a “soft” 17 (a hand with an Ace valued as 11).

Winning and Payouts:

  • Players win if their hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without busting.
  • Winning hands typically pay even money, except for a blackjack, which pays 3:2.
  • Ties result in a push, and players get their bets back.


  • Players can choose to take insurance if the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. This is a side bet that pays 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack.

Doubling Down:

  • Players can choose to double their original bet after the first two cards, but they must commit to taking only one more card.

Splitting Pairs:

  • If a player is dealt two cards of the same value, they can choose to split them into two separate hands, each with its own bet. Additional cards are dealt to each split card, and the player plays each hand independently.


  • Some variants allow players to surrender, forfeiting half their bet if they believe they have a weak hand.