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How To Play Blackjack Card Game - Beginners Guide

How To Play Blackjack Card Game - Beginners Guide

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in casinos around the world. It's easy to learn, fun to play and doesn't take long to get the hang of. Whether you're playing at a real casino or an online one, knowing the basics of Blackjack is paramount. 

The aim of Blackjack is simple: get a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. In this guide, we'll walk you through the basic rules, how to play a hand, and some key tips to get you started. So, let's dive right in and explore the world of Blackjack. 

How Do You Play Blackjack In a Casino?

To play Blackjack in a casino, first, find a table with a betting limit that suits your budget. Once you've found your spot, follow these steps: 

Sit down and buy some chips from the dealer. You can do this by placing cash on the table. The dealer will exchange it for chips. 

Place your bet in the betting circle. The dealer will then deal two cards to each player face up and two for themselves. Only one of the dealer's cards is face up so everyone can see it; the other is face down. 

Now, you add the values of your two cards together. Number cards are worth their face value (i.e. 2 of hearts is worth 2, 7 of clubs is worth 7, etc.), face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) are worth 10, and Aces can be worth 1 or 11, depending on what's best for your hand. 

Decide your next move. You can "hit" to get another card if you think you need more to get closer to 21 or "stand" to end your turn with the hand you currently have if you're happy with the total. 

If your total goes over 21 after hitting, you "bust" and lose your bet. If you stand, the dealer will then play their hand after all players have had their turns. The dealer plays according to set rules until they have a total of 17 or more. 

The goal is to have a hand closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. If you do, you win and get paid based on your bet. 

Remember, it's important to stick to your budget and play responsibly - enjoying the game but setting realistic expectations. 

Rules In Blackjack

Blackjack is a straightforward game with simple rules. Knowing these can help you navigate the game more confidently. 

Card Values

  • Number cards (2–10) are worth their face value.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10.
  • Aces can be worth 1 or 11, whichever benefits your hand the most.

The Aim

Your goal is to have a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer's without going over 21. If you go over 21, you lose your bet. 

Dealing the Cards

The game begins with each player and the dealer getting two cards. Players' cards are dealt face-up. The dealer has one card face up and one face down. 

Player's Turn

Players then decide their action: 

  • Hit: Get another card.
  • Stand: Keep your current hand.
  • Double Down: Double your bet and receive one more card.
  • Split: If you have two cards of the same value, you can split them into two hands (requires an additional bet). The rules for splitting pairs can vary from one Blackjack table to the next, so always be sure to check the rules of the specific game you're playing. 

Dealer's Turn

After all players have finished their turns, the dealer reveals their face-down card. The dealer must hit until their total is 17 or higher. If the dealer goes over 21, they bust, and all remaining players win. If the dealer ends up with a total higher than the player but is still under 21, the player loses their bet. 


You win if: 

  • Your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer's.
  • The dealer busts (goes over 21).
  • You get a Blackjack (Ace and a 10-value card), and the dealer doesn't.

That's it. Those are the basic rules of Blackjack. Enjoy the game, and remember to gamble responsibly. 

Blackjack Insurance Explained

In Blackjack, the dealer's upcard can sometimes be an Ace. If this happens, players are offered "insurance". Insurance is a side bet. It protects you if the dealer has a Blackjack (an Ace and a 10-value card). This bet is half of your original bet. 

Once the dealer shows an Ace, you can place an insurance bet. If the dealer's face-down card is a 10-value card, you win the insurance bet. It pays out at 2:1. So, even if you lose your main bet, the insurance payout can help to cover that loss. 

While it might seem like a good backup, many seasoned players avoid the insurance bet due to its high house edge. The house edge is higher than that of the main Blackjack game. 

So, while the insurance bet can seem like a good idea, it's worth serious consideration before deciding to place this bet. Understanding how insurance works and the odds of this side bet can help you make better-informed decisions at the Blackjack table. Always play responsibly. 

Side Bets In Blackjack

Side bets in Blackjack can make playing more exciting and provide additional chances to win payouts. Here are some common side bets you might come across: 

Perfect Pairs

With this bet, you place a bet on your first two cards forming a pair, and if they do, you win. There are three types of pairs you can get: a Perfect Pair (same rank and suit), a Coloured Pair (same rank and colour), or a Mixed Pair (same rank but different suits). 


This bet combines elements of Blackjack and Three Card Poker. If you place this bet, you win if your two cards plus the dealer's upcard make a flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, or straight flush (i.e. a poker hand). 

Lucky Ladies

You bet on your first two cards having a total of 20. The payout increases if your cards are of the same rank and suit, with the highest payout being awarded for two Queens of Hearts. 

Side bets add another layer of excitement to Blackjack, but they often have higher house edges than the main Blackjack game. So, it's always important to gamble responsibly and within your budget. Remember, side bets are optional; just because they're there doesn't mean you have to make them. 

Is Blackjack Skill Or Luck?

Blackjack is a mix of both skill and chance. Let's break it down. 

The chance factor comes from the cards you and the dealer are dealt. You can't control which cards will appear on the initial draw or if you hit or double down, so chance plays a part in every hand. 

Skill comes in with the decisions you make during the game. You can choose to hit, stand, double down, or split based on the cards you have and the dealer's upcard. Using a basic strategy chart can guide your decisions on when to hit, stand, double down, or split. It's based on the statistically most advantageous moves given the value of your hand and the dealer's upcard. 

Effectively using basic Blackjack strategy can lower the house edge from around 2-4% to around 0.5-1%. However, it can't fully eliminate it due to the slight role that chance always plays. 

So, as you can see, Blackjack is a game where chance and skill both play important roles. Understanding this balance can help you enjoy the game more, set realistic expectations and make informed decisions. 

How To Play Online Blackjack

Playing Blackjack online is similar to playing in a physical casino, but there are a few key differences. Here's a simple guide to get you started. 

First, select a trustworthy online casino. Look for one that is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), like Dove Casino, to ensure fair play and security. 

You'll then need to sign up for an account. This involves providing some basic information like your name, email, and age. Make sure to use a strong password to keep your account secure. 

Once your account is set up, you'll need to deposit money to start playing. Most online casinos accept various payment methods like debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. Set a budget for yourself before you begin. 

Navigate to the casino site's table games section and select a Blackjack game. There are often different versions available, so you can choose the one that appeals to you the most. 

Decide how much you'd like to bet and place your chips on the virtual table. Once you've placed your bet, click the 'Deal' button to start the game. 

You'll be dealt two cards, and the dealer will also get two cards, one of which is face-up. Follow the same rules as in traditional Blackjack: you can "hit" to take another card or "stand" to keep your current hand. You may also have options to "double down" or "split" if the situation arises. 

Online Blackjack offers the same excitement as playing in a casino but with the added convenience of being able to play at a time and place that suits you. Just remember to always gamble responsibly and never chase your losses. 

Play Online Blackjack For Real Money

Looking for a UK casino site where you can play Blackjack online? Dove Casino offers a safe and secure platform for you to play online Blackjack for real money. 

If you join Dove Casino, you'll have access to a variety of Blackjack games that cater to both beginners and experienced players. Our user-friendly interface and seamless gameplay make it straightforward to navigate and start playing. 

At Dove Casino, we prioritise your security and fair play. We're fully licensed by the UKGC, so you can trust that your personal information and transactions are secure. Plus, our customer support team is always available to help you with any questions you might have. 

Take the next step and sign up at Dove Casino. With just a few simple steps, you can create your account, deposit funds, and start playing Blackjack at your own pace. Set your budget, enjoy the game, and remember to gamble responsibly. 

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins, etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time. Game features mentioned may not be available in some jurisdictions.