Exactly how a round of blackjack is played can vary between casinos, but below you will find a basic outline that many (but not all!) casinos follow. Always check up on applicable rules for the specific table where you wish to play before you make any wager.
A basic round of blackjack
- The players place their wagers.
- The dealer give each player two cards, face up.
- The dealer gives herself one card face up and another card face down.
- The player seated to the far right at the table starts making decisions about their hand. He can either stay or ask for another card. Any new card is dealt face up.If the hand exceeds 21 points, it has automatically lost, the wager is lost and the dealer will remove the hand and the wager from the table. This hand will not be compared to the dealer’s hand later.
- When the first player has either decided to stay or lost his hand, the round proceeds to the next player.
- When all players at the table have played their hand, the dealer turns up her second card to reveal its value. What happens next depends on the value of her hand and the rules of the casino. Unlike a player, a dealer is not allow to make free choices about when to stay. In most casinos, she must take another card if her hand is worth 16 points or less and she must stay if her hand is worth 17 points or more.
- When the dealer has followed the rules for completing her hand, she will compare it to the player hands that are still in the game, starting with the hand on the far right of the table.
- If you hand is stronger than the dealer’s, you get paid 1:1 on a regular hand and 3:2 on a blackjack.
- If you hand is weaker than the dealer’s, you lose your wager.
- In most casinos, a tie means you get to keep your wager. However, there are casinos where you actually lose your wager on a tie, or lose it if the tie is at 19 points or below. (These casinos should ideally be avoided.)Please note that if the dealer’s hand goes over 21 points, any player hand that is still in the game wins, regardless of how weak the player’s hand is. This is why you sometimes see players stop at 12 points, 13 points etc instead of risking taking another card that might send them over 21 points. In blackjack, it is definitely possible to win with a seemingly weak hand.
Most casinos (but not all) pay 1:1 on regular wins and 3:2 on blackjack wins. What does this mean?
- Your hand is ten + eight and the dealer’s hand is ten + seven. Since your hand is closer to 21 points, you win and you get paid 1:1. If your wager was €200 you get paid €200 and now have €400 in front of you at the table.
- Your hand is ten + ace and the dealer’s hand is ten + seven. Since you are winning with a blackjack hand, you get paid 3:2. If your wager was €200 you get paid €300 and now have €500 in front of you at the table.
At some tables, specific gimmick hands might pay extra. There are for instance casinos where 7-7-7 pays extra if you win with that hand.