Blackjack Rules, Bets, and Odds

Master the world’s most famous card game

Blackjack is a simple yet exciting card game. But what are the rules of blackjack, and how does it work? Read on to learn how to play blackjack, its rules and odds, and the side bets you can make.

Master the Rules and Odds of Blackjack

Even though it’s considered a game of chance, knowing the blackjack rules US can be beneficial. In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know, including the odds of winning at blackjack. You can find a blackjack odds table and other resources below:

Goal of blackjack

blackjack rules 1
The goal – get as closer to 21 without going over

The game’s goal is to beat the dealer by having the closest hand to 21, or 21. To do this, you’ll receive two cards, from which you must decide if you want to hit or stand.

Card values

Card values dictate the strength of your hand. The table below contains all the values you will come across in blackjack:

CardValue
A1 or 11
11
22
33
44
55
66
77
88
99
1010
Face Cards(J, K, Q)10

Blackjack odds

blackjack rules - odds
The higher the number of decks, the greater the house’s advantage

After studying the rules of blackjack US, you should focus on the odds. Blackjack odds depend mainly on the number of decks in play. The best blackjack odds are achieved by playing with a single deck.

The following table may help you improve the odds of winning at blackjack by telling you when to hit or stand. It’s valid for four, six, and eight-deck games where the dealer stands on 17.

Dealer’s Face Up Card
Hard2345678910A
4 to 8HHHHHHHHHH
9HDHDHDHDHHHHHH
10DHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHHH
11DHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHDHH
12HHSSSHHHHH
13SSSSSHHHHH
14SSSSSHHHHH
15SSSSSHHHRHH
16SSSSSHHRHRHRH
+17SSSSSSSSSS
Soft2345678910A
13HHHDHDHHHHHH
14HHHDHDHHHHHH
15HHDHDHDHHHHHH
16HHDHDHDHHHHHH
17HDHDHDHDHHHHHH
18SDSDSDSDSSSHHH
+19SSSSSSSSSS
HHit
SStand
DHDouble if possible, hit if not
DSDouble if possible, hit if not
RHDouble if possible, hit if not

Another concept you should be aware of while looking into the odds of winning at blackjack is the house edge. This term dictates the house’s advantage over the player at any given point. On average, blackjack has a house edge of 0.46%.

Blackjack terms

Knowing the terms of blackjack is an excellent way to improve your casino vocabulary and game knowledge. Check them out:

TERMDEFINITION
BlackjackThe best hand – an A and a face card or a 10.
Burn cardA card discarded before the game begins.
BustExceeding 21.
Cold deckWhen a deck doesn’t have cards favorable to the players.
DiscardsThe cards previously dealt, which are kept on the side until needed.
Double downDoubling the stake and drawing an additional card.
House edgeThe advantage the casino has over the player.
Flat betBetting the same amount every round.
HitAsking for a card.
SurrenderGive up the hand and receive half the amount back.
SplitWhen players receive two cards with the same value, they have the option to split them, acting as two separate hands.
StandDeciding not to take another card.
Up cardThe dealer’s face-up card.

How Does a Blackjack Round Work?

Every blackjack round follows the same structure. Players start by placing their bets before the dealer deals the cards. The goal is to obtain either a hand totalling 21 or as close as possible to 21 without busting. 

Study the rules

You should take your time to study blackjack rules. Knowing the US blackjack rules is crucial in becoming a better player. You’ll know when to hit, stand, and most importantly, how to control your bankroll.

Add money to your balance

Before you can start placing blackjack side bets, you’ll need to add funds to your casino account. To do so, head to the cashier and select your favorite deposit method. Your funds should be available right away, regardless of the method chosen.

Place a bet

Now you’re ready to start. Whether you pick All bets blackjack or the classic version, find a table suited to your budget by paying attention to the minimum and maximum bets. Playing blackjack requires responsibility, so don’t bet more than you can’t afford to lose.

The dealer deals the cards

After the issues with the payment methods and whatnot are out of the way, the blackjack rules card game begins with all players placing their bets. Each player receives two cards face up. The dealer will also deal himself two cards, one face up and one face down.

I got a blackjack!

A blackjack is a hand consisting of an A and a 10-value card. It’s the highest possible hand in the game. You’ll receive a payout once the round ends, assuming the dealer doesn’t land a blackjack.

I won a side bet!

The good thing about blackjack side bets is that you can win before the round ends. The blackjack side bets payout will vary according to the bet placed. You may still be in the game, so read the steps below.

LEARN ABOUT BLACKJACK SIDE BETS

Make your decision

After looking through the blackjack rules, you’ll know what to do in this situation. Analyze the table and be aware of the blackjack odds before deciding whether you want to hit, double down, or split. 

Shoot, it’s a bust!

You bust whenever your hand value exceeds 21. Your bet is automatically collected, and you must wait until the next round starts to bet again.

I’m still in the game!

If your action – hit, stand, split, or double down, didn’t make your hand exceed 21, you’re still in the game. You may have a chance to improve the blackjack odds of winning by learning about strategies.

The dealer plays his hand

Once every player has decided, the dealer will turn over his face-down card. The dealer must obtain a hand value of at least 17. There are four possible outcomes in this situation:

Payouts

Winnings are paid in this phase. To know what you’ll receive, we recommend looking into blackjack payouts. If your chosen game has side bets, you should also be aware of blackjack side bet payouts.

LEARN ABOUT BLACKJACK PAYOUTS

All About Side Bets

Some blackjack variations feature optional side bets. Discover the blackjack side bets odds and payouts below:

Insurance

Blackjack rules 2
Rule of thumb – Never take insurance on blackjack

Players are asked if they want to take insurance when the dealer has a face-up ace. The bet costs half the player’s stake and pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack (21). 

Perfect pairs

This side bet is all about betting on your hand. It has three variations:

Mixed pair

Betting the hand will have two cards with the same value but a different suit and color. Has a payout of 5:1.

Colored pair

Betting the hand will have two cards with the same value and color but a different suit. Has a payout of 12:1.

Perfect pair

Betting the hand will have two cards with the same value, color, and suit. Has a payout of 25:1.

21+3

This side bet uses the player’s cards and the dealer’s up card, as follows:

Flush

All cards from the same suit. Has a payout of 5:1.

Straight

All the cards are consecutive. Has a payout of 10:1.

Three of a kind

Three cards of the same value. Has a payout of 30:1.

Straight flush

Three consecutive cards of the same suit. Has a payout of 40:1.

Suited triple

Three identical cards. Has a payout of 100:1.

Bet behind

Allows players to bet on other players’ hands. Ultimately, the payouts vary according to the other player’s actions.

Royal match

It pays 5:2 if the player’s cards are from the same suit and 25:1 if they’re a K and a Q.

Over/under 13

Pays 1:1 if the player guesses whether his hand will be over or under 13.

Super sevens

Pays if sevens are dealt to the player:

Lucky ladies

Pays if the player’s hand adds up to 20:

Honey bonus

This side bet is similar to 21+3, although it also pays 3:1 for a suited blackjack.

Lucky 7

Similar to super sevens, albeit with different payouts. It also takes the dealer’s card into account. The maximum payout is 500:1 for three suited sevens.

Lucky lucky

A highly diverse side bet that pays based on several outcomes:

Game EventPayout
3 Suited Sevens200:1
Suited 6, 7, and 8100:1
3 Unsuited Sevens50:1
Unsuited 6, 7, and 830:1
Suited 2115:1
Unsuited 213:1
202:1
192:1

Top 3

Similar to the 21+3, but with different payouts:

Hot 3

Unique to Evolution’s Infinite Blackjack. Similar to the lucky lucky side bet, but with the following differences:

Buster

A side bet that pays out if the dealer busts. The payouts vary according to the number of cards the dealer draws:

Bust it

Unlike the buster side bet, this bet pays out according to the dealer’s third card:

Best live casinos to place blackjack side bets

Discover the top blackjack side bets and where you can find them:

CasinoBetsNº of Decks21+3Perfect PairsBet BehindSuper SevensHot 3Software
888$1 to $5,0006NetEnt
Party Casino$1 to $5,0008Evolution
Unibet$1 to $5,0008Evolution

Payouts of Blackjack

Have a look at the most common blackjack payouts:

TYPE OF WINPAYOUT
Blackjack 3:2
Winning wager1:1
After doubling1:1 of the total wager
After splitting1:1 on each hand
Doubling after splitting1:1 on each hand

Conclusion

The blackjack game can be confusing if you do not take the time to learn how it’s played. Yes, there are many moving parts here, but once you get a good grasp of the basics, game rules and odds, you are well on your way to online blackjack mastery.

Frequently Asked Questions

The house edge for American blackjack is 0.46%.
Landing three suited sevens on a super sevens side bet has a payout of 5,000:1.
Players should take insurance when they feel the dealer has a face-down 10. However, insurance bets only win 33% of the time.
The best time to double is when your hand value is 10 or 11.