How to Play Blackjack

PokerSourceOnline has had some deals not only in poker lately, but in full-fledged online casinos. Many users find it most beneficial to play Blackjack at these casinos, so here’s a comprehensive guide on the game for those unfamiliar with it.

The Basics

Blackjack is super-easy to learn. It’s played with at least one deck of cards. Each card, 2-10 is worth its face value. Jack, Queen and King are worth 10 each. An ace is worth either 1 or 11—you can choose as you play.

The ultimate goal is to beat the dealer’s cards with your own. What you’re each trying to do is gain up to 21 points without going over. Whoever is closest, wins. If one of you goes over, the other wins by default.

The play starts with the dealer and the player each dealt two cards. The players’ cards are dealt face-up. The dealer has one card dealt face-up, the other face-down. To see how many points you have, you add the value of the cards.

Now, knowing the value of your cards and the value of one of the dealer’s cards, it’s up to you to decide whether you want the dealer to “HIT” you with another card (you can do this as many times as you want), or whether you want to “STAND” and not take any more cards. Then it’s the dealer’s turn to do the same. The dealer will then reveal his hidden card. As a general rule, if he has 16 points or less, he will HIT. If he has 17 or more, he will STAND. Of course, if the player busted (went over 21), then the dealer wins by default.


If the player is dealt a 10 PLUS an Ace, he has Blackjack—it’s the highest possible combination, and cannot be beaten. Of course, the dealer can get Blackjack, too, which will beat the players cards. Because of this, casino’s offer INSURANCE. If the dealer is dealt an Ace, you can buy the insurance, usually 50% of your bet, so if the dealer’s second card is a 10 or face card, you don’t lose anything. If the dealer’s second card doesn’t make a Blackjack, the play continues as normal, but the insurance money is lost.

How Does that Ace Work Again?

The Ace is worth one or 11 points—it’s up to you. For instance, if you’re dealt an Ace and a Six, you can count it as seven points. Or you can count it as 17 points. If you tell the dealer to HIT, and get a 10, then you have 17 (1+6+10). If you get a 3, you have 20 (11+6+3).


Blackjack payout is 1:1. So if you bet $10 and win, you win $20 (your $10 + the dealer’s $10). Many casinos give special bonuses if a player gets Blackjack, such as a 3:2 payment. So you could win $25 on a $10 bet if you hit Blackjack.


When you get two identical cards (such as two sevens), you can SPLIT them into two hands, each taking one of the sevens. You’ll put in another bet for the second hand and then play them as though you are two people. First you play the first hand, then the second—but both against the same dealer’s hand.

Doubling Down

In some games, you’re allowed to “double down” after your get your initial cards. This means you double your bet, but only get one more card.

Basic Strategy

As a basic strategy, if you have 8 or less points, HIT. If you have 9 or 12 or more, HIT only if the dealer is showing a 7 or higher, otherwise STAND. If you have a 10 or 11, DOUBLE.

When dealt an Ace and another card below 10, STAND on Ace-7, Ace-8 or Ace-9. HIT on Ace-2 through Ace-6. Finally, if dealt pairs, SPLIT Ace-Ace, 8-8 all the time. Never SPLIT 5-5 or 10-10. Split other cards only when the dealer shows a 6 or less.