How To Play Blackjack: A Comprehensive Guide

Blackjack, also known as “21,” is a popular card game in which players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand as close to 21 points as possible. While luck plays a significant role, some strategies can improve your chances of winning. Here at PHbet, we will cover everything you need to know how to play blackjack, including rules and betting tips, to reach your full potential.


Here are the steps on how to play Blackjack:

  • Joining the Table

When you’re ready, you’ll join the blackjack table. Each player is dealt two cards face up, and the dealer receives two cards – one face up and the other face down.

  • Decide whether to ‘Hit’ or ‘Stand’

Calculate the value of your hand and the dealer’s hand to reach a total as close to 21 as possible without going over. Rely on your instincts.

  • Choose to ‘Hit’

How to play blackjack – Request another card from the dealer. Make this decision when you believe that receiving another card will not cause you to exceed 21 or when you are willing to take the risk of the dealer getting a better hand.


  •  Choose to ‘Stand’

Inform the dealer that you do not want any more cards. You may choose to stand when the value of your cards is already high (e.g., over 17), and you are still determining whether the dealer’s hand will beat yours.


  • Your Hand Value

After your decision, your hand will likely have a new value. You will stay in the game if it is valued at 21 or less.

  • Dealer Reveals Their Cards

The dealer will reveal their face-down card once all players at the table have made their decisions.


  • Determine the Winner

If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you beat the dealer and win. The dealer wins if the dealer’s hand is 21 or closer to 21 than any other player’s. If you win, the dealer will pay out your winnings based on the type of bet you placed.

How to Play Blackjack Tips

Playing blackjack without a strategy can quickly drain your funds. However, by following our advice, you can play like a pro. Blackjack provides excellent value to players, but using the correct strategy and playing smart is essential. We recommend trying it out at PHbet first to get a feel for the game and test your plan.

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind before playing blackjack:

  • Don’t bet money you can’t afford to lose, and set a budget before you start playing and stick to it.
  • As you start playing, keep your essential strategy guide open in a separate window so you can refer to it quickly.
  • Only bet up to half of your stack on a single bet. This is risky and can lead to losing a significant portion of your funds in one go. Always bet responsibly.
  • Stay calm and stick to your strategy. Even when luck isn’t on your side, following a strategy gives you the best chance of winning in the long run.

Blackjack Rules

How to play blackjack – Now that we’ve covered the basics of playing blackjack, you must remember a few other fundamental rules. It’s essential to know the payouts you’ll receive in different blackjack scenarios and which moves to make based on your hand. Here are some blackjack rules to keep in mind:

  • Regular wins pay 1:1, which means you’ll receive an amount equal to your bet if the value of your cards is closer to 21 than the dealer’s without exceeding it. 
  • Blackjack wins pay 3:2, a special payout for a specific hand. You have a blackjack if you are dealt an Ace and a card worth 10 points (10, Jack, Queen, King) as your initial two cards. 
  • Players can hit or stand based on their hand value and the dealer’s visible card. Hitting means taking another card to improve their hand, while standing means keeping their current hand value. The goal is to get as close to 21 without exceeding it.
  • Splitting is an option when you are dealt two cards of the same value. You can split them into two hands, each with its bet. This allows you to play two hands against the dealer’s one, increasing your chances of winning.
  • Double Down allows you to double your original bet after receiving two cards. In return, you receive only one more card and then must stand. This is a strategic move when you believe your hand can beat the dealer’s with just one more card. It’s typically done with a hand value of 10 or 11, as these hands are likelier to get a high card. 

Keys to Win When Playing Blackjack

Here are the keys to remember when playing at a blackjack table, whether online or in a physical casino:

  • Don’t Split Two Face Cards

How to play blackjack – Splitting two face cards (e.g., Jacks, Queens, Kings) in blackjack is generally not advisable. While some players may think splitting these strong hands can double their potential winnings, it’s statistically unfavorable. Splitting face cards trades the high probability of winning with a hand value of 20 for the risk of losing both bets if the newly drawn cards are unfavorable. It’s a strategy best avoided to maintain a more substantial overall hand.


2. Always Split Aces & 8’s

How to play blackjack – When you split a pair of eights, you’re dealing with a challenging hand total of 16, typically considered the worst blackjack hand. By splitting the eights, you aim to improve your chances of getting a better hand, as drawing a face card, 9 or 10, can give you a substantial total. Similarly, splitting aces is essential because a pair of aces is either a two or a 12, both of which are awkward totals. By separating them, you can turn them into two strong hands if you draw cards like 7s, 8s, 9s, or 10s.


3. Surrender

If the dealer’s card is a ten and you have 16, it’s usually best to give up (surrender) and lose only half your bet. This is because getting another card (hitting) with 16 is risky—you might go over 21 and lose everything. But if the dealer’s card is not a 10, taking another card and trying to improve your hand is safer.

4. Double down

If your blackjack strategy chart suggests doubling down, but the rules don’t allow it, then it’s best to hit (take another card) instead. However, if you have a soft 18, it’s better to stand (keep your current hand) since it’s a strong hand already.

5. Insurance

You can make This side bet when the dealer’s upcard is an ace. It pays off only if the dealer has a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, you will retain your bet.

6. Even money

You can take even money when you have a natural hand (a value of 21) in blackjack, and the dealer’s upcard is an ace. This option is available only if the game does not offer a 3:2 payout for a blackjack.

Blackjack Terms – How to play blackjack

Now that you’ve mastered the game, it’s time to speak the language.  Below are the top terms used by players and dealers in Blackjack. 

Term Definition
Blackjack A hand totaling 21
Bust A player’s hand exceeding 21
Double down Doubling the initial bet to receive one more card
Hit Requesting an extra card
Stand Keeping the current hand
Surrender Abandoning the hand and forfeiting half of the bet
Insurance A side bet offering a 2:1 payout if the dealer has a blackjack
Soft hand A hand containing an ace counted as either 1 or 11
Hard hand A hand without an ace or one where the ace can only be counted as 1
Push Both the player and dealer have the exact hand total, resulting in a tie

Conclusion How to play blackjack

Playing blackjack can be fun and rewarding, but it’s essential to understand how to play it and the rules and strategies to maximize your chances of winning. By following the steps outlined in this guide and keeping these crucial tips in mind, you can improve your blackjack skills and enjoy the game even more.

How to play blackjack –  Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, blackjack always has something new to learn. So, the next time you’re at the blackjack table, remember these tips and strategies to increase your odds of winning. Register today and play at PHbet! Good luck!