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How To Play Blackjack

Blackjack, also known as twenty-one, is a classic card game that has captivated players in casinos worldwide for centuries. It’s a game of skill and strategy with a dash of luck, making it both thrilling and rewarding. Whether you’re a seasoned player looking to refine your techniques or a newcomer eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of blackjack can be a fulfilling endeavor. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to play Blackjack at Shaftesbury Casino.

Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

At its core, blackjack is a simple game with straightforward rules. The objective is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding a total of 21. Each card is assigned a value: numbered cards are worth their face value, face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks) are worth 10 points, and Aces can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which value benefits the player.

A standard blackjack table accommodates up to seven players. The game is played with one or more decks of cards, typically ranging from one to eight decks. Before the game begins, players place their bets in the designated betting area.


Now you understand the goals and the setup, it’s time to learn the rules and how to play Blackjack…

Dealing the Cards

Firstly, the dealer distributes two cards face-up to each player and two cards to themselves, one face-up and one face-down (referred to as the hole card).

Player’s Turn

Starting from the player on the dealer’s left, each player decides whether to “hit” (receive another card) or “stand” (keep their current hand). Players can also choose to “double down” (double their original bet and receive only one more card) or “split” (if dealt two cards of the same value, split them into two separate hands and play each hand individually).

Dealer’s Turn

After all players have completed their actions, the dealer reveals their hole card. The dealer must hit until their hand reaches a total of 17 or higher. Once the dealer’s hand is finalised, winning bets are paid out and losing bets are collected.

Winning and Losing

Winning and losing in blackjack is relatively simple. A ‘blackjack’ is achieved when a player’s initial hand consists of an Ace and a card with a value of 10 (10, Jack, Queen, or King). A blackjack typically pays out at a higher rate, often 3:2.

Most commonly, players will achieve a ‘bust’ which occurs when a player’s hand exceeds 21 points, resulting in an automatic loss. Sometimes, a ‘push’ occurs when there is a tie between the player and the dealer, resulting in the player keeping their original bet. A ‘winning hand’ consists of any hand that beats the dealer’s hand without busting.

Strategies for Success

While blackjack is partly a game of chance, employing strategic gameplay can significantly increase your odds of winning. Here are some fundamental strategies to consider:

Basic Strategy

Many players employ a mathematically derived strategy that suggests the optimal move in any situation based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard. The fundamental approach originated from a computer simulation. A computer was trained in the game of blackjack, tasked with playing hundreds of millions of hands and documenting the outcomes. Over numerous iterations, the computer discerned the optimal player decisions for minimising losses to the casino across all possible combinations of initial player hands and dealer-up cards. These optimal decisions are geared towards minimising the player’s losses over time.

Common rules followed include always splitting aces, never splitting tens, and 8 always hits.

Bankroll Management

The most important strategy for blackjack success is to set a budget for your blackjack session and adhere to it. Avoid chasing losses and know when to walk away, regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. To find out more about how to play Blackjack safely and sensibly, check out our safer gambling resources.

Table Selection

Not all tables are created equal. Choose blackjack tables that offer favorable rules, such as a lower number of decks, dealer standing on soft 17, and liberal splitting and doubling down options.

Etiquette and Tips

Think you’re ready to play your first game of blackjack? Be sure to employ these three key rules before you place your bets.

  • Treat the dealer and fellow players with courtesy and respect.
  • Stay focused on the game and avoid distractions such as excessive drinking or engaging in unrelated conversations.
  • Invest time into researching safer gambling initiatives, and know your limits: always enter a game knowing when is the best time for you to cut your losses and walk away.

Are You Ready To Face The Cards?

Mastering the art of blackjack requires a combination of skill, strategy, and discipline. By understanding the rules, implementing sound strategies, and practicing good bankroll management, you can enhance your chances of success at the blackjack table. Whether you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino or an online platform, remember to enjoy the experience and savor the thrill of the game.

Join Us At Shaftesbury Casino For A Premium Blackjack Experience!

With impressive jackpots, experienced dealers and a wealth of games, events and facilities, Shaftesbury Casino is the perfect place to take to the tables and immerse yourself in the game of blackjack. Whether you’re an experienced player or looking to learn how to play Blackjack, the teams at our Dudley and West Bromwich branches are on hand to bring you a premium blackjack experience.