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Blackjack Rules and How to Play

27 Sept 2022

Blackjack is one of the most popular and exciting live casino games ever invented.

Crucially, it’s also one of the casino games with the lowest house edge. This is important because the lower the house edge, the higher the chances you have to actually win money. 

But to have a fair crack at it and better still, to master it, you’re first going to have to learn how to play blackjack. Up next are all the rules, dos and don’ts, basic moves and basic strategies to give you the best possible chance of beating the dealer and walking away in profit.

Blackjack Rules

Blackjack is a “Player vs Dealer/House” card game rather than a “Player vs Player” card game like Teen Patti, for example.

One of the great misconceptions about Blackjack is that you have to get to 21 (or as close as possible). There is, of course, some truth to the getting as close to 21 as possible bit. 

But a more accurate way of describing the game is to say: your objective is to beat the dealer as often as possible. 

You might get to 19 plenty of times only to be beaten on most of them. But you might also get to just 17 on lots of occasions and win most of those hands if the dealer goes bust time and again. But we’ll come to all that in due course, as we go over all the Blackjack rules.

Just for the record, most of these rules apply to playing at Pure Win, with specific examples from our online casino. However, understanding these rules will still apply if you want to play online blackjack pretty much anywhere.

Player Rules

  • Your Chips: You’ll need to have funds in your Pure Win account and when you bet a certain amount, the chips for that amount appear for you on the table. Simple!

  • Your Cards: You will be dealt 2 cards at the start of each game. Once the game starts, you will need to decide whether you want to hit or stand - basically whether you’d like to remain on 2 cards or be dealt another one.

  • Stay as close to 21 as possible: The main rule for all players is that if they go over 21, then they are instantly out of the game. This applies to the dealer too.

Dealer Rules

  • Hit on 16, stop on 17: The dealer has to hit on 16 or any other count below it. But as soon as they get to 17-21, the dealer stands and doesn’t take any more cards. 

Card Values Explained

Blackjack uses a standard 52-card deck, so all the usual cards are there, and Jokers aren’t used. Most casinos use 6,7 or 8 decks, which makes card counting almost impossible. 

Most cards are worth their face value. The cards are valued as such:

  • Number cards: face value (2 is worth 2, 3 is worth 3, etc.)

  • Jack, Queen, King: 10

  • Ace: 1 or 11. It’s up to you whether you want it to be worth 1, or 11. 

Soft 17 vs Hard 17

Both of these terms derive from the value that you place on the Ace Card. The soft 17 is when you value the Ace as 1, and the hard 17 is when you value it as 11.

For example, if you have two eights and an ace, you’ll want the ace to be worth 1 rather than 11 to avoid going bust. In this case, your 17 (8+8+1) is known as a ‘soft 17’. A hard 17 would be if the Ace is worth its “other value” of 11. 

But the Ace is particularly important for another reason: the Natural Blackjack.

Natural Blackjack

Blackjack is after all the name of the game so sooner or later you’ll come across one! The natural blackjack is when you’re dealt two cards at the start of the game that add up to 21. It’s also the most valuable blackjack hand of all. 

The only way you can get a Natural Blackjack is if one card is an Ace and the other is a picture card, or a 10. In this case, the Ace is worth 11 and the picture card/10 is worth 10.

Getting a Natural Blackjack is worth more than just getting 21 by getting say a ten-value card, a 5 and a 6. 

If you got 21 and came up against a dealer’s Natural Blackjack, they’d win. And vice-versa, of course. 

If both the player and the dealer get a Natural Blackjack, then it’s a push, or tie if you prefer. 

In this case, the player just gets their stake back. 

Payouts on a Natural Blackjack 

Not only is a Natural Blackjack unbeatable, but it also pays out more than any other hand.

If you get one, you win 1.5 times your stake on a Natural Blackjack, as opposed to even money, which is what you get on any other win.

The Player getting a blackjack is also the only exception of the dealer paying out before the full hand has been dealt.  

If the player already has blackjack and the dealer’s face-up card is neither an Ace nor a card worth 10, then they can’t get Blackjack.

And they’ll pay you out straight away before the rest of the hand is completed. 

Blackjack Table

At a blackjack table, the dealer faces five to nine playing positions from behind a semicircular table. 

The number of playing positions is equal to the number of hands that can be played at the table.

The table will also have information written on it. such as: 

  • The payout on an insurance bet, 

  • The odds at which you get paid out if you get blackjack, 

  • The minimum and maximum bet.

  • What side bets (if any) you can place and the odds they pay out at.

The 5-9 playing positions each have a betting box, which is where you need to put your chips at the start of the game and where you add extra chips during the game, should you choose to double, or split. 

How to Win Blackjack

Your objective is primarily to beat the dealer and get paid out at even money. If they can get a few Blackjacks along the way and rather than even money, get paid out at 1.5 times their stake, also expressed as 3/2, then so much the better. 

There are three ways of beating the dealer and win at blackjack:

  1. The dealer goes bust by getting more than 21: If your hand is below 21 and the dealer deals over 21 to themselves, then you will win the hand.

  2. You get a higher score than the dealer: For example, if the dealer gets 17 and you get 18, you win.

  3. Your blackjack beats the dealer’s 21: If you get a Natural Blackjack and the dealer gets 21 that isn’t Blackjack, your hand trumps theirs. And not only do you win but your bet is paid out at 1.5x the amount!

How to Play Blackjack

Not sure about how to play blackjack? Such as what it means for the dealer to go bust, when a player can split, double up or which side bets players can place aside from the main game? 

We’re about to talk you through it all and by the time you’ve finished reading our in-depth guide, you’ll be ready to play blackjack; we’ve even thrown in some basic strategies to give you the best possible chance of beating the house!

Joining a Table

If you already have a Pure Win account that’s both open and funded and you’re keen to get playing, here’s what to do:

  1. Navigate to the Live Casino & tap on “Blackjack” at the top.

  2. Browse the tables until you find one you want to join.

  3. Tap on the game and wait for it to load - this can take a while longer if you have a slower internet speed.

  4. Make sure you’re logged into your account before you start.

  5. Wait for the current round to end before you join the table.

  6. That’s it! Once there’s a place available, you can join the game

Buying Chips

Buying chips online is extremely easy as it’s done automatically from the funds you have in your account. If you need to add more funds to your Pure Win account - you can do it via the cashier that’s available in every game!

Placing a Bet

In most online tables, you will have a short window to place your bet amount for the round. This is usually around 15 seconds. Once the countdown starts, the bet amounts will appear on the game’s interface. 

All you need to do is select the amount you wish to bet and this will be added to the seat you have chosen.

Minimum and maximum bets 

The minimum and maximum bets depend on the table you’re playing at. Some will be as low as ₹50, but you will usually find a minimum bet of around ₹500.

The maximum bets are usually around ₹50,000 on the standard tables.

Bet Behind

Where it’s permitted, players can bet on the hand controlled by another player. This is known as a bet behind.

When placing this type of bet, the player doing so must place an equal value wager as the controlling player and their chips will appear behind the player’s chips on the table’s interface.

The Deal

The dealer deals from their left (sometimes known as "first base") to their far right (known as "third base"). Cards are dealt out one at a time, and the dealer will deal to themselves last.The dealer removes the cards one by one from a dealer’s shoe or an automatic shuffling machine and each player will get an initial hand of 2 cards that are visible to everyone.

The dealer, on the other hand, receives one face-up card and one face-down card. But whether the dealer’s second card is dealt at the start of the hand or not, depends on where you are.  

The face-down card (also known as the dealer’s hole card) stays face-down until all players have stopped playing. 

It’s only then that the dealer shows what they have and the hole card is revealed, followed by the dealer taking more cards if they haven’t reached 17 yet.


Once the dealer has dealt you your two cards and it’s your turn to play, you’ll have to decide whether to hit or stand. To hit just means that you ask for another card. 

When to Hit

Ideally, you should hit if you have a score of 16 or less because the dealer has a good chance of getting to 17 and beating them.  

You can hit as many times as you want, but keep in mind that this is a sure way of going bust pretty fast.

How to Hit

To hit, you will need to wait for the prompt to appear on the game’s interface. Once you tap on it, the dealer will deal you a new card.


To stand is to do the opposite of hit. You’re content with the hand you have and don’t want any more cards. 

This will be for one of two reasons: 

  1. You have 17 or higher, which is a good hand, and are afraid that taking another card will see you go bust.

  2. You have less than 17 but have an eye on the dealer’s hand and think the dealer has a good chance of going bust.

How to Stand

Much like when you hit, the option to stand will appear on the interface once it’s your turn. Once you decide to stand, you will not be able to hit anymore.

Double Down

If a player is dealt two cards making up a hand that adds up to 9, 10 or 11, they have the option of doubling down.

Doubling down means the player doubles their initial stake when the game is already underway. 

So if your original bet was ₹500, you will have to place an additional ₹500 chip next to the original bet, rather than on top of it. That’s just a reminder to the table that the player has chosen to double down.

Find more details on when to double down in blackjack before you try it for yourself.


If with your first two cards you’re dealt a pair (two identical cards eg. a four of hearts and a four of diamonds), you can split a pair. 

To split a pair you need to place an additional chip that’s the value of your original bet. Once you’ve done that, you’ll then be playing two separate hands. 

Unlike doubling down, you can take as many additional cards as you wish when you split.


Hate your hand after the first two cards? Especially when the dealer has dealt himself an Ace or a 10-value card? 

You can choose an early surrender, meaning you give up on the hand in return for getting half your stake back. 

Players lose as soon as they do so but at least they recover half of their money. 


If when the dealer shows their first card and it’s an ace, players can take advantage of the insurance rule. 

An insurance bet is a side bet up to half the amount of the player’s original bet. 

Essentially you’re betting on the dealer getting Blackjack. 

It’s ‘insurance’ because if the dealer doesn't get Blackjack, that’s good for you in terms of the hand itself. But if they don’t, your side bet on them getting it serves as a form of insurance. 

Players who have just got Blackjack themselves can also take out insurance, if they wish. 

Side Bets

Side bets, as the name implies, are bets that are not part of the main hand but are still dependent on the cards dealt during the hand. 

Side bets are generally placed before the hand starts and are also generally dependent on the first two cards dealt to the player and often the dealer’s first card, as well. The following are the most common blackjack side bets:

  • Perfect Pairs: Pays out if you get two of the same card and can pay more if you get the same colours (red vs black) or the exact same numbers and suits.

  • 21 + 3: This adds the same payouts as 3 card poker to blackjack for extra entertainment!

  • Royal Match: Odds of 5:2 for any suited player’s cards and 25:1 if it’s a suited King and Queen.

  • Over/under 13: Pays even money (1:1) if you correctly predict the sum of the player’s cards as less than or greater than 13. In most cases, exactly 13 will lose, but some Casinos will allow you to place bets on getting exactly 13.

  • Super Sevens: This bet wins if one or more sevens are dealt in the player’s cards. One seven pays 3:1, two unsuited sevens pay 50:1, and two suited sevens pay 100:1. 

  • Lucky Ladies: This one is all about the Queens. This bet pays out if the player’s cards add up to a count of 20, with an unsuited 20 paying 4:1, a suited 20 paying 10:1, a matched 20, same rank and suit pays 25:1.

Card Charts and Basic Strategy

There’s a Blackjack basic strategy chart, sometimes known as ‘the chart’ or ‘the book’, that tells you what move you should make next, based on the situation of the game. 

Essentially, once you’ve been dealt your two cards and the dealer has been dealt theirs and you aren’t sure what to do, now is the time for the player to consult the chart. 

If you’ve been dealt Blackjack or say 10/9, it’s pretty obvious as to whether you’re going to hit or stand: you’re going to stand!  Irrespective of what the dealer has because you’d be crazy to ask for another card and almost certainly go bust in the second scenario. 

But whether you hit or stand won’t be obvious at all if you’re dealt 15 and the dealer has 7. 

The chart will tell you that from a probability point of view, the correct call is to hit. 

The Payouts

We’ve been through this already but a regular win where it’s just your original bet at stake pays at even money. 

If you doubled up, then you’re obviously playing for twice your original stake and if you split pairs, then you’re playing each of the split hands for the value of your original bet. 

In all cases, the payout is even money. 

Blackjack, as we know, pays out at 2:1 while the different side bets pay out at completely different odds depending on the chances of them happening and the house edge in question. 

Blackjack Game Variations

As we’ve said already, classic Blackjack is an awesome card game and for those who like to add a little extra spice, you can find side bets like perfect pairs and 21+3 to add to it all. 

But there are now special versions of Blackjack that go even beyond that. 

Lightning Blackjack

This version was created by Evolution, the famous Swedish software provider who’s so often at the forefront of making the best casino games.

The game’s unique selling point is that if you win a hand of Blackjack, you’ll have a multiplier in play for the following hand. 

But in order to do, so you’ll need to match the value of your original bet to buy the right to have that multiplier in action. 

The stronger the hand you won with, the bigger the multiplier in play for the following hand, as follows: 

  • 4-17: 2x 

  • 18: 3x

  • 19: 4x

  • 20: 5x

  • 21: 8x

  • Blackjack: 12x 

Infinite Blackjack

Forget what you know about being seated at a table with other players where everyone plays their own hand. 

In Infinite Blackjack, everyone plays the same hand! So if Blackjack is dealt, then it’s blackjack all around! 

But of course, everyone’s hand is separate so it’s completely up to you whether you want to take a card on 15. 

You may decide to hit, but the next player with your same 15 may decide to stay. 

There are two more important features to playing Infinite Blackjack. 

The first is that because everyone plays the same hand, the number of players in action at the same time is er….infinite. So that means no waiting around for a seat to become available because one always will be. 

The second is that you can place several side bets in addition to playing the main game. 

These include the perfect pairs and the 21+3 as described above. But another side bet is the Bust bet. 

If the dealer goes bust with the minimum three cards, you’ll be paid out at even money and the more cards that were drawn en route to the dealer going bust, the better. 

If the dealer drew seven cards in going bust you get paid out at 150/1, if it was eight then it’s a massive 250/1. 

Live vs RNG Blackjack

So far we’ve talked about playing live blackjack online but did you know that you can also play a computerised version of the game too? This is called RNG blackjack and it’s a bit more suited to players who want to learn to rules of blackjack in their own time.

While live blackjack games certainly add a lot of extra flare to the game through the live studios, the friendly and professional dealers and the excitement of making quick decisions, the RNG versions are certainly better if you’re starting off.

One great thing about the computerised version is that you can play for free without having to put down upwards of ₹500 in real money on each round. 

You will also be able to practice your basic strategy in your own time and master it before you decide to move on to the real deal.

Best Blackjack Games for Beginners

These are the top 5 best online blackjack games that any beginner can enjoy here at Pure Win

  1. Evolution’s Pure Blackjack 1

  2. OnAir’s Hindi Blackjack

  3. Evolution’s Lightening Blackjack

  4. Evolution’s Free Bet Blackjack

  5. Pragmatic Play’s ONE Blackjack

Time to Start Playing!

Well done! You now know everything you need to in order to play one of the world’s favourite card games.

With all your new-found knowledge of the game, there’s only one thing left for you to do: get out there and start playing online blackjack. Good luck! 

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