How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most widely played casino games in both land-based venues and online casinos such as Unibet. Its simple, quickfire nature makes it popular with players all over the world as they battle against the dealer in the renowned race to 21. 


Blackjack Gameplay

The aim of Blackjack is to beat the dealer’s hand with cards as close to 21 as possible without exceeding this amount, otherwise known as going ‘Bust’. Although this may sound like a simple format, new players should become familiar with the game’s process so they know how to make the right calls at the right time.

Initial Deal

The player chooses a stake and confirms their bet. 

Players are dealt two cards facing upright.

The dealer is dealt one card upright, and one ‘hole card’ face down.


Player Action

The player will be prompted to either ‘Hit’ (take another card) or ‘Stand’ (keep their two cards). 

After each new card is dealt, the player can continue to Hit unless they Stand or go Bust.

Once they Stand, the player’s part of the game is over and the dealer must now act. 


Dealer Action

The dealer’s remaining Hole Card will be revealed.

If the value of their hand is 17 or above, they will automatically Stand.

If the value of their hand is 16 or below, they will automatically Hit until they reach 17+ or they go Bust.


Result and Payout

The winner is decided whichever hand still in-play is closest to 21.

Should the player win, the payout is equal to twice their stake. 

If both hands are the same value, this results in a ‘Push’ and the player’s stake is returned. 


Further Blackjack Considerations

As soon as you begin playing Blackjack, understanding the above format will almost become second nature. However, there are some other terms and aspects of the game that can be useful for beginners to learn. These include:

Card Values

Each card is equal to its numerical value, whilst the Jack, Queen and King correspond to 10. Aces are counted as either one or eleven. 

Dealing Format

Everyone seated at the table is playing against the dealer separately, not against each other. Hands are dealt from left to right from the dealer’s point of view, and each player must act in turn. 


Being dealt an Ace + 10-value card is known as ‘blackjack’. The payout on this hand is increased to 1.5x your stake. If the dealer also reveals a blackjack, the hand will be deemed a Push.

Six Card Charlie

Sometimes referred to as a ‘six-card trick’, being dealt six cards with a combined value of 21 or less automatically wins you the hand, even if the dealer has blackjack. Only some online blackjack games offer this provision such as Free Bet Blackjack. 

Blackjack Playing Techniques

During a game of Blackjack, you may be presented with the chance to place additional bets after the initial deal. These offer ways to either protect your bet or increase your returns depending on the next card/s drawn. These are:

Double Down

After your first two cards have been dealt, the option to Double Down means one additional card will be dealt only. It costs twice your initial stake but will double the returns should you win. This method is typically used by players who have been dealt initial cards worth 9, 10 or 11 in total, preferably against a dealer 5 or 6. 


The chance to Split your cards is offered when you are dealt two cards of the exact same value. Two new hands are now created where an additional card is dealt to each. You then play on as you would normally, apart from with split Aces where only one card is drawn. This provision costs double the original stake. 


If the dealer is drawn an Ace as their first card, the option to purchase Insurance protects against them obtaining Blackjack. This provision costs half your stake but pays back your entire outlay should their hidden card be worth 10. If this isn’t the case, the game will continue as normal. 

Bet Behind

Due to the popularity of Blackjack, your preferred Unibet table may be fully occupied. In this case, you can have the option to ‘bet behind’ an already seated player. Doing so puts the fate of your bet entirely in their hand so choose wisely. If already seated, you can also Bet Behind other players but not your own hand.

Blackjack Side Bets

Some Blackjack games are equipped with exciting side bets to increase your betting options and provide enhanced returns compared to the usual 1:1 payout. These include:

Any Pair – This pays out if the player’s first two cards are identical in value. Should the combination also be of the same colour or suit (known as a ‘perfect pair’), the returns are enhanced. 

21+3 – Based on the value of poker hands, this is dependent on the first two player cards and dealer’s one face-up card. For example, there will be an extra payout should each of these three cards be of the same suit (otherwise known as a flush). 

Hot 3 – Using the initial three face-up cards, a combined value of either 19, 20 or 21 will payout 2x, 3x or 5x respectively. If ‘21’ is reached with cards of an identical suit, the returns are increased to 21x whilst three 7-card values brings in a nice 101x. 

Bust It – This is used if you expect the dealer will go bust. The more cards they’re dealt in total, the higher the payout. For example, should they receive 8 cards or more and then go bust, you’ll receive 251x your side bet value.


Play Blackjack at Unibet

Blackjack can also be played in animated 2D format where the results will replicate those found in a real-life casino. This allows you to place bets at your own leisure without the presence of other players at the same table. We would recommend this for beginners who are looking to learn the ropes by playing with smaller stakes. 

Alternatively, the Unibet Live Casino hosts a massive range of Live Blackjack tables with the inclusion of a human dealer to assist with your gameplay. They are in operation 24-hours a day and come equipped with various betting levels to suit all types of player. 

Modern variations take the standard game and add exciting new betting opportunities, big multiplier payouts and exciting side bets. These include the exclusive Unibet Free Bet Blackjack and Unibet Lightning Blackjack, alongside Infinite Blackjack and Power Blackjack.