You might have seen the game ‘21’ being played at a live casino and you want to try it out for yourself. Well, that moniker is actually another term used to refer to a really popular casino game: Blackjack.

Blackjack is called the ’21 game’ simply because the objective of the game is to beat the dealer by having a pair of cards that amount to or equal to the number 21. That means that it should get close but just close enough to not go overboard, otherwise, you lose the entire game (or as the game would put it, a bust).

The game is so easy to play that you can even play it in the comfort of your own home. This article will tell you the classic rules of blackjack so if you ever decide to play the game at a friend’s home or in your own humble abode, at least you know what to do.


The game requires you to use a standard deck of cards. That means that you get a deck with all 52 cards intact. If you’ve bought a deck with joker cards on it, you can just safely remove that for the time being as they are not part of the game.

Blackjack also requires at least two players because one will act as the dealer and the other one will be the original blackjack player. Keep in mind that you can have as many as 10 players in the game as you would only need a pair of cards per player.

Since this is just a home game, everyone can have the chance to become the dealer, which just makes this game a bit more fun than the casino version.

How the Game is Played?

The dealer of the game will be the one to shuffle the cards. After that, he/she would be giving out one card to every player in a clockwise fashion. Do the same for the second card until everyone has a pair (including the dealer).

The dealer is then mandated by the rules of the game to reveal one of his/her cards to the other players. The other card (also known as the hole card) can safely be placed face-down on the table.

After the dealer has handed out a pair of cards to every player, players can then look at their cards and think about what they are going to do next.

To know the value of the cards, they would just add the value of both of their cards to find out if their combination gets them closer to 21 (or equal to the said value).

So, how will you know if you’ve got a pair of ‘21’ cards? Well, all number cards should retain their numerical value. That means that 2 clubs are 2, 8 hearts are 8, and so on.

All face cards have a value of 10. That means that if you’ve gotten any jack, queen, or king cards, that amounts to 10 points. The ace card is special because you can either assign 1 or 11 to it, whichever is favorable to the player.

The players can then decide whether they want to stand (proceed with the original cards), hit (get another card to make their pair of cards better), double (double the original wager and get an additional card in return), and split (this only happens if the player gets two cards of the same value (such as 2 spades and 2 hearts).

Now, despite other players can join in on the game, all of the players’ cards would only be compared to the dealer’s and no one else. So, if your card is closer to 21 or equal to 21 and the dealer doesn’t, then you win. The opposite is true if the dealer has a much better pair than you.

What happens when you go beyond 21? Well, that will result in a bust which is technically an automatic loss for the player (or the dealer).