How to Play 21/Blackjack: The goal of 21 is to amount your card values as near to 21 as possible without exceeding or 'busting' it. Moreover, you have to beat whatever hand both the dealer and other players have drawn; if they have 20 and you have 19, you lose the hand.
The most important blackjack rule is simple: beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. If you get 21 points exactly on the deal, that is called a “blackjack.” When you’re dealt a blackjack 21, it’s customary to pay out 3:2 or 2:1. That means you win $300 for every $200 bet at 3:2, or $200 for every $100 bet at 2:1.
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If the player starts with a hand that is worth 21 points – in other words, an ace and a ten or face card – then the player has a blackjack. This will almost always result in the player immediately winning. The odds paid for a blackjack are normally 3-2, though some tables may only offer 6-5 or other unusual odds.
The play is the same for both handheld and facedown games. The objective is always to beat the dealer, which means getting to—or as close as possible to—a total point score of 21. If your cards total higher than the dealer's cards without going over 21, you win. If your hand goes over 21, you "bust" and lose your bet. If the dealer busts, you win.
In some 21 card game variations, the dealer takes only one card and waits for all players to end their actions. The chance to see the dealer’s first card gives you the opportunity to create a BlackJack strategy, evaluate the casino and increase your chance of winning.
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If the total count goes over 21, the player is “busted.”. Once all the players have made their decisions, the dealer will turn over their second card and proceed to play following very strict blackjack dealer rules: If the dealer’s total is 16 or less, they must take another card.
Blackjack or 21 always wins and pays 3:2 regardless of what the dealer has. Insurance pays 2:1. Players may surrender and get half of the bet back if the dealer does not have blackjack. Players can surrender after doubling down and get the double portion back. A five-card 21 pays 3:2, a six-card 21 pays 2:1, and a 21 with seven or more cards pays 3:1.
If a player's first two cards are an ace and a "ten-card" (a picture card or 10), giving a count of 21 in two cards, this is a natural or "blackjack." If any player has a natural and the dealer does not, the dealer immediately pays that player one and a half times the amount of their bet.