Casino Games


May 17, 2021

How To Play Blackjack

In this article we’ll discuss how to play blackjack and make bets. Blackjack is a classic casino card game, also referred to as “21.” The object of the game is simple – get your hand total to score as close to 21 as possible, without exceeding 21. There’s no greater feeling for a player than getting a natural blackjack!

visual of a player trying to win in blackjack

What are the Basics of Casino Blackjack?

Blackjack Card Values

Blackjack at Sycuan is played with 2-8 decks. The numbered cards between 2 and 10 represent the face value of that card. A king, queen, or jack represents 10 points, while an ace card can either be valued at 1 or 11 points (the ace value is decided by the Blackjack player).

Blackjack Rules

Learning how to play blackjack in a casino? For starters, unlike other casino card games where you are playing against the other players at the table, blackjack is a card game between the house and the player. To win, the Blackjack player’s hand total must beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21.

  • The round starts as the dealer gives out 2 cards to each player face up so you can see the sum of the cards. The dealer lays one card face up and one card face down so neither you nor the dealer can see what the total of their cards are.
  • The dealer then goes around the table to ask each player whether they want to stick with the 2 cards they have or be dealt an additional card to get closer to 21.
  • Each player uses a hand signal to the dealer to indicate whether they would like another card or to stay
  • After each player has been dealt their cards and made their bets, the dealer then reveals their 2nd card to the table and decides whether they want to add an additional card to their hand.
  • If the dealer busts, each player wins. If the dealer has the higher hand, the players lose their bets and the dealer wins that round.


Other Blackjack Rules and Games

Blackjack is one of the most popular games played at Sycuan. Our casino game players have options to surrender, take insurance, ask for even money, and split multiple times. Depending on which variation of blackjack is being played, players may wager on up to 3 spots.

Sycuan offers several choices of blackjack table games including: double deck blackjack, six deck blackjack, Spanish 21, Blackjack Spin, and Free-Bet Blackjack. Sycuan also offers more chances to win with side bets on our blackjack table games such as the Buster Bet and Lucky-Lucky.


The Buster Bet is an optional side wager that allows players to win based on the number of cards in a dealer’s busted hand.


The Lucky-Lucky bet is an optional side wager that allows players to win based on the total of their first two cards and the dealers up card.


Spanish 21 is a casino game played with all the pip tens removed from the deck; therefore, each deck contains only 48 cards. The rules are basically the same as regular blackjack with some added features such as re-splitting Aces, doubling down on more than two cards, double down rescue, and bonus payoffs for combinations of 21


This bet is a side wager that allows players to win based on the players first two cards matching the dealer’s up card. The Pay Table is printed on the lay out.


Free bet Blackjack lets you double down and Split…. for FREE!
If the player wishes to wager on the free bet options, the dealer will use a gold coin that represents the value of their original bet. If the player ends up winning the hand, the player gets paid as if the player had made a traditional SPLIT or DOUBLE wager , even though the player didn’t put any additional money at risk.


The player may split any pairs, except for 10 value cards

Free re-splitting is allowed.


The player may double down on any first two card hard 9, 10 and 11. Free doubling after splitting is allowed. (When the above doubling rule is followed).

PUSH 22:

If the dealer busts with the total of 22 any bets in action are pushes. If dealer busts with any number other than 22 the dealer will proceed as a regular Blackjack game. There are additional side bets on the lay out; when the dealer busts with a total of 22 the Pay Table printed on the lay out is followed. But if the dealer busts with any other than 22 all 22 Bets lose.


Blackjack Spin allows players to make an optional Bonus Spin side bet. Players who place the fixed $5 Bonus Spin bet will receive $10 if they have an Ace in their first two cards. Players that have placed the Bonus Spin bet and are dealt a blackjack will press a button that spins a virtual wheel allowing them to win various payouts or a top jackpot award!

What are the Different Blackjack Basic Strategy Actions and Betting Options?

Casino blackjack players can “hit,” “stand,” “split,” “double down,” “insurance,” or “surrender.”

  • Hit: The player wants an additional card.
  • Stand: The player does not want any additional cards or make any other actions.
  • Split: The player splits both hole cards to create two separate hands. The dealer will then deal another card on top of each new hand. Both hands are played independently, and treated like a normal hand of blackjack. Players typically split when playing Blackjack if they are initially dealt two of the same cards such as two aces, two face cards, or two tens.
  • Double Down: The player increases their initial bet size to twice the original bet amount. The player can then only receive one additional card. This blackjack betting strategy is typically used when the player is confident that any additional card will help them get the winning hand.
  • Insurance: If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, and their second card is still unknown, the player can place an insurance bet. An insurance bet acts as an additional bet (or side-bet) that bets on if the dealer has a natural Blackjack (or 21). The player’s bet size must equal half of the original wager. If the dealer does have a natural Blackjack, the player breaks even on the hand (because the player loses the main bet but wins their insurance bet). If the dealer does not have a natural Blackjack, the player only loses their insurance bet.
  • Surrender: A player gives up their hand and loses half of their original bet. This blackjack strategy is done when the player believes they have a low chance of winning the round based on their first two cards and the dealer’s card.

Interested in playing Blackjack? Learn more about Blackjack strategy and casino table games at Sycuan Casino Resort.