theScore Logo

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack has long been one of the most popular card and gambling games in North America. With the spread of blackjack online, there are now several gaming formats available for you to play, but the primary draw remains the same.


When you play blackjack, you have several choices to make during your turn. Through these choices, you can make calculated optimal plays. They don’t always work out, but playing to the laws of probability can cut the house edge. This is why blackjack remains so popular to this day: it’s an underdog’s game, glorified by Hollywood movies as a way to beat the house.


In this guide on how to play blackjack, you’ll learn how the phases play, your options in each round, and the key points of blackjack's basic strategy.

Blackjack rules & objectives 

The objective of blackjack is to get as close to 21 with the value of the cards in your hand without exceeding this count. However, you’re also playing against the dealer. So, you’ll need to get closer to 21 than the dealer to win under blackjack rules.


You’ll be dealt two cards initially. Then, you can decide if you want another card or stand with what you have. The dealer will also be able to add cards or stand, but they are subject to the table’s blackjack dealer rules. An example of this would be that the dealer has to stand (not add more cards) on 17 or higher.

Blackjack card values explained 

Under blackjack rules, each numbered card represents its own value. The face cards have a value of ten. Ace can either be played as a low or high value card, depending on how it best suits the card(s) it’s drawn with. It can either be low and have a value of one, or be high to have a value of 11, which benefits the player.

How does a round of blackjack work?

The rules of blackjack are simple, here’s how to play a round of blackjack.

Placing bets 

When betting on Blackjack with theScore Bet, you place your bet by clicking on the chips at a value that you wish to stake and sending them into the betting area. Then, you confirm that you’re ready to play.

Shuffle and cut 

The dealer will shuffle the deck and put them in the shoe (the card holder), cut the deck, and then begin to play.

Dealing cards 

The dealer will hand one card to each player and themselves at the table before going around and handing everyone a second card. One dealer card will be showing after this stage – known as the “up card.”


Naturals occur when your two dealt cards are an ace and a card with a value of ten (ten to King). The sum of these is 21 and is called the “natural blackjack.” Although if the dealer doesn’t have naturals and you do, you will get the increased payout shown on the table.

The play 

Starting with the dealer’s leftmost player, each decides on what to do. The options that you have are to hit, stand, and sometimes you’ll get to double down, split, place an insurance bet, or surrender.

The dealer’s play 

After all of the players have either stood or gone bust, the dealer checks their cards. They play their hand to the dealer’s blackjack rules of the table. They may go bust or be forced to stand. Once their hand is finalized, all remaining players check their hands against the dealer’s. Those who have a hand which values closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going bust will win.

Settlement and payouts 

Winning players get returns of 1:1 on their bets. Those who got natural blackjack will get an increased payout, usually of 3:2. In some forms of online blackjack, there are also several side bets. These are mostly paid out at this point.


Eventually, the dealer will reshuffle the decks. The next round sees the next person to the left of the player who just started get the first card and make the first play.

Blackjack odds & payouts 

Each table has its own format of blackjack payouts, mostly influenced by available side bets or house rules. For the most part, the blackjack payout will be 3:2, and a standard winning hand will pay 1:1. Winning insurance bets tend to payout at 2:1, but are only wagered at up to half of the initial bet.

Blackjack strategy & tips

The core of any successful blackjack play, online or otherwise, is strategy. In the game of blackjack, the basic strategy is what every serious player should learn first. If you want to play blackjack in an optimized way, basic strategy is the place to start.

The basic strategy for blackjack clearly shows the optimal play of hit, stand, double down, or split based on your hand and the dealer’s up card. The easiest way to memorize the strategy is with a blackjack chart.

Choosing a reputable casino to play blackjack in Canada 

It’s always important to select a blackjack casino that’s reputable, trustworthy, and features world-class games. For these reasons, we think that theScore Bet® is the ideal place for you to play blackjack online. We’re licensed and regulated by iGaming Ontario and have a vast range of options on our blackjack games page.


An online blackjack casino should offer you several different forms of the game. This can range from the count of decks to the range of side bets. Or, you may find multiple RNG blackjack games as well as several live blackjack games. Along with an online blackjack bonus, at theScore Bet, you can also find several exclusive live tables.

Online blackjack FAQs 

Is it legal to play online blackjack?

Yes, online gambling is legal in Canada. However, gambling is currently regulated at the provincial level, meaning that each province has its own laws and regulations governing online gambling.

How do I start playing blackjack online?

To start playing blackjack online, you need to sign up for theScore Bet, make a deposit, and then click on a game to play.

How does the dealer play in online blackjack?

In RNG online blackjack, the dealer is programmed to make the best play based on the cards dealt – which is exactly what human blackjack dealers are trained to do. Or you can play with a live dealer.

Can I play multiple hands at once in online blackjack? 

You can play multiple hands at once in online blackjack games. You can usually spot these by the term “multi-hand” being in the game’s title.

Feeling Confident?

Head over to our online casino and put your new knowledge to the test

Bet Now