Vingt-et-un is the original version of the casino card game of blackjack. The name means “21” in French, and like blackjack, the aim is to get as close to a total hand of 21, without going over, and providing the dealer isn’t closer himself. The betting is easy and it’s possible to make bank, but only if you fully understand basic playing strategy. Vingt-et-un does have some subtle but nevertheless important differences from blackjack and we suggest that you learn them before playing.

Vingt-et-un Basic Rules

The game of Vingt-et-un Can we played in any online casino or land base casino anywhere in the world. It remains one of the most popular variants of Blackjack. And though at first the game may appear to be quite complicated,  It’s actually very simple. All the players have to do is to make a blackjack by counting at the very least to 21.

Vingt-et-un Compared To Blackjack

On the face of it, Vingt-et-un is incredibly similar to the modern version of Blackjack you’ll find at all casinos, like King Billy Casino. In fact, it forms part of the whole history of blackjack. But there are a few differences and we’ve listed them below.

The first one is that in Vingt-et-un, the betting doesn’t take place until each hand has been dealt. In contrast, when playing blackjack, all the bets are placed before any of the cards have been dealt out. Also, only the dealer has the ability to double. Whereas when it comes Blackjack, every player can use this strategy.

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Also the ace is counted as 11 in Vingt-et-un, but as you know, they have the versatility of being able to be counted as either one or 11 in Blackjack.  Finally, we should mention that there are 2 aces in Vingt-et-un. Meaning that the 2 aces add up to vingt-deux! In blackjack, if you have 2 aces then they have to be calculated as 2 when played as a hard hand, or as a 12 when played as one hard and one soft ace.

Dealing The Cards In Blackjack

Let’s have a look at the basic game of Blackjack first. In the beginning of the game, each player places their stake, then they receive two cards. The dealer also receives two cards. All the players cards are put down face-up, but the dealer only needs to demonstrate a single card of his two. Keep in mind that though there may be a number of players sitting at the games table, they are not playing against each. They are all playing perfect blackjack strategies solely against the dealer.

The Main Aim Of Blackjack

When it comes to how to play blackjack, the main object of the game of Blackjack and Vingt-et-un is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. At the same time you want to be closer to a total of 21 than the dealer. The cards are valued at their face value. So picture cards are 10’s and aces can be either a 1 or an 11. If you see that your two cards don’t add up to the number that you require or want, then you can ask for another card by saying “hit.” You can keep saying hit until you go over 21. In this case, you “go bust” and you lose your wager.

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Now, if you’re happy with your initial point total then you say “stand.” This means you want to receive no more cards. At this point it’s time for the dealer to act. He will turn over his other card. There are various rules about what the dealer can do from this point. For example, if he has 16 or less, then he must get another card. But if he has 17, then he must stand. If he has what’s known as a “soft 17” meaning he has an ace and a 6, then another card cannot make him go bust. Nevertheless, you’ll find that the regulation as to what happens with a soft 17 can vary among all the best online casinos for blackjack.

Subtle But Important Differences

If the dealer passes you, then providing you are within the limit of 21, then you’ll be the winner. Now, if the dealer doesn’t go past, then he pays out even-money to the gamblers who have a higher total then he has. A drawn game is called a “push” and no one wins anything. When it comes to Vingt-et-un, the casino makes its money on the concept that you and the dealer will lose, meaning the house will become a winner. You can also “collapse” and let the dealer go bust. This is a significant factor when it comes to your jackpot winning strategies and blackjack.

If you’re playing Vingt-et-un then you will indicate you require a hit by waving your hands over the cards. Remember that when you’re playing at a land-based casino, then the dealer isn’t allowed to  enter the game until they receive your hand signal. This is done for security purposes and that allows the gambler’s intended action to be demonstrated clearly. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings.

Other Blackjack Rules 

You also have the option to “double down.” This means you’re going to take one card for double the bet. There’s also a side bet called the “insurance bet.” In this case, if the deal happens to have an ace. By taking the insurance bet then you can win even if the dealer has 21. But keep in mind that you’ll lose half the bet if he does not.


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Not all casinos will offer the insurance bet. As a given, we suggest that you never take it as it’s not in the long-term interest of your bankroll. You can make use of free blackjack practice at our favourite online casino, King Billy Casino. They offer all new players a great welcome bonus of €1,000 to help you get started.

The Best Bits About Vingt et un

What makes the game Vingt-et-un popular is the fact that it’s very simple to learn. There’s a great deal of luck involved which means anyone can play. Also, because of this, it’s a very inclusive card game, giving everyone a great chance of grabbing a prize.

The Most Common Vingt-et-un Misconception

One thing about Vingt-et-un that is a huge misconception, is that many people who have never played, assume that the aim is to score 21. This is absolutely not true. The main aim is to simply get closer to 21 than the dealer. You’d be surprised how many casino gamblers end up losing their bets because they hit when they should stick.

Some Vingt-et-un Trivia

Whilst exiled on the island of Elba, Napoleon was said to have enjoyed playing Vingt-et-un.

Today’s game of blackjack was the evolution of Vingt-et-un. In fact, the blackjack was a popular bonus and incentive given out to all hands that contained a “black jack.” Even though this bonus was only offered on a temporary basis to encourage gamblers to go into new casinos, the name ended up sticking with the game. Unfortunately, only very rarely will you find Vingt-et-un offered at online casinos.

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