Introduction: How to play 7 card Black Jack game

“There are lots and lots of them.” No, I’m not referring to the Rain Man film quote of Raymond Babbitt, played by Dustin Hoffman, said when counting cards at a blackjack table in Las Vegas. There are lots of different types of card games. And in this article, we’re going to look at how to play the 7 card Black Jack game.

In Britain, the popular (and now worldwide) American game of “21” Blackjack was commonly known as the card game called Pontoon.


Therefore, the word “Blackjack” for the 21 “beat the dealer” card game was created by borrowing from the words of the 7 card “Black Jack” game played widely in the UK, moreover in England for donkey’s years thus known as English Black Jack.

The game of Black Jack with seven cards is typically played by older teenagers (16-19) and those in their 20s and 30s.

7 card Black Jack is not offered by casinos as a gambling game. Some players of 7 card Black Jack may place bets amongst themselves when playing the game at home or whilst traveling.

What is the aim of the 7 card Black Jack game?

Unlike the traditional casino game of 21 Blackjack, the aim of the 7 card Black Jack game, based on the card game rules for seven cards, sees two or more players try and empty their hands by matching card numbers or card suits in relation to the top face-up card on the discard pile.

How complex are the rules for 7 card Black Jack?

The card game rules for 7 Card Black Jack are not so complex. At first it takes some getting used to, but the game is much more fun to play when all players are familiar with the rules. 

But trust me, given the multiple variations of the game, unless rules are agreed by all players before the game begins, you’re going to need the powers of Obi-Wan Kenobi or the rationale of Judge Judy to navigate through arguments that will ensue.

Black Jack 7 cards: Start of game dealing the cards

In Black Jack 7 Cards, the dealer (who normally is a player) starts the game by shuffling the cards and deals seven cards to each player. The rest of the cards are placed face-down on the table. One card is turned face-up and placed beside the face-down stack of cards to form the discard pile.

The first face-up card must not be a special card. If it is, the dealer must draw card(s) and place face-up on top of the pile, stopping with a normal card that will open the game. 




The first player to start the game sits to the left of the dealer. And with three or more players, the game progresses clockwise (unless later reversed by a special card).

How to play Black Jack 7 cards: basic game example

Identify the same card number rank or suit type of the card that has just been played by the previous player or whatever the face-up card is if you’re the first player to start the game.


If the 4 of Diamonds has just been played (or is the start card) at your turn, you can put down any 4 cards or any diamond card if the rank value is higher.

In some variants of 7 card Black Jack, runs within suits are allowed to ascend and descend which results in longer put down combinations.

If you can’t place one or more cards or decide not to place cards, you’ll have to pick up one card.

The Black Jack card game rules for seven cards are designed to make it difficult for players to get rid of their cards.

There are rules that cause players to pick up extra cards to add to their hands and it’s difficult to avoid such penalties. This prolongs your ability to eliminate all your cards to win the game.

So whereas in 21 Blackjack you beat the dealer with a higher score or the dealer busts, in 7 Card Black Jack you beat other players by getting rid of all your cards first. When you’ve played all your cards you win and the game ends. You’ve, “Got out.”

Black Jack 7 Cards: holding cards in your hands tip

Organize your cards in sequence, Aces through to Kings. Or divide the special cards placing these at one end of your hand so you can spot them easier.

What are the Black Jack 7 card game rules?

Let’s delve into the rules for the 7 card Black Jack game. Unlike in live online 21 Blackjack where each player is dealt two cards, in the British Black Jack game, each player is dealt seven cards.

There needs to be a minimum of two players to play 7 card Black Jack. A single deck of 52 cards is sufficient for up to five players. Additional decks of cards should be included in the shuffle when there are more players. E.g. six to 10 players will require a minimum of two decks. With two decks, deal five cards to each player instead of seven.

How to play 7 card Black Jack by matching cards

The Black Jack card game rules for 7 cards take some time to get used to when playing the game. However, with practice, knowing what cards to match will become more instinctive.

As well as matching one card as explained above, you can play combination runs of several cards if numbers and suits match. Examples follow:

1. First, if 4 of Hearts, you could play 4 of Diamonds.

2. Then with 4 of Diamonds showing on top of the pile you’ve just played, you could play one number higher, so 5 of Diamonds.

You can play any number of cards, as a run, in one consecutive go as long as they match.

When do you have to pick up cards in 7 card Black Jack?

Each player must try to get rid of their cards when it’s their turn to play. Where you cannot match a card you must pick up one card from the deck. Then it’s the next person’s turn to play.

What are power cards and what powers do they have in 7 card Black Jack?

Depending on what variant of the 7 card Black Jack game is being played, certain cards act as power cards e.g. power cards are any color 2 cards, but only black color Jacks.

If you’re the player and there’s a power card on the pile, you need to play the same number but any suit power card. If you can't, your punishment is to pick up extra cards.

If you manage to match a power card, the next player will have to pick up double the number of cards, unless they can match a power card too.

A player who picks up extra card(s) because power card(s) were placed by the player before them, will then need to wait for their turn to play again.

Two same kinds of power cards put down by two players will double the penalty for the next player. And penalties can extend to more than two power cards in-a-row, depending on the power card being used and the number of decks of cards in play.


A maximum of four 2 cards can be played in a row, by four different players, if one deck of cards is in play. And eight 2 cards in a row by eight different players, if two decks are being used.

And a power card can be played at any time. However, it will only act as a power card if on top of the pile for whoever’s turn it is to play next. When the penalty is over, the next player is to consider the power card as a normal card.

If I’m fined playing 7 card Black Jack how many extra cards will I have to pick up?

Any one red or black 2 cards, played on the correct suit to start means you’ll need to pick up two cards. A player can only put down one 2 card each round. But other players can put down more 2 cards, i.e. one 2 card each within a round.

To avoid the penalty, you need to play a 2 card or a Black Jack which will increase the penalty for the next player.

When any one Black Jack is played on the correct suit to start – pick up five cards. If you can play another Black Jack, you’ll avoid the penalty which the next player is faced with having to pick up 10 cards.

Alternatively, you can play a Red Jack to cancel only one Black Jack.

What are the jacks on twos rule in 7 cards Black Jack?

Penalties can increase because 2 cards can be placed on black jacks and vice versa. A red jack could be used to cancel one Black Jack (i.e. a five-card penalty) but not the other and not the two cards.

Apart from the range of powerful cards in 7 card Black Jack are there any other special cards?

Any color Ace card can be played on any card to change the suit in 7 card Black Jack. After playing an Ace you’ll need to name the suit. But you can’t play Aces on live special cards.

If you hold 7, whatever the suit, you can play all other cards in your hand with the same suit.

When you play a Queen you’ll have to play any other suit or rank card straight after.

Any King card (played on the correct suit or rank) will reverse the direction of play. (i.e. from clockwise to counterclockwise or vice versa)

Any 8 card (played on the correct suit or rank) means the next player must miss a turn at playing their cards. Each additional #8 played at the same time means the next players each miss a turn. However, the next player can play an 8 card if they have one as a stand-alone card or as part of a run.

What happens when there are no cards left to pick up when playing 7 card Black Jack?

In 7 card Black Jack, when there are no more face-down cards for players to pick up, do the following: Remove all cards under the top face-up card on the discard pile, reshuffle, and place face-down on the feeder stack. The game continues with that top face-up card showing.

Are there any important rules to follow when playing 7 card Black Jack?

When you only have one card remaining, at the end of your last turn, on the round before it’s your turn to play again, and you believe you can, get out, you must announce, “Last Card”. When you’re holding two or more cards, that can be played as a combination run to get out – as per the rules – to end a game, before you start to lay your cards down, you must say, “Cards!” And/or in both cases just tap the table. Failure to let other players know that you’re going to play your last card(s) to win at 7 card Black Jack, means you’ll have to pick up two cards on the next round when it’s your turn to go next.

You’re not allowed to end with any special card. So, if you have one, you must pick up one card.

Can you learn the rules on how to play 7 card Black Jack to win the game?

As with most card games there’s both luck and skill involved. It really depends on what cards you’ve been dealt and play in 7 card Black Jack in relation to what cards other players play.

But you must learn the rules before playing proper, because if you make a blunder such as:

1. You play when it’s not your turn.

2. Place the wrong cards that don’t match previous play.

3. Trying to play when you should be missing a turn because an 8 card was placed down by a previous player.

You’ll have to pick up two penalty cards as well as remove the cards you played for each type of error you make.

How long does it take to win at 7 card Black Jack?

Since winning depends on luck and skill, there’s no telling who will win at 7 cards Black Jack or how long it’ll take to win. There’s a higher probability you’ll win the game the fewer fines you receive and as a result the number of extra cards you need to pick up.

Big 7 card Black Jack tips

If you have any, hold back your Aces, red Jacks, 8 cards and Queens to play at the best times. When you play an Ace to change the suit, if you want hearts, bluff and say you want diamonds or another suit, because if the suit is then changed by another player, they could end up declaring the suit you really need to win the game.

Stephen R. Tabone is an English Writer from Great Britain. He is a casino games professional pattern player and outcomes systemiser. He is the Author of Bestselling Baccarat books, ‘The Ultimate Silver Bullet Proof Baccarat Winning Strategy 2.1’ and ‘The Ultimate Golden Secret Baccarat Winning Strategy 3.0’.

In 2011, Mr. Tabone earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Creative Writing and Philosophy from the University of Greenwich, London. And holds qualifications in Law and in Business.