Blackpool striker Kevin Phillips scored a superb equaliser to deny dominant Cardiff at sodden Bloomfield Road.
Cardiff failed to convert a host of first-half opportunities, with lone striker Kenny Miller the biggest culprit as he wasted a glorious chance.
But the goal finally came early in the second half as Don Cowie headed in Peter Whittingham's teasing cross.
Blackpool hardly created an opening, but Phillips showed true class to curl in a sublime effort from 20 yards.
Bluebirds manager Malky Mackay will be scratching his head as to how his side failed to collect their second away win of the season, while counterpart Ian Holloway will take at least some comfort from his side's response to going a goal down.
The hosts were utterly toothless as an attacking force in the first half and somehow managed to survive a total Cardiff onslaught.
The best chance fell to Scotland stiker Miller on 14 minutes when he dragged his effort into the side-netting with only Matt Gilkes to beat.
Aron Gunnarsson, who replaced Rob Earnshaw as Cardiff played five in midfield, shot over the bar, Kevin McNaughton opted to pass when a shot seemed the best option and Anthony Gerrard saw a long drive and then a header go inches over.
Gilkes was then called into action to keep out Mark Hudson's flicked header - all of which happened inside a totally one-sided opening 25 minutes.
Blackpool, unchanged from the 2-0 home win over Ipswich, struggled to build any cohesion in attack, Cardiff's summer signing Gunnarsson proving to be an effective spoiler in front of the back four.
The Bluebirds made the most of the extra man in midfield as Peter Whittingham and Filip Kiss, making his full debut, found space at will.
And it was a Whittingham cross that finally saw the visitors take a deserved lead after only four minutes of the second half.
Cowie timed his run to perfection and his downward header bounced over Gilkes' despairing dive.
Holloway's response was to make a triple substitution as Craig Cathcart, Billy Clarke and Matthew Hill made way, the home side throwing three up front.
And the change paid almost immediate dividends as Phillips, at his opportunist best, scored with a glorious right-footed curler from 20 yards after 62 minutes.
It was a half chance at best, but David Marshall had no hope in the Cardiff goal as Phillips found the top corner from an acute angle.
Blackpool were a team transformed as they finally put the visiting defence under pressure but Marshall remained untroubled.
Craig Conway was a constant threat for Cardiff on the break and the winger wasted a clear opening to grab all three points when he shot wide in the dying minutes.