The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino game where players bet on the outcome of their hand against that of the dealer. It is played with two decks of cards and rules are similar to those of poker, except that a player must stand on any card that is worth less than 21 (known as a soft 17).

The objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand by scoring 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over. If the dealer’s hand is closer to 21, the dealer wins and is paid at 1 to 1.

Basic Strategy

The basic strategy for blackjack consists of playing the best hand you can, with a goal of beating the house by making the right decisions. In addition, there are several side bets that can increase your winnings and minimize the house edge.


Usually, players can choose to place an insurance bet before the first hand. This bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. This bet can lose money in the long run, but it is sometimes used to protect a player who does not have a natural blackjack, and it can reduce the casino’s advantage to a small percentage.

Early Surrender

In most venues, a player can surrender their initial two-card hand if the dealer’s up card is an ace. The player can lose half the original bet if they decide to surrender before drawing another card. However, if the dealer has a blackjack, late surrender is available and the player’s loss will be reduced to half the initial bet.


In some casinos, players can split their hands as many times as they wish, but the rules of blackjack generally restrict this to a maximum of three separate hands. In order to play this option, the player must make a second bet that is equal to half of their original wager.

Doubling Down

Depending on the house rules, a player may be able to double down after being dealt a pair of cards, or if they have a total value of ten or more. A player can also double down if the dealer’s up card is a ten.


A tie occurs when both the dealer’s and the player’s hands total 21. A tie is a win for the dealer and a loss for the player, but the player retains their bet.

If a tie occurs, the player may choose to double their bet, which will pay even money if they are still tied. A push, on the other hand, will result in the player losing the original bet and a smaller payout if they are still tied.

Blackjack is a very simple game that can be enjoyed without trepidation by anyone who understands the basic rules and strategies of the game. It is a great way to pass the time and have fun in the casino.

The game of blackjack has been around for centuries and was originally known as “21.” It is a very popular casino game that is widely played in both land-based and online casinos. It is one of the most entertaining and lucrative gambling games, and it is often considered to be the most mathematically sound of all.