The Basics of Blackjack

The game of blackjack requires a combination of skill and luck. The house edge can be minimized by knowing the rules and practicing your strategy. To improve your chances of winning, practice keeping a running count.

Always split aces and eights. They’re golden tickets to more winning hands. Avoid taking Insurance, which pays 2:1 and is a sucker bet for the basic player.

Game rules

Blackjack is a simple card game with rules that have remained identical throughout the world. Its appeal stems from its simplicity and its low house edge, which can be reduced to below 2% by following a defined strategy.

Before the dealer deals the cards, each player and the dealer make their bets. One of the dealer’s cards is always dealt face up, allowing players to see its value. However, it is important to avoid touching the cards, as this could raise suspicion of tampering or marking.

Also, it is common courtesy to refrain from entering the table in the middle of a shoe, as this can disturb the flow of the cards and cause players to lose. It is also important to understand the difference between a hard and soft hand.


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It is a member of a global family of casino banking card games and descends from the European game of vingt-et-un. Unlike other card games, blackjack players do not compete against each other. Instead, they play against the dealer. To maximize your chances of winning, it is important to practice responsible gambling and stick to a basic strategy. Avoid deviating from the strategy based on your emotions.

Tie hands

While the basic game of blackjack has remained largely the same over time, there have been many subtle–and some major–changes to how it is played. Understanding these changes can help you play your best and improve your chances of winning.

The house edge of blackjack varies depending on how the game is played, and basic strategy offers a clear set of rules for minimizing this advantage. It also includes advice on when to hit, stand, double down, and split pairs.

Doubling is usually allowed after splitting, but some games restrict this option when the cards rank the same. In addition, re-splitting aces is often not permitted. Typically, players who want to make a side bet must place the same amount of money on blackjack as they do for the side bet.

Dealer’s face-down card

The dealer receives two cards, one face up and the other face down (this varies from place to place as determined by management). During the dealing phase of the game players may make a side bet of up to half their original bet that the dealer’s hidden card is a ten-card. This is known as Insurance, and if successful it wins the player’s original bet. The dealer checks the hole card before any of the players play their hands. If the dealer has a blackjack they expose the card and all players’ bets lose, except for any player blackjacks which will push. Otherwise, all bets are returned without any adjustment.

Some games do not offer the option of placing an Insurance bet. These games are called non-insurable dealer blackjacks and can be very profitable for players.