The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of chance and strategy. The player must try to beat the dealer by getting a higher total than the dealer’s. There are several ways to do this, including splitting aces and eights, and betting on the dealer’s up-card.

To play blackjack well, you must memorize a series of charts that provide the correct playing strategies for different hands. These charts are based on slightly different versions of the game, and include variations in rules, such as whether the dealer must stand or hit on soft 17.

Game rules

Blackjack is a card game played by two or more players against the dealer. The objective is to beat the dealer by getting a hand value that is closer to 21 than theirs. If the player busts, they lose their bet. If the player’s hand is a natural (a total of 21, without splitting or doubling), they win and are paid 1/1.

In the 1950s, Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott developed a basic playing strategy for blackjack that provides the best odds of winning. These pioneers are known as the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen.

The rules of blackjack are simple enough to understand, but the game can still be complicated. It’s important to know the house edge and how it affects your bets. This way, you can make intelligent decisions about your bets. The more informed you are, the better you’ll play.


Blackjack is a popular casino game with many variations that have been invented to inject new life into an old favourite. These variations may have different rules and payouts. This can affect the gameplay and strategy of players. It is important for players to familiarize themselves with these differences before sitting down at a table and betting money.

One of the most common blackjack variations is Face Up Blackjack. This variation is similar to traditional blackjack, except the dealer must hit on soft 17, and a tie results in a loss. This version has a higher house edge than standard blackjack.

Other blackjack variants include Super Fun 21 and Double Attack Blackjack. These games differ from traditional blackjack in several ways, including the number of decks used and dealer rules. Some of these games have side bets that can boost players’ bankrolls with high payouts. However, these extra wagers have a higher house edge than the base game and are not recommended for beginners.


While a blackjack game is mostly based on chance, there are some factors that can influence your potential winnings. These factors include the payouts, table limits, and side bets. Side bets are optional wagers that players can place alongside their main blackjack bets. These bets generally have lower Return To Player (RTP) rates than main bets, but they can provide additional excitement and a higher chance of winning.

The payouts for a blackjack hand are typically one-to-one, except for the dealer’s natural, which pays at 3:2. Winning bets are paid immediately, whereas losing bets are collected by the dealer.

It is important to avoid touching the cards while playing blackjack. Doing so could raise suspicion about tampering or marking. It is also customary to leave the cards face up on the table, rather than holding them close to your body. This is a common practice in professional gambling establishments, and it ensures transparency and fairness for all players.


Blackjack is one of the few casino card games where player skill can significantly influence payouts. Understanding the game’s rules and strategies can help you maximize your winnings and minimize losses. However, it’s also important to practice responsible gambling and stay sober. This includes not drinking alcohol at the blackjack table and respecting other players’ choices without giving unsolicited advice or criticism.

Several resources are available to help blackjack players improve their game. These include blackjack strategy charts that display the optimal hit, stand, double down, and split decision for a given hand and dealer up card. These charts can be found online or at many casinos, including those in Las Vegas.

Card counting is another way to improve your odds at the blackjack table. This involves keeping a running tally of cards that have been dealt and making larger bets when the shoe is heavy on aces and high cards. This strategy can be used to improve the house edge for side bets, but it’s important to note that it can lead to consequences from casino security.