The Basics of Blackjack

Written by CAI National Museum on May 9, 2023 in Gambling News with no comments.


Blackjack is a game of chance in which the objective is to acquire cards with a total value as close to 21 as possible without going over. Players play against the dealer and win by beating his hand.

A player may “split” a pair up to three times, receiving another card on each new hand. However, split Aces cannot be re-split.


Blackjack is a very popular card game that is enjoyed in casinos all over the world. However, its origins have eluded researchers for many years.

Some historians believe that the game hailed from Ancient Rome, where it was played with wooden blocks of different numbers. Others claim that it originated in French casinos around 1700 under the name Vingt-et-Un or twenty-one.

This version eventually spread to North America, where it gained increased popularity among French colonists. It was at this time that it started to be known as blackjack. The term was a result of casino and gambling establishments offering bonus payouts for players who were dealt a black jack (Jack of clubs or spades) along with an ace.


Blackjack is played between a dealer and one or more players. Each player has two cards and can choose to ‘hit’ (take another card) or’stand’ (end the turn). The aim is to beat the dealer without exceeding 21.

Using basic strategy reduces the house advantage to less than one percent, and counting cards can improve this even further. Some casinos have rules that alter the game from the standard version, such as allowing players to split pairs of eights or not counting an Ace as an 11-point card when splitting. Some side bets also have different win rates and can be counted using a separate point system.


In blackjack, side bets are a great way to increase your odds of winning. However, it is important to decide on the size of your betting unit carefully. This will shape your overall strategy and determine the amount you win or lose.

The negative progression strategy involves increasing the bet each time you lose and decreasing it after a win. This system is risky and can drain your bankroll if you are not careful.

The positive-progression blackjack betting system is a more prudent approach that allows you to maximize your winning streaks and earn the best payouts possible. It also limits your losses.


The massive popularity of blackjack has enabled the development of dozens of different variations of this casino game. While the basic rules and objective remain the same, some variants feature additional side wagering options which allow players to win larger payouts with nominal wagers. Nevertheless, these side bets generally have a higher house edge which means that they cannot be effectively counted using a standard card counting strategy.

In order to compensate for the very low house edge that single and double deck games yield, some blackjack variants implement rule modifications. These may include reductions in payouts for blackjacks or rigid split and doubling rules.


The blackjack insurance bet is a side wager that players can make when the dealer’s up card is an ace. It pays out 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack. However, it is a sucker bet that will lose money in the long run.

The most experienced players avoid the insurance bet altogether. They consider it a distraction from their basic strategy and believe that it won’t pay off in the long run.

Newer players may find themselves tempted by this side bet as it appears to offer a safer alternative to their original bet. However, the truth is that pat 20 hands are some of the worst hands to insure.


For the uninitiated, blackjack seems like a simple game; you get two cards and try to beat the dealer. But there’s a lot to know if you want to get the best results.

One option that is available in some casino games is blackjack surrender. This allows the player to forfeit a hand after looking at their own cards and the dealer’s up card. This type of option, also known as Late Surrender, can reduce the house edge by about 0.07% in multiple-deck blackjack games. However, not all players use it properly. There are hesitant players who will never play a surrender hand and gung-ho risk-takers who will play every hand they have a good chance of winning.

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