What is Blackjack?

Written by CAI National Museum on September 5, 2023 in Gambling News with no comments.


Blackjack is a casino game where you and the dealer each get two cards. If your two cards total 21 or a picture card and a ten-card, you have a “blackjack.” The dealer must pay you one and a half times your bet.

While following basic strategy will not always be 100% perfect, it will give you a much better advantage than just playing random.

Game of chance

Blackjack is a game of chance in which players compete against the dealer. The dealer is dealt two cards – one face up and one face down. The player must work out the value of their cards and that of the dealer to get as close to 21 as possible without busting.

If the player gets a hand of blackjack (two ten value cards and an Ace), they win and lose their original bet. In addition, they may place an additional bet of half their original bet on ‘insurance’, which pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack.

If a player follows basic strategy, they can reduce the house edge to near 0 in single-deck games and less than 1% in multi-deck games. However, it is important to remember that card counting does not guarantee that the player will win. It is entirely possible that a skilled card counter can lose through extended periods of bad luck.


In blackjack, the dealer and each player are dealt two cards. The dealer has one card face up and the other, usually an ace, is face down (also known as the hole card). If the player surpasses 21 and does not bust; he wins.

The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer. There are some misconceptions about this objective but the basic idea is to beat the dealer by making a hand value higher than 21 and by not busting.

Some casinos change the rules of blackjack, such as hitting on soft 17 or standing on soft 17. This affects the strategy and can be a significant advantage for the player. In addition, the player can bet on insurance, which pays 2-to-1 if the dealer has a blackjack. The player can also choose to surrender before the dealer checks their hole card. This is an important time for tell players to observe the dealer’s facial expression, eye movements and posture.


Blackjack is a game that involves strategy and skill as well as luck. It also requires a clear understanding of the rules of play and payouts. This is important because each casino or online platform may have different rules and payout structures. Some of these differences may include the number of decks used, dealer behavior on a soft 17, and side bets. Usually, winning bets are paid immediately. A blackjack is paid 3:2 on the original wager.

It’s a good idea to leave the cards on the table once they are dealt, so that other players don’t interfere with them or cause suspicion of tampering. It’s also customary to keep personal items, like bags, drinks, and phones off the blackjack table. This helps maintain an uncluttered playing area and promotes a professional atmosphere. While there are countless betting systems for blackjack, none of them can guarantee consistent wins. However, the use of basic strategies can significantly improve your odds of winning.


In the 1960s, Edward Thorp published a strategy for blackjack that, when followed precisely, gives players an edge over the house. This strategy was later improved by a card counting expert, Peter Griffin. His work focused on deck composition, establishing that a deck rich in high-value cards favoured players while an excess of low-value cards tilted the scales in the house’s favour.

Basic strategy is a product of rigid computations and computer simulations, and its efficiency is indisputable. While it won’t guarantee you a win every hand, it will help you reduce your losses and increase your overall profits. Some players try to increase their bets through side bets, but this audacious approach can quickly prove expensive.

Basic strategy charts might seem daunting to novices, but they’re actually quite easy to memorize. The vertical edge of a chart contains all possible totals and the dealer’s up cards, while the horizontal line shows the optimal play for each combination.

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