Blackjack is a popular American
casino game, now found throughout the world. It is a banking
game in which the aim of the player is to achieve a hand whose
points total nearer to 21 than the banker's hand, but without
HOW TO PLAY The object of the game is simply to beat the dealer by drawing cards totalling up to and including 21. Picture cards (jack,queen,king) count as 10, an ace as 11 or 1, all other cards count at their face value.
Blackjack is a 10 or any picture card, plus an ace. If you are dealt blackjack, you win and are paid 3 to 2. If your cards total is closer to 21 than the dealers's, you win and are paid even money. The dealer must stand on a total of 17 or more and must draw another card on 16 or less. If you and the dealer has the same amount, it's a draw and nobody
Insurance When the Dealers's first card is an Ace, you can insure your bet against the dealer getting blackjack by placing half the amount of your bet in the "insurance" space. Then, if the dealer gets blackjack, you lose your initial bet but get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. If the dealer fails to get blackjack, you lose your Insurance bet. If both you and the dealer have blackjack this is a "Stand-Off". You keep your initial bet and still get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance.
Doubling You may double your initial bet if your first two cards total 9, 10 or 11. However, you may then only draw one more card.
Splitting If your first 2 cards are a pair, you may split them and place an amount equal to your initial bet on the other hand and complete play on that hand before continuing to the next. If you split Aces, you may draw only one more card for each. Should you receive a Ten or a picture card on either or both Aces, this counts as 21 and paid at even.
Blackjack casino games online
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Blackjack Basic Strategy
The most important thing to know about blackjack is the basic
This strategy is simply the best way to play every possible situation,
without any knowledge of the distribution of the rest of the cards in the
At the top of the page is the basic strategy for four or more decks
when the dealer hits on soft 17, which is the most common game.
Below are links to more basic strategy charts for other rules.
If you only memorize one table I would suggest the one above.
It can be played effectively under any rules.
Many casinos in Las Vegas have prominent signs saying "Single Deck"
However, on a much smaller sign it says "Blackjack pays 6 to 5."
Either way this is by far the worst blackjack game in the city and I urge you to avoid it.
Here is a link to an article in the Las Vegas Sun about this game, which quotes
Rule variations will have an effect on the player's expected return.
The numbers below show the effect on the player's return under various
rules and after taking into consideration proper basic strategy
These changes are relative to the following Atlantic City rules:
8 decks, dealer stands on soft 17, player may double on any first two
layer can double after splitting, player may split to 4 hands.
Do not take insurance, even if you have a blackjack.
Card counters can get away with making smart insurance bets when
the deck is rich in tens but the non-counting player should always decline it.
The following table shows the house edge on the insurance bet depending on the number of decks
Beware 6-5 Single Deck Blackjack
The following is my survey of blackjack rules throughout Las Vegas.
In an effort to save time only true blackjack games are included in this listing.
Two conditions for being considered true blackjack are that each deck used
contain all 52 cards and all winning blackjacks pay 3 to 2. So 6 to 5
Super Fun 21, Blackjack Switch, and Spanish 21 are not listed. I would be happy to accept updates and corrections.
Following is an explanation of some of the non-obvious columns in the tables.
Dealer Action on Soft 17: S if dealer stands on soft 17, H if dealer hits soft 17.
Double After Split: Y if double after split allowed, otherwise N.
Late Surrender: Y if player may surrender after dealer checks for
blackjack, N if no surrender at all.
Resplit Aces: Y if player may split aces more than once, N if split aces get one card
Other Rules or Comments: Other pertinent rules or remarks.
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For example the five-card Charlie rule means the player automatically wins with 5
cards, as long as he didn't bust.
To use the basic strategy look up your hand along the left vertical
edge and the dealer's up card along the top. In both cases an A stands for ace.
From top to bottom are the hard totals, soft totals, and splittable hands.
variations can have an effect on some borderline situations.
The most flexible rules are the number of decks, whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17,
and whether doubling is allowed after splitting.
Some obvious situations have been left out to keep the chart as small as possible.
I have more basic strategy charts for other numbers of decks, as well as European
The "no peek" rule applies when the dealer does not peek for a
or does not deal a hole card at all, the player doubles or splits, the dealer gets a
and the player loses the total amount bet. This is the case under normal European
However, at many Internet casinos the rules are bizarre and the dealer peeks for
with an ace but not a 10, or vise versa. Thus, I break down the no peek rule according to the up card. blackjack
appendix shows the value of
1 deck - 2 decks - 4 or more decks - European
- The best way,
I have found, to memorize the basic strategy is notice patterns and to try to
understand why you should play every situation as the chart says.
Then make flash cards and go over and over them until you know it cold.
Do not deal out cards to yourself because the soft totals and the pairs
will not occur often enough to test your knowledge.
Many people do not believe in the basic strategy because they once
took the advice of someone who knew it and then lost the hand.
Let me make something perfectly clear, you will not win every hand
with the basic strategy! In fact, you won't even win half your hands.
However, I can personally testify that while you will have short term
ups and downs, over the long run you will roughly break even using it.
Las Vegas Rules Survey present Las Vegas
This is an attempt to list the
rules at every casino in the Las Vegas
See the Poker Calculator to determine the game.
And here's that calculator on a full page.