The Basics of Blackjack and Basic Strategy for Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino game in which you play against the dealer. The goal of the game is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. The rules of the game are simple, but there are many strategies to maximize your chances of winning.

The Basics of Blackjack

The player and the dealer are each dealt two cards face down. The player has the option to hit, stand or draw more cards until his hand reaches a total of 21, which is called “busting.” If your hand goes bust, you lose. The dealer also has the option to bust, but must stand if his hand is higher than yours.

Basic Strategy for Blackjack

Using basic strategy, the player can reduce the house edge in blackjack to a small percentage. This can make a huge difference in the outcome of a hand, but it takes practice to master this strategy.

If you’re new to blackjack, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of the game so you can understand what the dealer is doing and how to react accordingly. This includes knowing the different betting options available and the rules of etiquette when playing.

To start the game, the player will place a bet in one of the designated betting spots on the table. He will then wait until the dealer completes the current round.

Once the dealer has finished playing, the player may continue betting or discontinue play for that round and surrender half of his wager. This option is only available for the first two cards and is only allowed if the dealer has not checked for a blackjack (a two-card count of 21).

The Dealer

The dealer gets a single card to begin the game, and then draws additional cards until his hand reaches a total that is higher than the player’s. The dealer is required to check his hole card before anyone else can begin playing their hands.

Basic Strategy for Blackjack

If the dealer has an ace up, they can offer insurance, which costs 50% of the player’s bet amount in addition to the initial bet. If the dealer has a blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2:1.

A good way to find out if the dealer is offering insurance is to watch their play. The dealer is usually very careful about checking his hole card and has no reason to make a mistake when this option is available.

The house edge in blackjack is a little over 1%, but it can be reduced significantly with the use of good basic strategy. Despite this, the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are very low and it’s not wise to take the risk of taking insurance when you have a natural (two-card 21).

Insurance is offered to players who have a two-card total of 17 or higher; this is called a “natural” because the dealer has an ace up. In most casinos, the player will be paid 3 to 2 on a natural.