Online Blackjack Guide

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Complete Guide to Blackjack

Whether you're a beginner blackjack player looking for basic strategy or an experienced casino veteran hunting advanced tips and tricks, we've got you covered.

This page will dive deep into online and offline blackjack including how to play, strategies to help you win more, and the most important rules to remember. We'll also explore all the different bets you can make, which ones have the best payouts, and tons more.

Guide to Blackjack

#1 - how to play

There are three ways to win with blackjack.

First, the player wins if he hits a blackjack and the dealer doesn't. A blackjack is when your first two cards total 21 and it's also called a natural.

The second way way to win is by scoring higher than the dealer without going over 21. If you go over 21 you “bust” and automatically lose.

Lastly, if the dealer busts everyone who didn't bust automatically wins.

game objective

The point of the game is to get a higher total than the dealer without going over 21.

Regular Gameplay

Chances are you've seen bits and pieces of how blackjack is played, even if you've never actually played yourself. Wherever you are on the spectrum of experience, it's never a bad idea to brush up on the basics:

1
Dealer gives 2 cards face up

The dealer gives everyone two cards, both face up, and two cards to themselves, one face-up and one face-down.

2
STAND
HIT
SPLIT
Player can choose to stand, hit or split

In turn, each player has the chance to stand, take more cards, or split a pair if both their cards are the same rank.

3
Dealer turns over downcard

After all players have acted, the dealer turns over their downcard and either stands or hits according to a set of rules decided by the casino.

4
Dealer pays out or collects bets

The dealer pays out any players who won the hand and collects the bets of those who lost.

Figuring out which hand wins is really easy. If a player gets 21 with his first two cards, it's an automatic win as long as the dealer doesn't get a blackjack too. Otherwise, the player wins if their hand adds up to more than the dealer while also not going over 21. Let's look at some examples.

Rules of play

As a player, you can make any decisions you want but how the dealer plays is governed by rules set by the casino. The specific rules depend on where you're playing but we'll cover the most common guidelines you'll find all around the world and on the internet at the best online casinos.

PLAYER RULES
  • Players must make their bets prior to any cards being dealt.
  • During your turn, you can stand, hit, double down, or split a pair.
  • After the dealer has acted, he will compare his hand to yours to decide the winner.
Dealer Rules
  • The dealer will stand if her cards equal 17 or more.
  • The dealer will hit on a “soft” 17.
  • If the dealer has an ace and counting it as 11 would give him a total of 17 or more, but not more than 21, he must count it as 11 and stand.

DEALER

The dealer has a hard 17, so they have to stand.

player 1

This hand totals the same as the dealer. A tie in blackjack is a “push” and you neither win nor lose. Your bet is returned.

player 2

This hand exceeds 21 and so it loses automatically.

player 3

This hand is a blackjack and since the dealer doesn't have blackjack, it automatically wins. This is paid out 3:2.

player 4

This hand is higher than the dealer's total and so wins. This is paid out 2:1.

One reason blackjack is such a popular game is that even though the rules are simple, there's a lot of room to learn advanced strategy in order to turn the odds in your favor. Now that you know the basics, it's time to take it to the next level.

#2 - ANATOMY OF BLACKJACK

The ingredients that go into a great game of blackjack are simple:

Playing cards
A blackjack table and dealer
Chips or cash
A basic understanding of the rules

Amazingly that short list, combined in the right way, created one of the most popular gambling games in history.

TABLE LAYOUT

Blackjack Dealer's cards
dealer's cards

This is the space that the dealer's cards are dealt into.

Blackjack card shoe
shoe

This is where the cards are dealt from during each game.

Blackjack Player's cards
PLAYER'S CARDS

This will be a square or a circle that your cards are dealt into (you can play multiple hands in some games). This is where your chips are placed at the start of the game.

Online Blackjack action buttons
ACTION BUTTONS

This is where you'll decide what move to make, whether it be to hit, stand, fold, or anything else.

Blackjack chips
CHIPS

This is where you'll find your betting amount options.
You can click the chips to add them to your bet.

dealer's cards
This is the space that the dealer's cards are dealt into.
shoe
This is where the cards are dealt from during each game.
PLAYER'S CARDS
This will be a square or a circle that your cards are dealt into (you can play multiple hands in some games). This is where your chips are placed at the start of the game.
ACTION BUTTONS
This is where you'll decide what move to make, whether it be to hit, stand, fold, or anything else.
CHIPS
This is where you'll find your betting amount options.
You can click the chips to add them to your bet.
It's important to remember that different casinos, both live and online, will have slightly different layouts printed on their tables. The bottom line is that the differences are usually really subtle.
If you're confused by any of the rules you see when you get to the table in a real casino, just ask the dealer to clarify exactly what they mean. If you're playing online, consult the rules or seek help using the customer support tools.

CARD VALUES

There are three main categories of cards: Aces, faces, and number cards.

Aces are special because they can count as either 1 or 11. Aces are also important since you need one to make a blackjack. Face cards refer to kinds, queens, and jacks - these are all worth 10. All the remaining cards are worth their numerical value.

aces
Ace of hearts, 7 of diamonds = 8 or 18

An Ace can be counted as 1 or 11.

number cards
9 of hearts, 2 of clubs = 11

The number cards between Two and Ten show their values.

Face-Cards
Queen of clubs, Jack of spades = 20

A face card is worth 10 points.

types of hands

If you hang around a blackjack table you'll hear people talking about “hard” hands and “soft” hands. Here's what they mean:

Ace of hearts, 7 of diamonds Ace of hearts, 2 of clubs
SOFT HANDS
A soft hand has an ace that's being counted as 11.
2 of clubs, 8 of clubs 4 of hearts, Queen of clubs
hard HANDS
Hard hands don't include an ace.

WAYS TO WIN

These are the three main ways to win but if you want more, jump ahead to our Blackjack Strategy Tips section to learn the most effective strategies we could get our hands on.

Win with a Blackjack If your first two cards total 21 and the dealer's don't, you automatically win the hand.
Score Higher than Dealer without Busting If your hand scores higher than the dealer without going over 21, you win the hand.
Dealers Busts If the dealer goes over 21 and you do not, you automatically win the hand.

Blackjack is deceptively simple. The rules are easy to learn and you can start playing right away. But don't be fooled into thinking that's all there is to it. It's really important to learn basic strategy or else the casino will get an even bigger edge than they're entitled to.

your winning payouts
The payouts are really simple but it's important to remember that different casinos offer different odds. Make sure to check out the rules of the game you're playing.
Type of win Payout
Blackjack 3 to 2 i
Win with no blackjack 1 to 1 i
Tie with Dealer Push i

House Edge

Casino games always have a house edge, that's the casino's statistical advantage that's built right into the rules of the game. People love blackjack because it actually allows you to use strategy to lower the house edge or, in some cases, turn the odds in your own favor.

It's important to remember that the house edge can't tell you how much you'll win or lose in one session. The more you play, however, the closer your numbers will be to the statistical house edge. The important thing to remember is that how well you play has a direct effect on the house edge in blackjack. Let's look at an example to show you what we mean.

Lisa is an experienced blackjack player and is playing near-perfect strategy which gives the house an edge of 0.8%.

TOTAL BET
HOUSE EDGE
=
CASINO WINS

That means for every $100 Lisa bets, on average, she'll lose 80 cents.

ALL THE ODDS

There are all kinds of odds at work in blackjack. Check out these fast stats to dig deeper into this game's mechanics and mathematics.

4.75% Chance of getting a natural 21
29.00% Average amount that the dealer busts
42.00% Chance of winning a single hand
8.50% Chance of a tie
4.60% Chance of winning 4 hands in a row
1.20% Chance of suited BJ in a 6-deck game

#3 - YOUR BETTING OPTIONS

1111
If you're happy with the first two cards you were dealt, you can stand. This means you don't want any more cards.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
STAND
If you're happy with the first two cards you were dealt, you can stand. This means you don't want any more cards.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
HIT
If your cards have a low total you'll want to hit, which means you're asking for an additional card. You're free to hit as many times as you want.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
FOLD
If you're unhappy with your cards then you can fold, meaning you lose your bet and you don't play any further.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
DOUBLE DOWN
On certain really good hands you'll want to double down which means you must put out another bet equal to your original wager and then receive only one more card.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
SPLIT
If your first two cards are a pair you have the option of splitting them into two hands. You must put out another bet equal to your original wager to cover the second hand. Each card gets a second face-up card then plays out according to the original rules.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
SURRENDER
Some casinos give you the option of surrendering half your bet after the dealer has looked at his down-card. You take back the other half and your hand is over.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.
INSURANCE
A special side bet placed on whether you think the dealer holds Blackjack, available when they're up card is a 10 or Ace.
During your turn you have the option of standing, hitting, doubling down and splitting a pair. In order to figure out the best play, first, you must understand all the different moves.

#4 - BASIC STRATEGY

Unlike other games like baccarat, or betting on red and black in roulette, blackjack doesn't have a fixed house edge. That's because, as a player, you have so many strategy decisions at your disposal. An experienced player who plays properly can get the house edge down to half a percent but a beginner who doesn't learn basic strategy will be giving the casino a way bigger edge. Don't make that mistake.

Blackjack for Blood book cover

Play within your bankroll, pick your games with care and learn everything you can about the game. The winning will come. It has to. It's in the cards.”

Bryce Carlson, author of Blackjack for Blood

OUR TOP BLACKJACK TIPS

Tips for succeeding at blackjack can be broken down into two main types.

First, you have gameplay tips like how to play certain hands.

Second, there are larger-picture decisions like which casino and what stakes to play and how to manage your bankroll. We're going to give you the best of both worlds right here.

Blackjack hand showing Ace-Ace
Always Split Aces and Eights
If you're dealt a pair of aces or a pair of eights, always split them. Two eights give you 16, which is the worst hand in blackjack. Splitting aces gives you the chance of hitting two naturals or drawing to a great hand. Conversely, never split two 10-point cards since you're very unlikely to do better than a 20.
Stack of Blackjack chips
When to Double Down
Doubling down is a really important way of getting more money on the table when the odds are in your favor. You should double down when you have a total of ten, but not if the dealer also has a 10-point card or an ace showing. You should also double down when you have 11 and the dealer is showing anything except an ace.
Player with Ace-Ace in Blackjack
Pick Player-Friendly Games
Whether it's live or online, look for games where the dealer has to hit on soft 17 and they use the lowest number of decks possible. Also look for games that allow you to hit and re-split aces. When you split aces at some casinos they will only give each ace one more card, not allowing you to double down, hit, or re-split.

Advanced blackjack strategy takes years to master but there are lots of easy rules you can add to your game quickly that will make a big difference. Just remember that the better you play, the better your odds are.

Blackjack Strategy Charts

The best way to lay out all the best way for you to play all the different hands and situations is by using charts. To use these charts just find your hand on the far-left column as well as the dealer's up-card in the row across the top.

#1 - which pairs to split

Splitting pairs is an important part of good strategy but It's not as simple as just remember whether you should split a certain pair or not. You also have to take into account the dealer's card that's showing. Use this chart to figure out exactly how to play every pair in every situation.

NEVER TAKE INSURANCE OR EVEN MONEY
Pair Spliting
YourCards
Dealer's Upcard
Swipe to discover more
(A,A) (T,T) (9,9) (8,8) (7,7) (6,6) (5,5) (4,4) (3,3) (2,2)
2 Y N Y Y Y Y/N N N Y/N Y/N
3 Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y/N Y/N
4 Y N Y Y Y Y N N Y Y
5 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y/N Y Y
6 Y N Y Y Y Y N Y/N Y Y
7 Y N N Y Y N N N Y Y
8 Y N Y Y N N N N N N
9 Y N Y Y N N N N N N
T Y N N Y N N N N N N
A Y N N Y N N N N N N
download pdf
#2 - How to Play Soft Hands

When you have an ace in your hand that's being counted as 11 it's called a “soft hand” because you still have the option of counting your ace as one point instead. This chart shows you when to hit, stand, or double down with every single soft hand and dealer card combo.

soft tools
YourCards
Dealer's Upcard
Swipe to discover more
(A,9) (A,8) (A,7) (A,6) (A,5) (A,4) (A,3) (A,2)
2 S S Ds H H H H H
3 S S Ds D H H H H
4 S S Ds D D D H H
5 S S Ds D D D D D
6 S Ds Ds D D D D D
7 S S S H H H H H
8 S S S H H H H H
9 S S H H H H H H
T S S H H H H H H
A S S H H H H H H
download pdf
#3 - How to Play Hard Hands

This chart breaks down when to stand, hit or double-down when you have a hand with no ace or one where the ace is being counted as one point. Again, make sure to take into account the dealer's upcard when making your decisions.

hard totals
YourCards
Dealer's Upcard
Swipe to discover more
17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8
2 S S S S S H D D H H
3 S S S S S H D D D H
4 S S S S S S D D D H
5 S S S S S S D D D H
6 S S S S S S D D D H
7 S H H H H H D D H H
8 S H H H H H D D H H
9 S H H H H H D D H H
T S H H H H H D H H H
A S H H H H H D H H H
download pdf
#4 - WHEN TO SURRENDER Late

There aren't too many situations where it's correct to surrender but it's still important to know when it's the right move. This chart shows you the four hand combinations that call for surrender.

hard totals - LATE SURRENDER
YourCards
Dealer's Upcard
Swipe to discover more
17 16 15 14
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9 Sur
T Sur Sur
A Sur
download pdf

If you're playing online, keep these charts handy for reference when you get in spots where you don't know what to do. If you're playing live you can get small versions of the charts which are allowed at the table provided you don't slow down the pace of the game.

A Note on Strategy Cards

Charts are an important part of learning a mathematically-sound approach to the game but they're not the be-all, end-all of blackjack. There are lots of decisions that make a winning player so make sure to develop an approach to game selection, stakes and bankroll management that works for you and then stick to it. Most importantly, you should never feel uncomfortable or regretful about playing.

#5 - ADVANCED STRATEGY

After you've learned how to play every situation (your hand + dealer up-card), you're ready to move on to advanced strategies like counting cards. Being able to use card-counting techniques is difficult and requires fast observation, good recall, basic math skills, and the acting skills to do it all without the dealer or pit boss spotting you.

CARD COUNTING

As long as there have been casinos, there have been people trying to outsmart the house. Counting cards is one way they actually succeeded.

The idea is that when there are lots of 10-point cards in the deck, it favors the player. By keeping track of all the cards being dealt, players can identify times when there are more 10-point cards still to come and then pile on the bets while their chances are the best.

In theory, it's pretty straightforward. The challenge is keeping track of everything as it happens quickly in a real game and being able to do it without attracting the casino's attention. While it's not technically illegal, casinos will bar you from games if they catch you counting.

HOW IT WORKS
  • All the cards in the deck are assigned a value.

    Playing cards with values of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6+1
    Playing cards with values of 7, 8, 90
    Playing cards with values of 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace-1
  • Keep track of all the cards being dealt by counting each of them as +1, 0, or -1 as they come out. This is called the “running count” and it tells you when there are more than an average number of 10-point cards left in the deck.

    Blackjack hand 7, 70
    two of clubs, 6 of spades+2
    Jack of spades, 5 of hearts0
    four of hearts, 8 of clubs+1
    Ace of hearts, King of hearts-2
    9 of hearts, 7 of diamonds0
  • When the count gets above zero it means the odds are more favorable for the player. The higher the count gets, the more you should bet.

    Running Count
    Above 0 = Player Advantage
    Below 0 = Casino Advantage
pro tip

You must take the number of decks being used into account and convert the “running count” into what's known as the “true count”.

running count
# of decks
=
true count

The more decks, the higher your running count will have to get before the odds become profitable. To give you an idea of how the true count equates to your odds, a true count of +8 works out to a roughly 3.5% edge for the player.

taking insurance

If you want to win at blackjack, you shouldn't even read this section on insurance. Just skip this bet altogether and save your money.

Insurance is a special side bet the dealer offers when they're showing an ace. Basically, it's a bet on them getting a blackjack and pays out 2 to 1 if you win. Since statistically, the dealer gets a blackjack less than half the time, it's pretty easy to see that this is a losing bet in the long run and should be avoided by beginner and intermediate players.

dealer's hand 9 of hearts, 2 of clubs
your bet $20
dealer has blackjack $20 win on insurance bet
player's hand Ace of hearts, 8 of clubs
insurance bet $10
dealer without blackjack $40 – $50 depending on player hand

For advanced players who count cards, however, insurance is one of the most powerful bets. That's because when the count favors the player, it means there are more tens than usual in the deck. That means that when the dealer is showing an ace he's way more likely to make a blackjack.

practicing your strategy

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#6 - popular blackjack variants

Now that you've got the basics of the game, as well as some strategy tips, you can decide which blackjack variation you'd like to play. Here are a couple of the most popular options you'll find online:

Live Dealer Blackjack
One of the most exciting reasons to gamble online is how good the live dealer games have become. Since blackjack is one of the most popular games it attracts the best dealers and is a blast to play live on the internet for real money.
Live dealer online blackjack
Best for: Anyone who loves interacting with a real dealer but can't always make it to the casino.
Blackjack Switch
In this game, each player gets two hands and has the option of switching one card from each hand. A natural blackjack only pays even money (compared to 3 to 2 in regular blackjack) and a dealer 22 is a push against all non-bust hands.
Blackjack Switch game
Best for: Experienced blackjack players who are looking for something new and exciting.
Perfect Pairs
This is a special version that follows the regular rules but also offers a side bet on whether your first two cards will be a pair. The bet pays out depending on how your pair is arranged. Usually, there are special payouts for a mixed-color pair, a pair of the same color, and a “perfect pair” which combines two of the exact same cards (two aces of spades for example).
Perfect Pairs Blackjack
Best for: Players who love blackjack but like to have a little extra action on the side.
Spanish 21/Pontoon
These two games are very similar and they both remove all the tens to play with 48-card decks. Other special rules include:
  • Player blackjack beating a dealer blackjack
  • A five-card 21 paying out 3 to 2
  • Being able to re-split aces
  • Being able to double down on any number of cards
Spanish 21 / Pontoon Blackjack game
Best for: Players who are tired of pushing against the dealer with a natural blackjack.

It's a big and beautiful world of blackjack and there are tons of different variations and games to keep you coming back. Next time you're playing live or online, try out a new variant to spice things up.

#7 – offline blackjack

Long before the internet came along, people were playing different versions of blackjack in casinos and underground games all over the world. With the arrival of online casinos, the game was made available to hundreds of millions of people in the comfort of their own homes. Suffice to say, people were into it.

the main differences

Mechanically the game is exactly the same whether you play live or online. The rules, odds and payouts are usually identical and if you love one, chances are you'll like the other. But even with all the similarities, there are a few important differences to be aware of.

  • online
  • offline
online
More Games

Playing online gives you a virtually unlimited selection of games, stakes and rules all accessible 24/7 from your home or mobile device.

Cash Back

Online casinos are famous for big bonuses and rewards opportunities for regular players. Make sure to look into the rewards program when you sign up for an account.

No Counting

Most casinos shuffle deck after every hand which makes card-counting impossible. If counting is a goal for you, stick to offline play.

offline
Social Scene

Although live dealers are changing things, playing live in a real casino is more social and can be more exciting than playing online.

Limited Games

Depending on where you live, accessing a casino with a good selection of games can be a challenge. If brock and mortar casinos are out of reach consider signing up to play online.

Count On It

If you learn how to execute card-counting techniques and are able to find games that use one or two decks, you can legitimately turn the odds in your favor.

Most blackjack players never have to choose between online and offline. The truth is, they're both great for different reasons and definitely both appropriate in different situations. Check out our comprehensive site reviews to find the online game that's perfect for you.


Expected Etiquette

If you play in a real casino you'll notice players following certain etiquette rules. It's worth learning them in order to become a more knowledgeable player:

Don't hand money to the dealer
Don't touch cards
Don't touch cards
Don't hold cards with two hands
Don't hold cards with two hands
Don't hold cards below the table
Don't hold cards below the level of the table
Always pay attention to when it's your turn and make your decisions in a timely manner.
In games that deal your cards face up, you're not allowed to touch your cards.
Never touch your bet once the cards have been dealt.
Only buy in with cash or cash out chips in between hands.
Consider tipping the dealer when you have a winning hand.

#8 – blackjack cheats

Since there's so much money to be made, it shouldn't come as a surprise that people are constantly trying to cheat at blackjack. That brings us to an important distinction. Most serious gamblers don't consider strategies like card-counting to be cheating. That said, most of the biggest “blackjack cheats” in history were teams of counters like the MIT Blackjack Team.

  • Lying to the Dealer

    The most common, and least successful, way of cheating is simply lying to the dealer and trying to force them to back down.

    This includes:

    • Claiming you didn't hit when you take a card that makes you bust
    • Claiming that they wanted to double when they hit and pull a great card
    • Deliberately betting under or over the table minimum without the dealer noticing and then using that to their advantage depending on whether they win or lose
    Blackjack Dealer
  • Switching Chips

    This is a sleight-of-hand scam that involves covering your chips in a certain way, meaning that you can manipulate the payout depending on the outcome of the game.

    Las Vegas legend, Richard Marcus, would bet what looked like three $5 chips but was actually a brown $500 chip covered by two red $5 chips. If Marcus won, the dealer would discover the true size of the bet and pay out up to $1,500. If he lost, he'd quickly replace the stack with three red chips.

    Switching chips
  • Card Counting

    Card counting isn't considered cheating by gamblers but it's definitely not permitted by casinos.

    To try to throw off pit bosses and security, counters form teams to disguise their activities. The math is simple but pulling off this kind of scheme involves high-stakes and high-pressure coordination.

    Card counting

The common thread in all these stories is that the cheaters were eventually busted and either faced prison time or permanent bans from the casinos they were cheating. Unless you're committed to a life of crime, stick to playing smart blackjack in order to win money.

Why You Shouldn't Bother

Whether you're playing in a real casino or online, it's never a good idea to cheat. Morality aside, security technology is extremely advanced and when you do get caught, you face real-world repercussions.

Offline Repercussions

Casinos make it their business to catch and prosecute cheaters and in many places, it can result in criminal charges.

Perma-Ban

If a casino catches you cheating, the very least they will do is ban you from all of their properties. If you come back they'll notify the police and file charges.

Blacklist

If you become known as a cheater the casinos will circulate your identity and other properties will ban you from playing at their casinos as well.

Criminal Charges

If you get busted cheating the casino out of money not only will they sue you for the money you won, they can also file criminal charges that can result in heavy fines and even jail time.

Save yourself a lot of time, money and headaches by playing within the casino's rules and limiting your strategy to math and optimal in-game decisions.

Online Consequences

Cheating online can take many forms including banking fraud and trying to compromise the site's security or other player's accounts and the consequences can be just as severe as cheating in real casinos.

Bans

Just like brick and mortar casinos, casino websites can ban you immediately if they catch you cheating or breaking their terms and conditions.

Lawsuits

If you get busted by the casino, you can bet they will bring a team of lawyers to get back their money.

Criminal Charges

Depending on the severity of the cheating, online casinos have the option of bringing law enforcement into the picture to help them resolve the situation.

Gambling online and live is supposed to be a fun and social activity that actually gives you the chance of leaving with more money than you came with. It's not surprising that people try to take advantage of it but it's a rare case that works out for cheaters in the long run.

#9 - blackjack myths

The biggest myths in blackjack are the ones that target beginners and explain why “good” players' lost a hand.

They're pretty common and also pretty destructive because they make live blackjack more intimidating for new players. Chances are you've heard some of them before.

Beginner Mistakes Make Other Players Lose

Here's an example.

  • Dealer has a five showing, everyone stands as the dealer is likely to bust.
  • The last player to act decides to hit instead and takes a 10.
  • Now the dealer flips up a king and draws a five to hit 20 and beat everyone.

People blame the final player for hitting but the scientific truth is that his decision is just as likely to cause a positive outcome as a negative one for the other players. The idea that he “caused” the outcome is flawed.

The Goal is to get 21

A lot of people think the point of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over. They're wrong. It's not like The Price is Right. The point of the game is to win and, as we outlined earlier, there are a few ways to do it:

  • Get a natural blackjack on the first two cards and if the dealer doesn't do the same, you win.
  • Get more points than the dealer without busting and you win.
  • And finally, if you don't bust and the dealer does, you win.
Betting Systems Can Overcome the Odds

This is a common myth that spans all gambling games: The idea that some progression or math-based betting system can overcome the house edge built into the game.

While it's true that betting systems can change the likelihood of a specific outcome (a small winning session or a large losing session, for example) they can never change the fundamental odds.

In blackjack, however, good strategy can and does change your odds of winning in the long term.

Education is key to winning and that includes debunking common myths that can actually hurt the game. Do your research and try to base your decisions on math, logic and reasoning.

#10 - history of blackjack

This game's ancestors can be traced back hundreds of years and by most accounts is thought to originate in Europe. Let's trace blackjack's history back to its roots.

1674

Charles Cotton publishes the book The Complete Gamester and describes a game called Bone Ace that bears a striking resemblance to modern blackjack.

Aces could be 1 or 11, kings through tens were worth 10 points, and all the number cards counted at face-value. Instead of playing to 21, however, players bust if they went over 31.

18th Century

In France, a new gambling game was gaining popularity. It was called Vingt-Un, French for 21, and was very similar to modern blackjack.

Over the next hundred years, the game continued to expand throughout European casinos.

1931

Nevada becomes the first US state to legalize gambling, with blackjack playing a huge role in the first generation of live casino games.

By 1987 it accounted for 75% of the games on the Las Vegas strip. That number went down, but in 2007 it still made up roughly half the total games.

1995

A year after Antigua and Barbuda offered the first online gaming licenses, Cryptologic began offering ways for players to deposit and withdraw money online.

Blackjack was immediately one of the most popular games and continues to account for a large share of the market.

Blackjack is a classic casino game and even though it's lost some market share, it's definitely here to stay as a staple of gambling culture.

#11 - glossary

Gamblers love the lingo and if you truly want to fit in at the tables, consider learning to talk the talk with our blackjack gambling glossary:

21
7-Card Charlie
Blackjack
Bust
Card counting
Double down
Even Money
First base
Hard Hand
High Roller
Hit
Hole card
House
Insurance
Natural
Martingale
Push
Split
Stand
Upcard
Wager
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