Blackjack Rules and Strategies

When you say casino, you should immediately think of Blackjack. Blackjack is a very popular casino game, that is also called Twenty One. One of its most attractive features is that it is easy to play and can be played by anyone who knows how to count to 21. However, before embarking on a Blackjack adventure, it would be good to read this article. Here we will describe where it is best to play Blackjack and what is the essence of the game.

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History of Blackjack

The game Blackjack became popular during World War I, however, it originated long before that. There are still debates regarding its origin, but it is considered that originated around the 1700s in France under the name “Vingt-et-un” or Twenty-one. The popularity of the game spread through America around the 18th century with the help of the French colonists.

Another theory is that the game was invented by the Romans and was played with wooden blocks with numbers painted on them. However, this theory was never proved.

Blackjack

How to play blackjack

Even a non-passionate casino player knows how to play Blackjack. It doesn’t take long to learn the simple basic rules, and you can, even before you learn them, start playing at one of the Blackjack tables. Here we will explain how to play.

In Blackjack, cards with numbers from 1 to 9 have the same value as the numbers written on them, which means that for example eight counts as 8 and four as 4. Cards with “pictures” (king, queen, jack) are counted as 10, while an ace counts as 1 or 11 depending on which suits you best in combination with your other cards.

The game is played with one deck of 52 cards. In case you are playing live, there will be more decks. To win the game, you need to have a sum closest to 21 without going over 21. At first, two cards are dealt and then you can choose to receive additional cards, one at a time, until you decide to stop or if you lose by going over 21. If you exceed 21, then you lose the bet and the dealer collects your money.

The most interesting thing in this game is that the player decides whether to win or lose. The advantage of the casino can be reduced if the player has the ability to count cards or use various types of strategies. This is one of the main reasons for the popularity of this game.


Blackjack Variants

Like any game, blackjack has many different variants created over the years. The main difference between these variants is how the cards are dealt for the dealer. We will mention a few that are the most popular nowadays.

American Blackjack

The American blackjack, or as sometimes called the classic blackjack has more flexible rules and probably prevents the player from further losses. The dealer is dealt two cards, same as the player, however, one of the dealer’s cards is face up and the other one is face down. The one that is face down is called ‘hole card’. The dealer can check the face-down card if he thinks that there is a possibility of a blackjack, depending on the face-up card. If the dealer gets a blackjack, collects the winnings, and saves the player money in case the player decides to double up during the game. So, in this game, the player can lose only his initial wager, based on the dealer’s hand. The natural blackjack pays out 3:2.

European Blackjack

The European blackjack is considered as the basic game from which the other variants emerged. In the European blackjack, there is no ‘hole card’. The dealer is dealt only one card at the beginning of the game, unlike the American blackjack. The second card is dealt only after the player has made a decision on how to play further. Since the player cannot know if the dealer has a blackjack until his hand is actually over, there is a possibility to lose more than the initial wager, if the player decides to double his bet or split. The payout for a natural blackjack is the same as in the American version, 3:2.

Double Exposure Blackjack

This variant is probably the most convenient for the player. The dealer is dealt two cards, and both cards are face-up, so the player can immediately decide whether to play further or not. Apart from this difference, there are some additional rules that favor the casinos to compensate for the player’s advantage of knowing both dealer’s cards. For example, the dealer wins on all ties, except when the player has a natural blackjack. Also, the payout in Double Exposure Blackjack, is 1 to 1, unlike the other versions we mentioned.

Blackjack Switch

Another popular blackjack variant is the blackjack switch. In this game, the player must play two hands. This means that the player places two equal bets at the start. Each hand is dealt two cards, face up and the dealer has one hole cars. In this version, the player has the option to switch the second card of each hand with a card from the other hand. The rules for this variant are almost the same, with some additional introduced. For example, if the dealer busts with exactly 22, all bets remaining in play are pushed. Unless of course, you have a blackjack which is a win against the dealer.


Types of Moves

Once you understand the basic rules of blackjack, next thing is to know what types of moves are there. When playing the game you have your options whether you think blackjack is one card away, or you just want to quit, you can choose some of the following moves:

Stand: This is when the player decides that the cards he has are acceptable for him. It can be at the start, when dealt two cards, or after he’s asked for more additional cards.

Hit: pick additional cards for a chance to get blackjack. The dealer will deal you more cards until you bust (go over 21) or decide to stand.

Double Down: You can double your initial bet, if you have a strong hand but you need to draw one more card. the rule in doubling down is that you can only take one more card only, and then stand.

Split: if you are dealt a pair, i.e. two cards of the same value or face cards, you can decide to split them into two separate hands. You put a second bet, and you can play two separate hands.

Surrender: If you don’t like your initial hand, or you see the dealer has a strong initial hand you can choose to surrender and get half of your bet back.

Insurance: Player can choose insurance only when the dealer’s face-up card is Ace. If you choose insurance, you insure your bet against the blackjack of the dealer. Then, if the dealer gets a blackjack, you will get your deposit back. If the dealer hasn’t got a blackjack hand, then you lose your insurance bet.

Blackjack casino game
Image Source: Pixabay

Blackjack Strategies


Blackjack is a popular game in which the casino generally has the advantage. But with the help of certain methods, you can turn them to your advantage. The blackjack strategies vary from basic to advanced, so once a player perfected the basic one can move on to more advanced methods.

Basic Strategy

The important thing to understand is that blackjack is a game of player’s decisions. So, the basic strategy is only to help you make the best possible decision in order to maximize your winning chances and to minimize your losses. The basic strategy is what a new player should start with. It is a mathematically proven method that gives you the best advantage when playing. Depending on the player’s cards and the dealer’s card, help you decide what to do next. In the table below you can see exactly how you should optimally play, so you don’t end up going with your gut and losing everything in the long run.

Blackjack basic strategy

Counting Cards

There are many methods for gaining an advantage in blackjack, and one of them is counting cards. Counting cards in blackjack can be very important for your game because it increases your chance of winning. In blackjack, as in other games, the casino has an advantage over you, but if you include card counting in your game, not only can you reduce the casino’s advantage, but you also have a chance to make money.

Blackjack card counting comes in several forms, from simple to advanced methods. For those who are new to card counting, a simple method is sufficient. Once a player has perfected a simple method, he can move on to more advanced methods. An easy way to test your skills is to play blackjack online. You are not limited in time nor are you under the supervision of a casino. For starters, you can write down the results on paper while playing blackjack online, but only for learning purposes.

Simple Hi-Lo Counting System


This is a technique for beginners, which does not mean that it is not good. The whole idea behind this system is to count each card and assign a value to it. That way, the player will know which cards are left in the deck, high or low.

CardsValue
2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6+1
7 – 8 – 90
10 – J – Q – K – A-1

As you can see in the table above, the smaller cards 2-3-4-5-6 are given a value of +1. The middle cards, 7-8-9 are given a zero value, and the face cards, or big cards, 10-J-Q-K-A are all given a -1 value.

After a while, you will have a clear picture of what types of cards are left in the deck. If your count is high, that means that there are more big cards left in the deck, which is an advantage for the player, since the possibility for the dealer to bust on the next card is higher. If the count is low it is an advantage for the casino. With this insight, you can increase your stakes at the right time.

The Martingale Strategy

The Martingale strategy is a more advanced system and is usually good for players who want to win big money but at the same time, they can also afford to lose big money.

With the Martingale Strategy, you need to double your bet every time you lose. When you get that one win, you actually cover your losses and win some. It is very important to set your limit, so you don’t lose more than you can bet. The best way to use it is to play quick bets, quick sessions, and walking away while you’re ahead.


Tips on Playing Blackjack

  1. Learning the basic strategy is the best tip that you can get. Don’t make bets based on your “gut feeling”, but learn how to best play your hands following the basic strategy.
  2. Setting a budget is another important thing. Make sure you decide how much you are willing to spend, and not a penny more. Otherwise, you just risk losing a lot more.
  3. Play the blackjack games that pay full 3:2. Never play a game that pays 6:5 for example, since the house edge is much higher in the long run.
  4. Don’t use insurance too often. It is a bad bet, considering that there is a 30.8% chance for the dealer to get blackjack. if you are a card counting player, then insurance is a good option in some cases.
  5. Never go all in. Instead, leave some money so you can either double or split your hand.
  6. Choose an online casino that offers the best bonus with table games included. You can check out the Bet365 casino offer.

To Sum Up

Blackjack is a game that everyone can play. Whether you just want to play for fun and use your luck, or you really want to learn the ropes and become an expert. Whatever your choice is, you can read the above information provided and make a decision.

Furthermore, when registering for an online casino for sure you will be looking for one that has a good welcome bonus offer. Make sure to find out whether blackjack is included in the wagering requirement in order to be able to withdraw that bonus. For this, our recommendation is the Betwinner casino. You can read more about it and get the Betwinner casino bonus code on our Betwinner casino review page.

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