A Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack


Blackjack is a popular card game played in casinos. This casino staple is a great way to pass the time and has a low house edge, but it does require some knowledge to be successful.

The objective of the game is to beat the dealer by drawing a hand value that goes over 21. If your hand does go over 21, you lose, and the dealer wins.

To play, you place a wager in the betting box and sit down at a table. The dealer shuffles the cards and deals you two cards face up from a shoe, which is a boxlike device that holds the deck of cards.

You can stand (stick with your hand and ask for more cards) or hit (ask for another card). There is also a surrender option, which means you can walk away if you think you have a bad hand.

Basic Strategy:

If you follow basic strategy, you will reduce the house edge significantly. This strategy was developed by computer programs that played millions of rounds of blackjack, and determined the best way to play for every combination of player hand and dealer up-card.

Hot/Cold Tables:

Like any other casino game, blackjack has hot and cold tables. You can identify these by looking for the dealer’s stance and the angle of his card. If the dealer is constantly looking at his cards and bending them, they are probably a stiff number that requires a lot of effort to see.

Dealer’s Hole Card:

The hole card is a card the dealer shows before he moves to a new position in the game. It can be a big stiff card or a face card.

You should take note of the dealer’s stance and the angle he bends his card before you decide to move forward with your bet. If you see that the dealer is spending a lot of time on his card, it may be a good time to call it quits.


In some games, players can add a side bet called “insurance,” which pays 2 to 1 if the dealer’s hole card is an ace. This bet is often a good idea because it gives players a chance to win without losing their original bet if the dealer has blackjack.

Rules vary from casino to casino, so it is important to read the rules in the casino’s playbook before you start playing. Some casinos have special rules that increase the house edge and are not always advisable to play.

6 to 5 Blackjacks:

Some casinos have a rule that reduces the payout of a blackjack from 3 to 2 down to 6 to 5. This increases the house edge and makes card counting useless.

Spanish 21:

In some parts of the world, this variant of blackjack is very popular. It features many of the same rules as standard blackjack, but it removes all ten-value cards from the shoe. This decreases the payoff of a blackjack from 3 to 2 to a more manageable 1 to 1.

The best thing about this game is that it is very simple to learn and is fun to play. There are a few things that you need to know before you get started, but once you have mastered the game, you can have a ton of fun.