Blackjack is a great game, an exciting combination of luck and skill. Blackjack
is the only game where you can improve your winning odds while playing. Luck is
a tricky thing, but everybody can work on skill, and skill starts from the basics.
The term Blackjack refers to a point in the game in which a player or the dealer
holds two cards that add up to 21, and wins the round.
The game is played with a regular deck containing 52 cards, usually you play
with 4 decks, but some casinos use 6 or 8 decks. Not every virtual Blackjack
game allows you to manipulate the number of decks definition, to prevent card
counting. So, when you pick a casino to play Blackjack in, choose one that defines
ahead the decks number per game. Anyway, using the basic strategy will enhance
your winning odds.
Unlike Poker, in Blackjack there is no meaning to the card's color or sign.
A black card is equal to a red card of the same value, and diamond is equal
to clover. A card's value is determined by his numeric value - this rule applies
to cards 2 to 10.
The picture cards (K, Q and J) equal 10. The Ace equals to 1 or 11 depends
on the player's choice. If you got a card that values fewer than 10, you can
evaluate the Ace as 1 and take another card without going over 21. If you’re
holding a card that equals 10 you better take the Ace as 11 and thus reach a
The purpose of the game is to reach a total of 21, or as nearest so the total
of the player's cards is higher than the dealer's cards. In some situations
it is better to stand put on a small total such as, for example, 12 when the
dealer has a total of 15, because the dealer has to draw another card. (You
probably don't know this, but the dealer is required by the casino to reach
a minimum total of 16 or 17, depends on the casino).
When a player's total is larger than 21, he is dismissed and looses the bet.
Same goes for the dealer. The winner of a round is the one who reaches the higher
total up to 21.
A "soft hand" is any hand in which the ace is valued as an 11.
A+9= a soft 20, A+8= a soft 19, A+3+6= a soft 20. You get the point.
A "hard hand" is a hand in which the ace is valued as 1, or which
does not include any aces.
A+9+7= a hard 17, A+2+10= a hard 13. In these examples, if you count the ace
as an 11, you will lose on the spot.
When the dealer deals the cards (two cards each), if a player gets a 21 he
immediately wins according to a 3 to 2 odds. If the player's cards sums under
21, he can ask for another card till he reaches 21. When a player stands, the
dealer shows his cards (which only one of them was shown till now), if the dealer's
cards sums over 17 the dealer stands and the winner is the holder of the higher
1. Draw a card or stand, according to the state of your cards. The choice is
made using a strategy we'll list later (do not make your moves based on a hunch,
that's what our strategy is for).
2. Double the bet. After receiving two cards you can double your initial bet,
but you must ask for another card.
3. Pair splitting. If a player gets two cards of the same value, he can split
them and place a new bet, equal to the original. In case you get two 4's you
can split them, and than ask for more cards for each of the 4's. All the picture
cards (the 10's) can be split. In case of an ace, you can get only one additional
card to each ace. Not all games allow a second split, and most of them do not
allow another split after an ace split.
4. Insurance. When a dealer has an Ace showing, a player can insure himself
from a situation in which the hidden card equals 10, meaning that the dealer
has Blackjack. The "insurance" equals half of the original bet. If
the dealer has Blackjack the insurance is paid by a 2 to 1. If the dealer doesn't
have a 10 the player looses the sum of the insurance. This option doesn't really
offer a statistic advantage, unless you can count cards.
We highly recommend playing free practice games, to sharpen your moves. Next
you can learn our basic Blackjack strategy. Who needs luck when you got skill?!