The Game of Blackjack is one that tends to see much debate with respect to its origins. This is something that cannot be proven and determined. Many believe that Blackjack was first invented in France in the 17th century and others believe it may have originated from Spain but generally it is though that the game was first played in France.

As world travel became more frequent the ability for people to travel to other parts of the world became a reality. Blackjack began to spread and become popular in other parts of the world and eventually the game hit the America’s becoming known as Blackjack versus 21. Today blackjack is one of the most popular card games played in casinos next to poker. There are a number of reasons for this with one of those being the simplicity of the game in its standard form as it allows a large percentage of the population to understand its basic principles. It is also popular with those who prefer to apply a strategy to the game. Those players tend to play serious about the game than those who play recreational.

There are many articles that have been published on blackjack strategy. Each will offer a variety of different strategic ways to play the game. While these can be helpful it is important to learn the basics of the game prior to trying to apply any strategy you may have learned through articles you have read. One thing that many players fail to recognize is that online casinos, just like land based casinos will have slightly different rules to the versions of blackjack that they offer.

It is important to always read the rules of any version of the game you play prior to making any real money bet. You may be accustomed to playing one style to only begin playing another style of blackjack and loose a considerable sum of money before realizing you are making mistakes based on that particular game of blackjacks rules. As online casinos will allow for fun money play it is advisable to play in fun money until such time as you are comfortable with the rules and understand them fully. Then you can begin playing for real money without any disadvantages.

BlackJack TableThe game of blackjack can be played with up to 8 decks of cards. After the shuffling of the cards is completed the dealer will take a blank card, which is often red, and place it at the lower portion of the dealing shoe. All cards are played until the point that the dealer reaches the blank card. Therefore it is imperative to understand how many decks of cards are in play. The cards are ranked in value between 2 and 10 and all cards with a number on them are valued at the face value of that number and all face cards will carry a value of 10. The only exception to this is the ace card which can be used as either a value of 10 or a value of 1.

Blackjack begins after all players seated at the table place wagers. The dealer will then commence to deal each player two cards face up and the dealer will deal two cards for themselves with one being face up and the other face down. In the event the dealer is showing an ace insurance will be offered. Insurance is a side wager against the dealer having blackjack. Should you take this insurance and the dealer has blackjack you will receive 50% of your wager back. If no insurance is taken and the dealer has blackjack then your hand will be considered a loosing hand.

Following the above, all players will have a number of options on how to proceed with their hand. They may elect to hit, stand, split, double down or surrender. This decision will vary based on the two cards you have been dealt and the face up card the dealer is showing. This is where blackjack strategy begins to become a factor and practicing that strategy will help improve your overall results in the game. To help get you started you will find an explanation of each below.


Hit: A player should hit if they feel the two cards they have is almost a given loss. By hitting you will add the next card to your total and again have the opportunity to hit again in order to improve your hand close to the sum of 21. This can be tricky as should you go over 21 you will bust and your hand will be over. To hit you simply need to tap your hand to alert the dealer you wish to hit when it is your turn at the table.

Stand: Generally most players will elect to stand if the sum of their two cards equals a sum of 15 or more. The odds of busting with a sum of 15 or more are high so it is advantageous to stand and hope the dealer will bust. Again the face up card the dealer is showing will have some impact on this as if they have a face card the odds are they will beat a hand that stands with 15. To alert the dealer you wish to stand simply wave your hand across your cards when it is your turn at the table.

Split: Whenever your two initial cards dealt are equal you may elect to split your hand. This will require an additional wager as you will have two hands in play versus one. You are able to split hands that have already been split thus allowing you to play more than two hands but this is dependent on the rules of the version of blackjack you are playing. After splitting a hand it will be played out just as any other hand of blackjack is played. To alert the dealer of your wish to split your hand you will place an additional wager beside your initial wager and alert the dealer of your intent.

Double: Doubling down can be a good strategy to use at time as it can return favorable results. After your initial two cards have been dealt you may choose to double down. This will require you to double your initial wager. At this point you will receive one more card and the total of your cards will be your end result. Usually players will double down whenever the sum of their first two cards equals 12 or less.

Surrender: Surrendering a hand can only be done after your first two cards have been dealt. This is often done when the odds of hitting a winning hand is not in your favor. In the event you elect to surrender you will forfeit half of the amount your wagered prior to the hand commencing.

21 blackjackThere are a number of interesting facts that should be noted as they do apply to many of the actions above. During the game of blackjack a player will win 44% of the hands they play and the dealer will win 48% on average. Of the remaining percent 8% will result in a tie and 5% will result in blackjack for both the dealer and player. Another interesting fact is that the odds of busting on a hand is 52% whenever the sun of your two initial cards equals 13, 56% of the time on hands that equal 14, 59% of hands equaling 15 and 61% on hand that equal 16 on their initial two cards dealt.

When you begin to factor in those odds it is a little easier to understand how hitting, standing, doubling don or surrendering can impact the overall percentage of hands that you will win. Be sure to read some strategy articles that you will find on this site. They are designed to help give you an advantage over the casino and increase your bankroll.

December 30, 2012 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply.