Basic Rules of Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game played against the dealer and is one of the most popular casino table games. The aim of the game is to build a hand total higher than the dealer’s without going over 21. Players make a bet and are then dealt two cards each. They can then choose to stand, hit, double down, or split their cards based on a set of rules. The dealer then draws cards until they reach 17 or more. Whoever has a higher hand value wins. If both the player and dealer have the same hand value it is called a push and neither wins or loses.

Unlike other casino card games, the dealers in blackjack don’t have any cards hidden from the players. They are dealt an ace and a face card, and the players can see both of their cards at the beginning of the hand. This is an advantage for the players because it means that they can determine how to play the hand based on what they can see.

The dealer is also not guaranteed to win every hand. Even if the dealer has an ace and a 10, they can still bust. However, because of the way the rules of blackjack are written, it is more likely that a player will beat the dealer than that the dealer will beat the player.

As a result, players should consider the odds of beating the dealer and choose their strategy accordingly. Some of the basic rules of blackjack include:

When to Hit

In general, when a player’s cards add up to 11 or less they should hit. This is because it’s harder to go over 21 than under. Additionally, hitting can potentially improve a weak hand by adding more cards. However, it is important to understand that hitting can also increase the probability of busting.

When to Stand

If a player has a strong hand, they may choose to stand instead of hitting. This is because it is more likely to improve the strength of the hand. It is also a good idea to stand when the dealer shows a face card or a 10.

When to Split

Splitting aces and eights in blackjack is almost always a good decision. It can result in significant gains for aces and in more modest gains for 8s. Additionally, splitting aces and eights can help players reduce the amount of money they risk on bad hands.

Effective bankroll management is vital for long-term success in blackjack. A player should set a specific budget for each session and predetermine how much they are willing to wager per hand. This will help them avoid making emotional decisions during a losing streak and prevent financial strain. It is recommended that a player should never bet more than one to two percent of their total bankroll on each hand. This will allow them to survive a string of losses without sacrificing their overall profit potential.