An Overview of the Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game that requires skill and discipline. A player’s goal is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over. The game is simple, but it’s not without its quirks and lesser-known rules. This article will provide an overview of the basics of blackjack so that you can play it with confidence and knowledge.

The Count

Card counting is an extremely difficult technique that can be used to win at blackjack. It involves keeping track of how many cards are left in the deck and raising your bets as the count goes up. While the idea is straightforward, the practice is extremely challenging and only a small number of people are successful at it.

Betting Systems

A blackjack betting system is a set of guidelines that dictates how much you should bet per hand. It usually involves increasing your bet by one unit after each loss and decreasing it by one unit after a win. While this strategy can be effective, it can also lead to large losses if you’re not careful. You should always be aware of your bankroll and stick to a betting plan that won’t cause you to go broke.

The Insurance Bet

When the dealer shows an ace, players can place a side bet of up to half of their initial wager that pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack. This is an extremely risky bet, and it should only be made if the dealer has an ace up. Otherwise, players should hit or stand with any soft hands, except for a hard 18.


Splitting is an option when you are dealt two matching cards, such as two nines or two threes. You place a second bet equal to the original amount and then play each card as a separate hand. The rules for splitting vary between casinos, but you should always split aces and eights and never split twos, sevens, or sixes.


In blackjack, you can hit a hand whenever it is mathematically appropriate to do so. A good time to hit is when your two cards add up to 11 or less, as it’s impossible to bust at this point. If the dealer has a card higher than an ace, you should hit, as it is unlikely that they will have a blackjack.

The best way to play blackjack is to use a basic strategy chart. These charts are based on calculations that have been proven to reduce the house edge over time. They take into account all of the information available at the table, including the initial two cards you have been dealt and the dealer’s up-card. They also consider whether doubling and surrendering are allowed, the value of suits in the deck, and how many cards have been dealt. Using a basic strategy chart will help you make the right decisions for every situation in blackjack.