A Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of skill and strategy. While it seems like a simple card game, there are many rules to learn and a few key bets to place. Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, our guide will help you understand the basics of blackjack and provide key blackjack strategies.

The aim of blackjack is to get a higher total than the dealer without going over 21. The value of a card is determined by its number and symbol, with numbers 2 through 10 being worth their face value, while jacks, queens, and kings are valued at 10. Aces can be counted as either 1 or 11 depending on which helps the player’s hand more. The player can also choose to split their cards or double down, which increases the size of their bet and allows them to receive only one additional card.

There are several different variations of the game of blackjack, but the basic rules are always the same. The game is played on a semicircular table that can accommodate varying numbers of players (or ‘spots’). The dealer stands behind the table and chip rack, while the players sit around the edges. Each player starts with two cards. The dealer then takes a turn and can either hit or stand. If the dealer’s hand exceeds 21, all players who didn’t bust lose their bets. If the dealer’s hand is a blackjack, however, the players’ bets are returned and the side bets are paid out at a ratio of 6 to 5.

Blackjack once reigned supreme on the Las Vegas Strip, but nothing lasts forever, especially in this age of casino over-stretching and belt-tightening. Competition from sports betting, baccarat, and other games has led to a steady decline in blackjack’s share of the market over the past two decades. Rather than fight back, some casinos have simply whittled away at the player’s edge by reducing the payout for blackjacks and increasing the house edge on other bets.

This has enraged some blackjack players, who have taken to social media to vent their frustration. Some have even resorted to protests outside of casinos, demanding better treatment for the game they love. Nevertheless, some of the more cynical pundits have claimed that this is just an example of how casinos prioritize their profits over customer loyalty. Others, though, point to the fact that blackjack is a mathematically sound game with a clear advantage for the players who know how to play it well. This is certainly true, but the truth is that many players fail to grasp the fundamentals of the game. For this reason, they often end up losing money at the tables.