Tips and Strategies
and Strategies for Blackjack
Blackjack outnumbers other casino table games by a margin
of about two to one. The game is so immensely popular
because, when played correctly, it offers better odds
than any other game.
OBJECT OF THE GAME:
The object of the game is achieve a higher card count
than the dealer without exceeding 21.
How To Play and Win:
Cards between 2 and 10 are counted at their face value.
Jacks, Queens, and Kings also have a value of 10.
At you option an Ace can be counted as 1 or 11, whichever
is more advantageous to your hand.
Therefore, if you hold a 9 and a 5, you have 14, but a
nine and an Ace can be either 10 or 20. When you get an
Ace and a ten-value card, its called a blackjack,
which beats all other hands except for another blackjack.
So if you have a blackjack, and the dealer has 3 cards
that add up to 21, you still win.
Before the cards are dealt, each player must put up a
bet. Bets usually start at $5 minimum and range as high
as $1,000 at some casinos. At online casinos you can find
games with $1 minimum bets, allowing you to play and sharpen
your skills without much risk.. To make a bet, simply
place your wager (chips) in the appropriate box or circle.
After placing a bet, you are dealt two cards face up.
The dealer also gets two cards, but only one of the dealer's
cards is face up. You are then given the option of standing
with the cards you have or you may take another card,
called hitting. You may hit as often as you wish but if
you go over 21, you bust, and the dealer wins automatically.
The dealer will not take any cards until all players at
the table have made their choices. The dealer's biggest
advantage is here. Any players that bust lose their bet
even if the dealer also goes bust.
Now the dealer shows his face down card. If his hand totals
17 or higher he must stand he is not allowed to
take additional cards. But if the dealers hand is
16 or under he must hit until the hand has a value of
17 or higher. If the exceeds 21 while taking additional
cards, the dealers busts and loses.
The payoff if you win is even money (1 to 1). If you get
a blackjack you are paid 1 ½ times your wager (bet
2 win 3). If the dealer gets blackjack at the same time,
its a tie, you dont win or lose.
Those are the primary rules. Pretty straight forward,
right? However, there are a few more things you need to
Now that you know the basics of how the game is played,
the following is your best strategy as determined by computer
testing. Always hit (take more cards) when you have 11
or less. Always stand when you have 17 or more. When the
dealer's up card is from a 7 to an Ace, hit if your count
is between 12 and 16, stand if the dealer shows a 2 to
In most casinos, you may double down (double your bet)
after your first two cards. However, there is one condition.
When you double down, you can take only one more card.
You can not receive any more cards after this. Always
double if your two dealt cards add up to 11, except when
the dealer has a 10 or Ace.
Another play is the splitting of pairs. If your first
two cards of the deal are the same value, you may split
the cards and play two hands by placing a bet of the same
value as your original bet on the second hand. So if you
split a pair of 8s you create two separate hands,
each with a value of 8. Then you proceed to play out each
hand as you would do normally. Always split Ace-Ace and
8-8. Never split 10-10, 5-5 or 4-4.
You may buy insurance when the dealers up card is
an Ace because there is the possibility that the dealer
has a blackjack you automatically lose, unless you also
have a blackjack, in which case its a tie. After
all players and the dealer have 2 cards each, he will
ask "insurance?" The insurance "premium"
is 1/2 of your original bet. Payment is 2 to 1 if the
dealer does indeed have a blackjack hand. Insurance bets
favor the house and should generally be avoided. Dont
Be sure to memorize these six most important basic
1) Stand if you hold 12 to 16 and the dealers up card
is 2 to 6.
2) Hit if you hold 12 to 16 and the dealer shows a 7 or
3) Stand if your count is between 17 and 21.
4) Always split pairs of 8s and Aces.
5) Never split 10s, 5s or 4s
6) Double down on 11, unless the dealer shows a 10 or
Now that you know the elementary rules of how to play
blackjack, let me show you the method I use in trying
Risk your own money cautiously, but take the double or
nothing approach with your winnings. Lets assume
you have a $100 stake and you are playing at a $5 table.
Bet $5, when you win bet $10, win bet $20, win again bet
$40, win once more bet $80. You might be reluctant to
risk $80 in one whack, but look at it this way: If you
lose the gamble has only cost you $5 of your own money
. . .but if you win youll collect $160!
A $100 stake at $5 a hand gives you 20 chances to try
this system. If Lady Luck is by your side and you get
five winning hands in a row, dont get greedy. Go
back and start with a $5 bet, trying to repeat the process.
Watch your chips closely, if you dont get another
lucky run in short order, stop playing while youre
ahead. Youll feel much better if you quit a winner.
Enjoy your blackjack and Good Luck.