A Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino card game in which players try to get a hand with two cards that total 21 (or close to it) and beat the dealer’s hand. Unlike poker, where the value of a player’s hand depends on the quality of the other players’ hands at the table, blackjack is the only game where the player’s score is solely dependent on the quality of their own hand. It is therefore one of the best games for intelligent people, mathematicians, and people who like a fair chance of beating the house.

Before you start playing, it’s important to understand the rules of blackjack. There are a few basic things to know, such as that a blackjack pays 3:2 and that you can only have a single total for each of your two cards. Once you have a handle on these basics, it’s time to learn more about the different moves you can make at the table.

You can ask for more cards (hit) or stand with your current hand (stand). The dealer will also be given the option to hit or stand. If your hand goes over 21, you bust and lose. If you have a higher score than the dealer’s, you win the round. If the dealer has a higher score than you, it’s a push and neither side wins.

If you want to improve your chances of winning, it’s crucial to learn how to count cards. This will help you determine the best move for your hand based on the cards the dealer has in his or her hand, and it can reduce the casino’s edge to less than.5%.

Another good strategy is to only play at tables that offer a high payout for blackjack. These are often labeled as high limit tables. It’s also beneficial to only play against dealers who are trained to deal blackjack well. This will prevent you from making bad decisions that will hurt your chances of winning.

Finally, be wary of taking insurance. The dealer’s insurance bet is almost always a losing proposition for the player, even when the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are very low.

With the right strategy, it’s possible to turn the tables and make blackjack a profitable game for yourself. Remember to follow the rules outlined in this guide, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a blackjack pro! You may not always make the perfect decision, but you’ll find that following the chart will save you many bad plays over the long term. Good luck at the tables! Justin is an SAT prep tutor and college counselor who loves helping students reach their educational goals. He is a strong advocate of equity in education and believes that every student should be able to pursue their passions. He received an athletic scholarship for gymnastics at Stanford University, where he graduated with a BA in American Studies. He is currently working towards a PhD in History at the University of Toronto.