It’s time to go head to head with the dealer in a thrilling game of Blackjack. This is a true casino classic that has been around for centuries. Not only has it withstood the test of time but has also succeeded in dominating the online casino world.

This guide will walk you through the basics of the game and how you can follow a blackjack basic strategy to beat the dealer.

Blackjack through the Ages

To this day, there are still huge debates about the game’s roots. Some think it was the Romans who first shaped the future of the game. Some say they used wooden blocks to represent the numbers, to play their own version of blackjack.

It is also widely thought that this casino classic first started in French casinos during the 1700s. Following the popularity of card games like Chemin de Fer and Ferme, another game was born – Vingt-et-Un (21).

card, hands and chips

More traces of blackjack were found in Spain, where it was called One and Thirty More versions of the game included the Sette e Mezzo (Seven and a Half) in Italian and the French version called Quinze (15). In all three cases, the objective of the game was to reach each of the respective values mentioned.

Thanks to the French colonists, it also reached the States during the 18th century. Nevertheless, its popularity levels soared up when the state of Nevada legalized gambling in the year 1931.

More players became intrigued after casinos started to offer the bet that changed the game completely. A hand with either the Jack of Spades or Clubs along with the Ace of Spades amounted to the 10-to-1 payout on the player’s bet. From then onwards, 21 became known as Blackjack, as we know it today.

How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The face cards – Jack, Queen and King, amount to 10, values between 2-10 stick to their respective values, while the aces amount to either 1 or 11.

cards, dealer and blackjack table

The objective is simple – beat the dealer. Place your bets and form a hand that does not exceed the number 21. Remember, you’re playing against the dealer here, so you need to be able to anticipate what his next move might be. We’ve wrapped up everything you need to know to help you form your blackjack basic strategy. 

Dealer’s hand exceeds 21Hand exceeds 21  
Hand value is higher than the dealer’s at the end of the round.The dealer’s hand exceeds yours.
Drawing 21 on the first two cards before the dealer. 

Play Basic Strategy

Now that you have a better understanding of the game, let’s talk strategies. While no secrets can help you beat the house edge, some of a blackjack basic strategy can help you have the upper hand. The most important thing you have to keep in mind is to always maximize your chances of winning, whilst minimizing the losses.

cards and chips

Next, get familiar with terms like Stand, Hit, Split and Double Down. In this way, the house edge will go down from 2% to 0.5%.  Here are a few definitions that will help you understand the differences between each of them.

Stand  When a player holds and ends his/her turn.
HitWhen a player requests another card from the dealer.
SplitWhen a player splits two cards of the same value into two hands.
Double DownWhen a player places a second bet depending on his/her chances of winning the game.
Soft Hand  When a hand consists of an ace valued at 11.
Hard Hand  When the hand consists of an ace valued at 1 or no aces at all.   
Bust  When a broken hand exceeds the amount of 21.

Basic Strategy Rules to Keep in Mind

After breaking down all the lingo that you need to know to develop your blackjack basic strategy, it’s important to know when to use them. That’s why it’s essential to know your cards.

At which stages of the game is it best to hit or better yet, increase your chances of winning by doubling down? Here are a few key points to keep in mind as a beginner player.

Always wait for the Dealer to Bust
Unless you have a very good soft hand that won’t bust with an additional card, don’t hit if the dealer has a hand of 4, 5 and 6.

Always Split a pair of Aces and 8s

It’s always a good idea to split a powerful card like an Ace regardless of what the dealer’s up-card is. With 8s, it’s a hit or miss situation but it’s still worth a shot.

Double Down on a Hard 11 

Doubling down on a hard 11 will guarantee you more money.

Never take the insurance bet

If the dealer draws an Ace, you can take the insurance bet. In short, if you post a side bet that is half the value of the original bet and the dealer has a blackjack, the side bet is paid 2:1. This is not a reliable way to win, as it only raises the house edge.

Stand if you have a Hard 17 or Higher

Things often don’t look too pretty for you if you have a hard 17 or a higher value. So as a general rule, always stand if you have any of these cards.

If you’d like to learn further about this strategy, discover the blackjack basic strategy here by Casino Bonuses Index.

The Blackjack Basic: A Timeless Classic

A game like Blackjack continues to intrigue players from all around the world. Thanks to all people who played its earlier variations, we can now enjoy a casino classic that is truly timeless.

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