Blackjack is card game played usually played with a
standard 52 card deck. Most online Blackjack games use only
one deck, which is shuffled after each hand is complete,
however 6 deck Blackjack is also becoming increasingly
Blackjack Basic rules
The basic rule of blackjack is to get the total number on your cards as close to 21 as possible, without going over 21 and while beating the
dealers hand. The dealer has no choice over when to take cards. He is bound by the house rules to continue taking cards until he has 17 or more, and then stop. In some cases a dealer must draw an extra card if he has a "soft" 17, which is a 6 and an Ace (which counts as 11).
If there is a tie then the game is considered a
push at most casinos, and no money is lost. However, some
casinos play so the house wins on a tie (which we would
recommend avoiding, as it gives the house much more of an
edge). The highest hand that you can have is a 'Blackjack',
which consists of a face card and an Ace. This hand is
unbeatable unless the dealer has also been dealt a Blackjack.
A cards value is determined by the card
number, with face cards valued at 10 and aces valued as either
1 or 11. For example, a 7 and an Ace makes 8 or 18, two face
cards makes 20, etc.
e.g 9 + 8 = 17 Ace + a 5 = 6 or 16
Ace + a 5 + a Face card = 16 or 26
But we don't want 26!
Hitting And Standing Rules
If you are content
with the first 2 cards you receive you may "stand" and not
take any more cards. If you feel that the dealer has a better
hand then you, you may then "hit" which gives you another
card. You may continue hitting until you're content with your
hand value, or you 'bust' (go over 21).
After the players
hands have been dealt, the deal will flip or take his second
In most Casinos if the dealer has 17 or more they
must stand, and if the dealer has less than 17 the dealer must
hit. There are variations on this, but to get the best odds you should play at a casino where you may double your bet, even after splitting (see below), and where blackjack pays 3 to 2 (i.e. If you bet £5 you get £12.50 back on Blackjack). The best odds are provided by a variation of blackjack called Spanish Blackjack, which can be played at various casinos. My favourite for Spanish 21 is Yukon Gold casino.
If your first
two cards are a pair you may "split" them if you wish. Most
casinos will treat all 10 valued cards (10, jack, queen and
king) as 10's and allow them to be split, some will only allow
actual pairs to be split. A variation of Blackjack called Carribean Blackjack, allows any cards to be split, even non-matching cards, which increases your odds of winning. Carribean Blackjack can be played at 888 Casino (www.888kasino.co.uk) and at Casino Craze (www.royalvegas.co.uk)
Splitting allows you to play two
or more hands in one game by splitting an initial two card hand into
two separate hands. When you split you add your current wager to the new hand. The
dealer will then will then deal a card to the first hand and
you may then hit, stand or split depending on the rules of the
house. When you have completed the first hand the dealer will
then deal a card to the second hand and then you may continue
as normal. If aces are split the dealer will deal one card to
each ace and no more. Splitting is an important way of maximising winnings when you have a good hand.
Doubling Down Rule
After receiving your first two cards you have the choice to Double. By doing that you double your stake and take just one extra card. If you have a good initial hand, e.g. a 6 and a 5 (total 11) then you should always double. The most likely card is a ten (because 10, Jack, Queen, King) all count as 10, so by getting another 10 you get 21, which cant be beaten. And because you have doubled your stake you win even more.
Our favourite Blackjack sites:
Not all sites offer the same odds. To have the best house advantage we recommend you play single deck blackjack, Spanish Blackjack, or Vegas Strip Blackjack. These games can be played at the following recommended sites:
Ace-Ten.com provides Blackjack Information and Resources.
Advanced Blackjack strategies have been developed which allow a skilled player a small edge over the house. The best-known of these is known as the Mayer Technique, developed by Professor Alexander Mayer.