Blackjack Rules – How to Play Blackjack Properly

Blackjack Rules – How to Play Blackjack Properly


The blackjack rules are:

  1. The croupier gives the players two cards and himself two cards (1 card face up, the other face down).

  2. Blackjack card values : All cards count in blackjack their face value: face cards = 10, the ace as either 1 or 11. The color of the cards has no meaning in blackjack. The sum of a hand is the sum of the card values in the hand.

  3. The players have to decide whether they want to hold (stand), draw (hit), surrender (surrender), double down or split (split).
  4. The dealer acts last and must hit on 16 or less and stand on 17-21.
  5. Players win if their blackjack hand is higher than the croupier's, or 21 or less, or if the croupier busts. H. when he exceeds 21.

Welcome! How to play blackjack

You are reading this guide because you either want to learn how to play blackjack or how to win at blackjack.

You have come to the right place because I've been working on this guide for 50 years. I've been playing, studying, writing, and teaching blackjack for just as long. I will tell you everything I learned about this fascinating game. Are you ready? Well, let's get started

Card game


In this first chapter you will learn more about:

The history of blackjack, particularly its roots, how “21” became “blackjack” and who were the pioneers who first developed basic playing strategies for blackjack. How Blackjack “differs” from other games and how we can capitalize on that difference; Why the blackjack provider always has an advantage over a player and what we can do about it.

Before you can begin to learn how to play blackjack , you must first become familiar (figuratively) with the terrain and the rules of blackjack – especially the basic rules, the aim of the game and a few rules of conduct to be observed while playing .


I often shake my head in disgust when I pick up a booklet entitled “How To Play Blackjack”. They agree that the aim of the game is to get as close as possible to 21 points. Not correct!

The aim of blackjack is to: Beat the dealer's hand in one of the following ways:

1) Have a grand total greater than the dealer's
2) Have no more than 21 if the dealer has over 21.


Each card in blackjack has the value shown. Face cards count 10 and the ace counts either 1 or 11. Card suits are irrelevant in blackjack. The sum of a hand is the sum of the card values in the hand. A hand of 4-5-8 results in 17. Another hand with a queen and 5 results in 15. The ace is always assumed to count as 11 unless the hand would exceed 21. In this case the ace is again given a value of 1. Blackjack cards counting


When a player or dealer's hand exceeds 21 in total, it is called busting. (Sometimes the term “break” is used when the dealer's hand exceeds 21.) If a player got 10-6, drew another card that was a 9, then the player busted (because his hand was 25) ).


Hard hand is a hand that either does not contain an ace or if it does contain an ace it is counted as 1. Example: 10-8 is a hard (hard) 18; 5-A-10-2 is a hard 18. A hand that contains an ace counted as 11 is always considered a soft hand. Example: A-5 is a soft 16; A-2-5 is a soft 18 ; and 3-2-A-3 is a soft 19. If your first two cards contain an ace, count the ace as 11. If you are dealt a soft hand and draw more cards, your soft hand will often become too a hard hand. Suppose a player gets a 5-A and thus a soft 16 and he draws another card. For example, suppose the card drawn was a 6. The player now has a hard 12 (meaning you can never bust if you draw another card on a soft hand). You need to know the difference between hard and soft hands in blackjack because the game strategy can often be very different, even if the total of the hand is the same. For example, 10-6 (hard 16) is played differently than A-5 (soft 16).

Blackjack chips in hands BLACKJACK COMPETITION RULES

Blackjack is played at a semicircular table that is covered with a felt cloth and usually has space for up to 7 players. In front of each player there is a circle, sometimes also a square field, the so-called betting field, in which the bet is placed with chips. A trained dealer or croupier deals the cards strictly according to the protocol, collects loser bets, pays out the winning stakes and is usually responsible for keeping the game going at a comfortable pace.

Most of the time, no cash is used for the stakes. You must use chips or “checks”. To buy chips, simply take a seat at a blackjack table, wait for the dealer to complete the current round, put your money on the table and ask the dealer for chips. The dealer will convert your money into chips and push the chips in your direction. Make sure to stack the chips neatly in front of you. Most of the time, players are allowed to play more than one hand in a round provided there are empty seats at the table. In this case, the player must place a bet in each betting field for which he wants to get a hand. Most of the time, when playing more than one hand, a player must bet double the minimum bet on each hand.

CHIP VALUE Chips different values

Most chips are color-coded according to their face value, although the value is usually also stamped on the chip. For example, a white chip usually means $ 1, red means $ 5, green $ 25, black $ 100, purple $ 500, and orange means $ 1,000.

In gambling jargon, a red $ 5 chip is often referred to as “nickel” (based on a 5-cent coin), a green $ 25 chip as a “quarter” (25-cent coin), a black $ 100 Chip called “Blacks”, a purple $ 500 chip called “Barneys” (luxury department store chain in New York) and an orange $ 1,000 chip called “Pumpkin”.


The minimum and maximum betting limits are usually marked on each table. For example, if the minimum bet is $ 25 on a table, wagering a red chip ($ 5) is not allowed. Your minimum bet must be $ 25. So check the betting limits at the table before you sit down to play.

Before the cards are dealt, all players must make a bet by placing chips (tokens) in their respective betting area. Each player and the dealer are dealt two cards. One of the dealer cards (known as the “Dealer Upcard”) is always face up so players can see its value. The other dealer card, the so-called “Dealer Downcard” (face down dealer card) or “Hole Card” (card in the hole) is face down. The two player cards can be dealt face down or face down.

In games that are dealt from a card sled (usually with 4, 6 or 8 decks of cards), the player cards are usually dealt face up. In this case, do not touch the cards. In games in which the dealer deals the cards to the players by hand (single or double deck games), both player cards are usually dealt face down. In these games, the player is only allowed to touch the cards with one hand and the cards must always remain on the table.

The player must make a game decision after looking at his first two cards and seeing the value of one of the two dealer cards.


Blackjack cards counting


That is, you want the dealer to give you another card. When playing with card sledges, you show the dealer that you want to draw a card (hit) by gesturing with your finger or by touching the table behind your cards with your finger. In a hand game, lightly scratch the felt with the edge of the cards.


If you have two of the same cards (a pair, e.g. two 6s or two aces), you can split them. If you want to split you have to place another bet equal to your original bet. To do this, simply place your chip next to the chip that you originally put on your hand. When you split a pair, you are playing each card as a separate hand. You can draw as many cards as you like for each hand. This does not apply to split aces; Usually you can only draw one card for each ace. For example, if you were dealt a pair of 8s and split, you now have two hands worth 8 per hand. You must first finish one of the split hands (right) and only then the other. When playing with card sledges, you indicate that you want to split by placing another chip next to the original chip. In hand games, you throw the two cards to be split face up on the table and then place the second bet. Most of the time, players allow players to split any card with a value of 10, such as Jacks-10 or Queen-10, although this strategy is not recommended as they will soon learn about pair splitting . Blackjack Hold


That is, you are happy with the total in your hand and want to stick with the cards you have (hold). When playing with a card sledge, you indicate that you want to hold (stand) by waving your hand, palm down, over the cards in the negative. In hand games, you put your cards under the chips in the betting area.

Blackjack pair of 8 split


This game option allows you to double your first bet in exchange for one (and only one) additional card. Most of the time, you can only double down after receiving the first two cards and before drawing another card. To show the dealer that you want to double up, simply place your chip next to the chip you originally wagered on your hand. In hand games, you throw your cards face up on the table and place the second bet.

While you will be allowed to double down on a smaller bet than your original bet, you will learn that this is not a good betting strategy .

Blackjack double down


This game option is sometimes allowed. This allows a player to immediately give up his hand and automatically forfeit half of the original bet. Most often, players are not allowed to surrender their first two cards until the dealer has examined their cards and announced that they do not have blackjack (known as a “late surrender”). Once a player has drawn a card, the option of giving up is no longer available. If the dealer has a blackjack hand, surrender is no longer possible.

If you want to give up your hand, simply tell the dealer “surrender” or “give up”. Sometimes a hand signal has to be given for the task by drawing an imaginary line from left to right across the table with your finger. When a player surrenders his hand, the dealer removes the player cards from the table and places one half of the player bet in the chip holder. The player no longer takes part in this round. Sometimes another type of task is offered called an “early surrender”. In this case, players can give up their hand before the dealer has checked his hole card for blackjack. Surrender early is a cheaper option for the player than surrender late. You can find out more here .

Blackjack Surrender (task)


If the dealer's upcard is an ace, players are asked whether they want to take out insurance against blackjack. This is an add-on bet where players bet that the dealer's hole card will be worth ten. The players' insurance bet can be less than or equal to half the original stake placed on the hand. To place an insurance bet, simply place your chips on the insurance line located just above the betting field. You win your insurance bet if the dealer has a card worth ten in the hole. In the event of a win, the insurance bet is paid out at a rate of 2: 1.


If the player has a blackjack hand and the dealer shows an ace, the dealer asks the player if he wants even money. Even money means that the dealer automatically makes a 1: 1 payment for the bet before checking the hidden card for a possible blackjack. Even money gives you the same outcome as an insurance bet placed on your blackjack hand. Blackjack winners and losers


In contrast to players, the dealer in blackjack has no playing options. The blackjack rules state that the dealer must draw if his hand results in less than 17 and must stand, i.e. not take any more cards (stand) if his hand results in 17 to 21. Sometimes dealers have to hold on soft 17, in others they have to hit a card. It is better for the player if, according to the rules of a soft 17 , the dealer is not allowed to take any more cards, i.e. has to hold.

To win and lose a hand

The player automatically loses if their hand totals more than 21. If the player's not overbought hand exceeds the total of the dealer's hand, the player's hand wins and is paid out at odds of 1: 1. If the player and dealer have the same total, it is a tie (tie or push) and the player keeps his bet. A player's blackjack hand that is not undecided is also known as a “natural” and pays 3: 2.

Beginners are strongly advised to try the next
Read chapter with tips on blackjack game etiquette.
BLACKJACK LABEL What to leave out of blackjack The game of blackjack has its own processes, codes of conduct, and game strategies. The procedures are vital to the security and integrity of the game. The rules of conduct include game etiquette so that you don't incur the wrath of your fellow players or the dealer. Below is a list of the most common gaffe beginners make so you can avoid them.

Blackjack Prohibitions


All cash transactions must be visible to the surveillance cameras. Therefore, always put your cash on the table outside of your betting area and then tell the dealer in which denomination you would like to buy chips.


In games in which the cards are dealt face down (usually single or double deck games) you may only touch them with one hand and not with two hands.


If four or more decks of cards are used, they are usually dealt face-up to each player from a card slot. There are two reasons the cards are dealt face up. First, it eliminates the possibility of players cheating by marking or swapping cards, and second, it speeds up the game because the dealer can quickly reveal the total of each player's hand. There is no need to touch the cards. So don't do it.


The cards in your hand must always be clearly visible to the dealer and security cameras. Therefore, you should never hold them in your lap or below table height.

Blackjack # 2 prohibitions


Purses, wallets, bags and other items should be carried by you or placed next to you. This does not apply to the women's handbags, which should be kept on their laps. You can enjoy a drink at the table, but use the cup holders provided so that nothing is spilled on the table.


Your original bet must remain on the table untouched until it either wins, loses or a tie occurs. When the dealer begins to deal the cards, it is a sign that you should not touch the chips until the hand has finished playing.


Saying “Draw a card!” Might be appropriate when playing blackjack with friends at the kitchen table, but it really doesn't work. For safety reasons, you must always use a show of hands to indicate to the dealer how you want to play your hand rather than words. Often a camera is used as the “eye of God” to capture the hand gestures of the players for security reasons. If your hand gestures do not match your words, this can be considered dubious or deliberately misleading, so you should always use hand signals instead of words.


If you are betting with two or more different chips, always place the chip with the higher denomination at the bottom of the stack.

What not to say at the blackjack table


You are not causing you to lose. It's probably just a set of bad cards. And that happens to all blackjack players.

Sit down and place a bet while cards are being dealt from the card slide

Sometimes this is forbidden and there will be a sign that says something like “No boarding while a card sledge is being played”. If there is no sign, then it is good form to ask fellow players whether they object to you getting on. The reason for this is that most players have the superstition that a new player would change the course of the cards in future hands if they get in while a card sled is being played and therefore lose them.


It's your money and you can play your hand however you want. However, if a teammate asks you for advice, you can advise him.


If you are a smoker, out of courtesy to your fellow players (and the dealer), do not blow the smoke in their direction. Sometimes there are non-smoking tables. Make sure you are allowed to smoke before lighting a cigarette.

Now you know the blackjack rules and table etiquette. Now let's answer the question: “There are so many games. Why should you play blackjack? “ WHY PLAY BLACKJACK? This question is important because there is a wide variety of table games to choose from. So why play blackjack? The advantages of blackjack in a nutshell:

  • It is mathematically different from other games.
  • Because of the favorable mathematical conditions it is a much better game for the player.

Roulette versus blackjack


Let me briefly explain why blackjack is “mathematically different” by comparing it to American roulette. A typical American roulette wheel has 38 numbers – 1 through 36 plus 0 and 00. Suppose you bet on your lucky number 7. Mathematically speaking, you have a 1 in 38 chance that the roulette ball will land on 7. The odds of winning remain constant and do not change regardless of the results of previous attempts. The roulette ball has no memory, if you will. Mathematicians will say that roulette is an “independent trial” game because the outcome of one spin is independent of the previous spins. It is also a characteristic of all “independent trials” games that mathematically speaking, assuming an honest game, the following is true:

  • There are no gaming or betting systems that can turn off the house edge.
  • For the player the expectation is always negative (in the long run he will lose more money than win).

The same is true of many other games; They are based on “independent trials” and therefore no profit is possible in the long term. But blackjack gives players a glimmer of hope. In fact, blackjack is a game of interdependent attempts where you can win. Let me explain with another example.


For example, suppose you sit down at a table that is playing a single deck game and you wait until the dealer has finished shuffling the cards before placing your bet. What is the probability of being dealt a blackjack (two cards consisting of an ace and one card valued at ten)? Mathematically, you have a 1:21 chance of hitting blackjack. Now let's say you noticed that four aces were dealt in the first round of the game. What chance do you have of blackjack at the beginning of the second round? Exactly zero, because there are no more aces left under the unplayed cards. They were all played in the previous round. In other words, your chances of winning a special hand depend on what cards were played in the previous rounds. However, this means that blackjack is a game of interdependent tries. ( This is very different from the roulette example. )

BLACKJACK IS A GAME OF SKILL Blackjack guide reading

As you will learn in the following chapters, the cards previously played have a great influence on your chances of winning the next round. With this in mind, it seems logical that knowing the makeup of the cards in previous games could change your wagers and / or strategy to maximize your chances of winning the most money on the next round. This concept may seem complicated now, but it will become more clear in the following chapters. For now, just remember these facts about blackjack:

  • It is a game of skill and not just a game of chance.
  • With certain playing and betting techniques you can change the odds in your favor. This is not possible with any other game.

Calculate opportunities WHY PLAY BLACKJACK?

  • By learning a simple game strategy, you can reduce the house edge to less than 1%.
  • By learning a certain betting technique based on the composition of the cards already played, one can gain a mathematical advantage.

Yes you've read correctly. By learning how to play a hand and how much to bet on each hand, you can reduce the house edge to near zero or even gain a slight edge.

I am ready to teach you anything … are you ready to learn anything?



Let's say you play blackjack, you bet $ 10, the dealer gives you 10-7 and his face up card is a 7. You hold on to 17 and the dealer's hole card is a queen, making him 17. Your 17 is a tie with your 17 – that's what Blackjack calls a “push”. In the case of a push, the bet is neither won nor lost. Let's say you hold the $ 10 bet on the next hand. You get 9-6, draw another card and get a 7 and thus have 22. Then the dealer also has 22 points. Once more, you both have the same total. But guess what? Unlike the previous push when you both had 17, this time you lose your bet because you busted (that is, your hand counted over 21) before the dealer busted. This so-called “double bust” is what gives blackjack the house edge. The players must move first. If they then bust, they automatically lose, regardless of whether the dealer busts afterwards in the same round. This is the only house edge in blackjack and everything else would be the same and if the player were to “imitate” the dealer's rules, the house edge in blackjack would be around 8%. (Both the dealer and the player would have about a 28.3% chance of busting if they played the same way; both hands would bust 0.283 times 0.283, that is, about 8% of the time, which is the dealer's win would result.)

Blackjack player advantages ADVANTAGES OF THE PLAYER

Fortunately, not everything is created equal in blackjack. Players have certain advantages and options that are not available to the dealer. This includes:

  • A 3: 2 bonus payout on a blackjack, while the dealer only receives a 1: 1 bonus payout if he wins a blackjack.
  • The ability to double down the bet in favorable situations (such as getting an 11 with two cards) while the dealer cannot double down.
  • The ability to split pairs while the dealer is not allowed to split.
  • Players are allowed to stand on totals from 12 to 16, while the dealer must always draw a card if the total is 16 or less.

Blackjack 5.7% advantage


The bonus payout on a blackjack hand is, of course, a pretty nice bonus and the player doesn't need to do anything to collect that extra cash. All he needs to do is be dealt a “natural” hand (a blackjack hand), which, as mentioned, occurs only about once in every 21 hands. This 3: 2 bonus payout for the player takes about 2.3% off the original 8% house edge. This puts the house edge at 5.7%. Blackjack 2.2% advantage


By knowing the correct hit & stand game strategies , the player can take away another 3.5% of the house edge. This leaves a house edge of around 2.2%. Remember that unlike the dealer, the players can always draw or stand at will. The dealer must always stand from 17-21 and always draw on 16 or less. Doubling and split benefits


If you learn the right strategies for doubling down , you can cut the house edge by an additional 1.6%. Plus, if you know when to split pairs in a game, you can cut the house edge by an additional 0.4%. This leaves a house edge of around 0.2% in a single-deck game.


The following table shows you how to reduce the house edge in blackjack by learning and applying the right playing strategies. (The percentages vary slightly depending on the number of decks of cards and the rules of the game.)

Blackjack table

I hope you see the importance of having proper hold, double, and split strategies in order to achieve the lowest house edge possible. They will most often double or split when the dealer has a small face up (2-6). This is because the dealer will bust about 40% of the time when he shows a small card. This increases your chances of winning if you double or split your hand.


Below we provide an example of how much money you can save by learning the right game strategies.

Suppose an active player plays blackjack for about 500 hours per year with an average stake of $ 10. Also, assume that the player plays an average of 100 hands per hour. That means the player would place bets worth $ 500,000 over the course of a year (100 hands per hour times 500 hours times $ 10 average bet). A player who mimics the dealer but gets 3-2 on a blackjack hand would have a house edge of 5.7% and lose 5.7% of the total $ 500,000 wagered, or $ 28,500 (this is his theoretical Loss; he could lose more or less, but on average the player would lose $ 28,500 over the year). On the other hand, the basic strategist who knows the right strategies for holding / doubling / splitting will only struggle with a house edge of 0.2% to 0.5% depending on the playing conditions. His theoretical losses are therefore only $ 1,000 to $ 2,500 – a huge saving. The basic strategy player wins at least $ 26,000 over the course of the year over the player who “mimics the dealer”. The value of learning

Can a player do it even better? YES, BY DOING THE FOLLOWING:

  • Play games with more favorable rules, especially games with only one or two decks of cards.
  • Take advantage of so-called “bonus points” (“comps” or “complimentaries”) and special promotions.
  • Learn the technique of counting cards.

I'll explain these strategies in the following chapters, but for now just keep this fact in mind: the skilled player can virtually eliminate the advantage built into the “double overbought” rule.


Blackjack is the most popular card game in the world for several reasons: Blackjack dealer

  • It's a simple game.
  • It also takes a little skill.
  • The mystery of card counting makes it interesting and at the same time is the key to success.

You might think that blackjack looks the same today as it did 70 years ago, but it is not. There have been numerous minor – and some major – changes throughout the game's long and turbulent history.


Blackjack in France

The origins of blackjack are somewhat unclear. It is widely believed that “vingt-et-un” (pronounced “van te a”, meaning 20 + 1, or simply 21) was the predecessor.

It appeared in France around 1700. Different rules apply to “vingt-et-un” than to blackjack as we know it. The aim of the game was to use the cards that totaled 21 to achieve a so-called “natural”; however, players made bets after (and not before) they received their first cards. The dealer was able to double all players' bets after looking at his first card. If the dealer also had a “natural”, the players had to pay three times as much. Still, there are some striking similarities with modern forms of blackjack; namely the ranking system of hands and the aspiration to reach 21.


Blackjack in Italy

Meanwhile, the Italians played a game called “Seven-and-a-Half” – seven and a half.


  • Uses face cards only (are counted as half a point)
  • The 8, 9 and 10 (counts as one point)
  • The king of diamonds was a wild card

The goal was a hand with a total of 7.5 points. A player automatically lost if their hand scored more than 7.5 points. It is widely believed that the term “busted” was derived from this game of blackjack.


Spanish blackjack variant Another game with similarities to blackjack was the Spanish game called “One-and-Thirty” (one-and-thirty). In the game known in Spain and Ireland from the 15th to 17th centuries, players were given three cards. The aim was to get as close as possible to 31 with three cards of the same suit.

CHANGE FROM “21” TO “BLACKJACK” 21 blackjack

Vingt-et-un was very popular around the world; however, the name of the game was soon changed: in England to “Van John” and in Australia to “Pontoon”.

It is widely believed that the game came to America around 1800, but initially it was not popular. The rules were changed to attract more players to the game and started paying a 10: 1 bonus if the first two cards were a Jack of Clubs or a Jack of Spades along with an Ace of Clubs. As a result of this change, the Americans called the game “Blackjack”.


Nevada legalized gambling in 1931 and blackjack spread to Las Vegas. The owners didn't understand much about the math behind the game, but they knew they could make a lot of money playing blackjack. In fact, they made too much money due to a simple feature of the game: players were playing in front of the dealer, and once a player's hand went over 21, the player automatically lost their bet regardless of what the dealer did afterward. Directors cleverly realized that the win was too high and so introduced player-friendly blackjack rules. This included the 3: 2 payout on blackjack, as well as the player's options to double up and split pairs. The dealer, on the other hand, had no choice: he always had to hit 16 or less and always stand from 17 to 21. This rule increased the popularity of blackjack, although the math of the game continued to be a mystery, with many owners finding the game too complicated to analyze mathematically. However, that notion changed in 1956.


Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott are often referred to in literature as the “Four Horsemen of Aberdeen”. They developed the first reasonably accurate basic game strategy for blackjack.

The most impressive thing about their performance was that they'd done it with simple mechanical calculators (or “adding machines”). These pioneers proved that blackjack offered the best chance of winning if players followed a series of specific rules of the game. Her work was published in the Journal of the American Statistical Society in 1956, and a year later in the book Playing Blackjack to Win . Although the four riders were hardly known by the general public, their colleagues recognized their achievements in 2008 when they were inducted into the “Blackjack Hall of Fame”.

BLACKJACK 1940 TO 1960 Blackjack in the 40s and 60s

In the 1940s and 50s there were a few players who independently developed rudimentary counting systems to help them win at blackjack. The most significant was Jess Marcum, a nuclear physicist at Rand Corporation who quit his job to play professionally. However, it was Dr. Edward O. Thorp, who in 1962 developed and published the first powerful and successful card counting system (the so-called “Ten Count”). After Thorp's book hit the New York Times bestseller list , Las Vegas panic broke out. On April 1st, 1964 – as if playing a cruel April Fool's joke with the public – the blackjack rules were drastically changed:

  • Players were only allowed to double if their first two cards totaled 11.
  • A pair of aces could no longer be split.

Draw a card Players outraged these changes and stopped playing. There was no other option than to reintroduce the standard blackjack rules, but with one important change: instead of just handing out a single-deck game, many switched to a game in which four decks of cards were dealt using a card sled. The public accepted this change, and for the first time, multi-deck blackjack games became more or less the standard. Millions of gamers bought Thorp's book believing it was an easy way to get rich. Even though his ten count system worked, people found it too complicated and many returned to their previous style of play. Thorp's book made blackjack grow in popularity, and ironically, this in turn led to increasing profits for its owners.

Deck of cards The original blackjack was dealt from a single single deck. The dealer shuffled the cards by hand and dealt them face down to the players. Players picked up their cards to see what they had and then either hid them under their chips or scratched the felt towards them to indicate hit or stand to the dealer. A player's blackjack hand that is undecided is paid out at odds of 3: 2. In the past the dealer always stayed on soft 17 (no card) and players could double on any two cards and after splitting pairs. This game has long been called “Standard Las Vegas Strip Blackjack”. But times change, and so does the game of blackjack. I describe some of these changes in the following chapters. Not only in terms of the way this game is played, but also in terms of the techniques developed with which experienced players can win this game.


  • The goal in blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand by having a total value greater than the dealer's, or by no more than 21 if the dealer has 21.
  • Players can play in a variety of ways including surrender, pair splitting, double down, hit, and stand.
  • The game of blackjack has its processes, codes of conduct and game strategies to ensure the safety and integrity of the game and to prevent you from attracting the wrath of your fellow players or the dealer.
  • By using the basic strategy, it is possible to reduce the house edge to less than 1% (depending on the rules).
  • Blackjack is a game of skill, not just a game of chance. With certain playing and betting techniques you can change the odds in your favor. This is not possible with any other game.
  • It is widely believed that Vingt-et-un, played in France around 1700, was the forerunner of blackjack.
  • Sometimes a different type of task is offered called an “early surrender” . When blackjack came to America in the 1800s, operators changed the rules to attract more players to the game and started paying out a 10: 1 bonus if the first two cards were matched with a Jack of Clubs or Spades were an ace of clubs. This resulted in Americans calling the game “Blackjack” instead of “21”.
  • Blackjack was offered in Las Vegas from 1931, although the operators knew little about the math of the game.
  • Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott are often referred to in literature as the “Four Horsemen of Aberdeen”. They developed the first reasonably accurate basic game strategy for blackjack in the 1950s.
  • Dr. Edward O. Thorp developed and published the first powerful and successful card counting system in 1962, the so-called “Ten Count” (tens counting system).
  • After Thorp's book ” Beat the Dealer ” made it onto the New York Times bestseller list, the blackjack rules were changed. Players revolted and stopped playing. There was no other choice than to reintroduce the standard rules, but with one important change: Many switched from a hand-dealt single-deck game to a game in which four decks of cards were dealt using card sledges.


Now that you've learned the history of blackjack, learned the basic rules of the game and table etiquette of blackjack, and now you know why blackjack is so unique among games and what creates the built-in house edge, you will now learn the basic game strategies to get a to become a really skilled player.


Use the information in Chapter 1 to try to answer the following questions.

  1. The name of the game that is believed to be the forerunner of blackjack is the French game Vingt-et-Un. Right or wrong?
  2. What happened when the game “21” became known as “Blackjack”?
  3. What did the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen achieve?
  4. Who developed and published the first powerful and successful card counting system for blackjack?
  5. What was the name of this card counting system and the book that made it onto the New York Times bestseller list?
  6. What is the goal of blackjack?
  7. What big change came in the way blackjack was dealt after the release of Beat the Dealer ?
  8. In a hand-deal single-deck game, you are allowed to hold your cards with two hands. Right or wrong?
  9. You want to bet $ 40 with one green chip ($ 25) and three red chips ($ 5 each). How do you stack your chips correctly in the betting field?
  10. You can decrease the blackjack house edge by betting more after losing multiple hands in a row. Right or wrong?


  1. Right.
  2. Operators started paying a 10: 1 bonus if the first two cards were a Jack of Clubs or a Jack of Spades along with an Ace of Clubs. This resulted in Americans calling the game “Blackjack” instead of “21”.
  3. In the 1950s, they developed the first reasonably accurate basic blackjack strategy.
  4. Dr. Edward O. Thorp.
  5. The “Ten Count”. The title of his bestseller was “Beat the Dealer” .
  6. The goal in blackjack is to beat the dealer's hand by having a total value greater than the dealer's, or by no more than 21 if the dealer has 21.
  7. They started using four decks of cards that were dealt from a card sled.
  8. Not correct. You can only hold the cards with one hand and the cards must always remain above table height.
  9. You stack your chips with the largest chips at the bottom ($ 25 green chips) and the smallest chips at the bottom (three $ 5 red chips).
  10. Not correct.

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