(161) casino reviews


(419) free casino games  › Guides  › Gambling Rules  › Blackjack Rules

Blackjack rules and strategy


In the first phase, before receiving cards, the players have to place a bet. After this, players face up two cards. The dealer receives one card side and one card side down. Each in turn take 1 or more cards, or stop trying to get closer to 21 without busting. Players who are not bust wait for the house's call. When all players are made, the dealer turned down until the card. As a general rule, on counts of 17 or more must remain the house; on counts of 16 or less the dealer must draw.

Playing Blackjack

Before receiving any cards players must place a wager. Then the players are served with two cards face up. The dealer serve himself with one card face up and one card face down. Everyone in turn take 1 or + cards, or stop trying to get closer to 21 without busting. Players who don't bust have to wait for the dealer's turn. When all the players are served, the dealer turns up the down card. Following the rule, on counts of 17 or higher, the dealer have to stay; on counts of 16 or lower, the dealer have to draw.

If you make a total score of 21 with the first two cards (a face or a 10 or and an Ace), you win automatically. This is called “Blackjack”. If you have a Blackjack, you win one and a half times your stake unless the house has also Blackjack, in which case it is a push or a tie (or a stand-off) and you get your bet back .

The other players with better point than the house earn an amount equal to their bet. Players with a lower count lose their bet. If the dealer busts, all other players win. There are other betting options namely insurance, assignment, Double Down, even money and Split.


Half the initial bet against the dealer with a natural 21 - allowed only when the dealer show an ace as card. If the dealer has a 10 face down and makes a blackjack, the insurance pays the contrary 2-1. Surrender: giving up your hand and loose only half of the total bet. Top of surrender: surrender allowed before the dealer checks for blackjack. The end of the assignment: the distributor first checks to see if he has blackjack. If it does, surrender is not permitted. Double Down: double your original bet after the first two-card deal, but you can hit a single card. A good bet if the player is in a strong position.

Even Money

Cashing your bet immediately at a ratio of 1:1 for payment when you are dealt a natural blackjack and the dealer shows the card is an ace.

Split Hand

Split the first two cards in two hands and play separately - allowed only when the first two cards are of equal value. Use each card as the beginning of another side, and a second bet equal to the first.

House advantage

(approximate, May vary with different rules) Without basic strategy average of 7%. With a basic strategy of 0.5% or less. Counting's card can reverse the advantage up to 1% to the player.

Blackjack variations

Using different number of decks: all other conditions being the same as general rule, less decks, the better for the player. To allow the house to achieve a soft 17: a disadvantage for the player. It gives to the dealer the possibility to improve. Allowing a double split the following pairs: can be advantageous for the player if used wisely. Allowing new Aces Splitting: a clear benefit to the player.

Understand how you can beat the odds

The competition in the online gambling scene is HUGE. This causes sites to offer great Bonuses for people to sign-up. It's important for you to have your own Black Jack strategy. They're actually giving you free money (depending on the fact that you wager a certain amount of money on their online gambling services). Some sites will actually give you 100% of what you deposit. So if you deposit 100$, you get 100$ FREE! You have to Wager 2000$ and playing Basic Blackjack Strategy you will probably lose about 2000$ X 0.5% = $10 loss. You profit 90$ ! How about that?! That was Just to get you psyched up! I will explain about that later in “Why Bet at Online Casinos?” Now its time to start learning. Do not panic, it's really simple.

Blackjack Strategy

Players can reduce the casino advantage to a little percentage by playing basic Blackjack strategy because blackjack has an element of human choice. This determines when to hit or to stand, and also determines when to double down or split. The basic strategy is based on the dealer's visible card and the player's point. There are little variations depending from the house rules and from the number of the decks. Simply, it is a table of actions for every situation. There are many tables, for different numbers of decks and different sets of rules. But here I will show and explain the most common ones.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

blackjack strategy exampleblackjack strategy example

Stick to these basic Black Jack strategy tips to improve your odds! For example if you get a 7 and a 6, and the dealer has an 8, you have a hard 13, and according to the chart, it is in your best interest to HIT. If you have an Ace and a 5, and the dealer has a 5, according to the chart, it is in your best interest to DOUBLE. If you have two Aces, no matter what the dealer has, you best odds are to SPLIT. This is a multiple deck black jack strategy chart, but it's still pretty basic.

There are more accurate charts for specific numbers of decks and certain rules. In General, this chart will improve your odds dramatically, but if you're going to gamble a lot, and really want to hit a homerun, I recommend a chart that is more specific to the kind of game you are playing (4,6,8 decks in the shoe and so on).

You can get these on various sites on the web, or from computer programs (but I'll explain about computer programs in the Easy Counting's card section). However, many casinos won't let you sit at the tables with many confused charts, but you can have a small one (like the size of a credit card), they don't mind and even sell them at the Casino's gift shops. You can get these on many sites on the net for about 5$ or from eBay at less than 2$ a piece.

Advanced: Easy Counting's card

OK, now it gets interesting! I know what you're thinking “I'm not the d**n Rainman! How does he expect me to remember all the cards played in the game?!” Well, I don’t. Actually, there are very simple methods of counting's card is that practically anyone can master very fast. I will only explain one of these simple methods and if you want to learn more complex methods, search the web for relevant information. Before doing so, you should know that these complex methods only give a 0.15% edge over the simple ones, so I recommend not bothering with them. So what is counting's card?

Counting's card is a mathematical system meant to take in mind every card dealt in the game, implementing on which cards are still left in the deck to be played. The reason this helps us is that if we know what 'kind' of cards are left in the deck (generally, more high cards in the deck are better for us, and more low cards are better for the casino), we can manage our wagers accordingly. If we know that 10 low value cards have been played, but only one high value card, then we should increase the size of our bets, because our odds have improved. That's why it's very important to take in mind each and every card played.

Most counting's card systems begin with a count of 0. This means that when you first sit down at a blackjack table, the count is 0. It depend on which counting system you are using, this count will change with every card that is dealt. You have to remember not only the cards that you are being dealt, but all the single card served to all player and dealer too. When the card count is positive, this generally means there have been more lower cards played and the deck now has a higher percentage of larger cards. When the deck has a high percentage of larger cards, the player has several different advantages:

  • You Will Be Dealt More Blackjacks
  • You Will Be Dealt Higher and Stronger Starting Hands
  • Dealer Will Bust More Often

When a card count is high, the player bets larger amounts of money because they have a higher mathematical advantage (better odds). However, when then card count drops, you must wager smaller amounts, or even leave to a different table. Sometimes people believe they have a 'lucky table'. That is basically wrong. If you had nice profits from a table, the odds will usually change back the other way, it's not luck, its statistics.

In most US jurisdictions, counting's card is legal and is not considered cheating. However, most casinos have the right to ban players, with or without cause, and counting's card is frequently used as a justification to ban a player. Normally, the casino host will just inform the player that he is no longer welcome to bet at that casino. Players must be careful not to signal the fact that they are counting. Make use of electronic or other counting devices is not legal and almost always denied by the casino. As mentioned, I will describe a simple counting method known as Hi-Lo count.

Hi-Lo Count in BlackJack

Hi-Lo is the most common balanced counting system, this means that if you count the whole deck with this system, you would end up exactly how you started: with 0 ! All you have to do with this system is to learn the following table:

Hi-Lo count example
As you can see, there are separate groups of card values. The 20 little cards (2- 6) are counted as plus 1 as they are played. The 12 middle cards (7-9) are seen as neutral cards and do not change the value as they are played. The 20 big cards (10- Ace) are counted as minus 1 as they are played. With this simple system, it's very easy to remember.

Let's say the cards drawn on the first round where 2, Ace, K, 9, 4, 5, 7 and 6. The 2,4,5 and 6, each subtract 1 from the count. The seven is neutral. The Ace and King each add 1 to the count. So we are left with 0+4-2= 2. The count is positive, so now would be a good time to increase our wagers. Easy right? This system is my personal favorite and there's a reason it's the most common system used in black jack teams, it's simple and effective!

Picking a good table

Part of a gambler's strategy is picking the right bets on the right tables. If you had some good first rounds, with many tens, royalties and Aces, leave the table with the small profits you made when you Hi-Lo count is at -4! Don't hope that the luck will continue because that was your luck, and if you continue playing you'll end up where you started. It's time to move on to a different table. If you had profits although the majority of the cards dealt where Positive count cards, this is the break you've been waiting for!

This table has a high revenue potential, since the good cards are yet to arrive! Stay at the table and play by the system. If you lose money on the rounds with many good cards (tens and aces), leave this table, don't wait for the upper hand, you won't have it on this table. In most games, the count will stay about even, you will have to play by the strategy, count cards, and wait for the right opportunity to strike (or quit). Never join tables if you sense the other players there are amateurs; this will distract you and hurt your odds.

Dealer Tells

This is only relevant to a real live Casino! You don't have this benefit at Online Casinos. On the latest James bond feature “Casino Royale”, James Bond meets the villain “Le Chiffre” at a poker table for a game wagering about 100 million dollars (can't remember the exact number and it doesn't really matter). Le Chiffre is a mathematical genius and wins hands by calculating his odds, as opposed to his opponent's. James Bond is a spy and his gift is reading people's facial expressions and body language, helping him in calling his opponent's bluffs. Every strategy I've explained so far is Le Chiffre's style, based on mathematical calculations, and statistical certainties. The 'Dealer Tells' method is James Bond's style; it's based on reading people and requires a certain talent at it. 'Dealer tells' are subconscious gestures or expressions that a Blackjack dealer might make without knowing about it.

If you can learn to spot dealer tells, you can greatly increase your edge in blackjack. Though some people will discredit it, the 'Dealer tells' definitely works and improves your edge if you use it correctly. One thing to remember when it comes to dealer tells is that not all dealers will show expressive tells. You might play several different tables before finding a blackjack table with a dealer that has noticeable tells.

One of the most common types of dealer tells is that the dealer accidentally reveals his hole (under) card. To pull this tell off you must carefully watch how long the dealer glances at the hole card and at what type of angle he bends the card at to be able to clearly see his under card before continuing game play. This tell has two common variations:

  • Dealer has a stiff card (2,3,4,5,6) in the hole, and is required to lift the card a bit more than usual to make sure it's not an Ace. The hardest card to spot at first glance is the 4, and even experienced dealers might sometimes have to re-lift it.
  • The opposite of that is obviously a high or paint card (8,9,10,J,Q,K). The dealer will need a very brief glance at the under card (that seems faster than usual), there is a good chance he's holding a paint card or a card larger than a 7.

Free Online Blackjack