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Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack, the world’s most popular banking game, is really a game of comparing. The players each try to come up with a better hand of cards than the dealer – that is, a hand whose point value is higher, without exceeding a total of 21 points. Blackjack may be played at a casino table or at an online casino via your computer or mobile device. Because blackjack, which is also known as twenty one in reference to the point goal, combines strong elements of chance and skill, it is an intriguing game for gamblers. As a result, many forms of blackjack strategy have been developed and tested over the years. But before you move on to strategy, it would be wise to briefly review the rules of the game.

How to Play

Blackjack is a card game, using from 1 to 8 decks of standard playing cards. Players place their bets, and then the cards are shuffled and dealt, 2 to a person. Players’ cards are both face up, while the dealer receives 1 card face up and the other face down. Each player must make the decision, after looking at his card values, to “hit” (request an additional card) or to “stand” (keep the two original cards and not request any more). A player may hit as many times as he likes. If either the player or the dealer ends up with a point value of more than 21, he is said to have “busted.” If both bust, the player is considered the loser; this is where the house advantage comes in.

Blackjack Options

After the initial hand has been dealt, the player can choose from a number of options. He may hit or stand, as discussed. Double means that the player doubles his bet and requests only 1 more card. Split occurs when the player’s initial hand consists of 2 cards of equal value; he may then split them into 2 hands, but must make an additional wager equal to his original wager to cover the 2nd hand. Surrender is an option offered by some casinos – if a player does not like the first 2 cards he’s been dealt, he can choose to surrender, giving up his cards and forfeiting half of his wager. If the dealer’s up card is an ace, players may purchase “insurance” against a dealer blackjack.

Strategy

Blackjack is not a guessing game. There are standardized rules that govern whether the dealer may hit or stand. Learning these rules from blackjack strategy charts is the first element in developing a strategy that will reduce the house edge. You can then determine your best course of action in response to the dealer’s move. Although this type of play will not ensure that you will win every hand, by lessening the house’s edge, it will let you win more often.