Blackjack: A Guide to the Classic Casino Table Game

Blackjack is one of the most iconic casino table games, played in casinos around the world. The game is easy to learn, yet offers endless opportunities for strategy and skill. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the rules of blackjack and some strategies that players can use to increase their chances of winning.

Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack is played with one or more decks of 52 cards. The goal of the game is to have a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without going over 21. If a player’s hand goes over 21, they “bust” and automatically lose the hand.

At the beginning of each hand, the dealer deals two cards to each player and two cards to themselves. One of the dealer’s cards is face up and the other is face down. Players can then choose to “hit” (take another card) or “stand” (keep their current hand).

If a player’s initial two cards add up to 21 (an ace and a ten-value card), they have a “blackjack” and automatically win the hand, unless the dealer also has a blackjack. If both the player and dealer have a blackjack, the hand is a “push” and the player’s bet is returned.

After all players have finished their turns, the dealer reveals their face-down card and must hit until their hand adds up to at least 17. If the dealer’s hand goes over 21, all remaining players win the hand.

Blackjack Strategies

While blackjack is largely a game of chance, there are several strategies that players can use to increase their chances of winning. Here are some of the most popular strategies used by blackjack players:

Basic Strategy

Basic strategy is a set of guidelines that tells players when to hit, stand, double down, or split based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s up-card. Basic strategy is based on mathematical probabilities and is designed to give players the best possible chance of winning in any given situation.

While basic strategy does not guarantee a win, it does significantly reduce the house edge (the percentage of each bet that the casino expects to keep over time). The basic strategy can be found in charts or tables, and with practice, players can memorize it and make quick decisions at the blackjack table.

Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy used by advanced players to keep track of which cards have already been played and which cards are still in the deck. By doing this, players can make more informed decisions about when to hit or stand, and can adjust their bets accordingly.

Card counting requires a significant amount of practice and skill, as well as the ability to do mental math quickly and accurately. It is also important to note that card counting is not illegal, but it is often frowned upon by casinos and can result in being asked to leave the table or even being banned from the casino.

Insurance Betting

Insurance betting is a side bet that players can make when the dealer’s up-card is an ace. The insurance bet is essentially a bet that the dealer has a blackjack, and pays out at 2:1 if the dealer does have a blackjack.

While insurance betting can seem like a good idea, it is generally not recommended by experienced players. The reason for this is that the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are relatively low, and the insurance bet has a high house edge.


Blackjack is a classic casino table game that offers a thrilling and exciting experience for players of all skill levels. By using basic strategy, card counting, and other strategies, players can increase their chances of winning and walk away from the table with a profit.