Basic Strategy For Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular casino game played with a deck of cards. The game is based on the player’s ability to make a total of 21 without going over. It is played against the dealer, who has an equal chance of winning or losing. The game has multiple variants and rules can vary from one table to the next.

A basic strategy for playing blackjack involves understanding when to stand, hit, double or split a pair of cards. It is also possible to place side bets on various aspects of the game.

The aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand by having a higher value card than the dealer, and also to have a total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s. The best hand is a combination of an Ace and a 10-card or face card, which is called “Blackjack” and pays 3 to 2 instead of the standard 2 to 1.

It is also possible to beat the dealer by having a two-card total of 21, which is called a “natural” and pays even money. This is often considered the best hand and can be used as a base for playing other blackjack hands.

There are five main options in a hand of blackjack: Stand, hit, split a pair, double down and surrender. Each of these options can be a good move if it looks like the hand is a winner.


A player can choose to stand on a hand of cards when he does not believe the total is high enough to beat the dealer’s hand or is too confident about his own hand. He may also stand if he thinks that the dealer’s hand is weaker than his own, though this is not a recommended strategy.


A player can “hit” on a hand of cards when he is certain that his hand is better than the dealer’s and would therefore win. He can also hit if he believes that the dealer’s hand is weaker or if he does not believe the dealer’s hand is a natural.

Double down:

A player who has a pair of cards can “double down” by placing an additional bet equal to his original bet on the table. The dealer will then deal him another card and he can play these two hands out.

In some casinos, there are restrictions on what card ranks can be doubled down. The dealer may also limit the number of times a player can double down after splitting a pair.


Some casinos allow a player to surrender his or her hand after the dealer has checked for blackjack. If the player chooses to surrender, half of the bet will be forfeited.


A player can place an additional bet on a special area of the table called “Insurance,” which pays 2-to-1 if the dealer has a Blackjack. The player’s initial bet is lost, but the insurance wager covers his or her losses.