How to play blackjack

Black jack is a very easy game to learn and it is possible to learn all the basic strategies within a day. It might however take longer than that before the correct action becomes a reflex and you stop making mistakes at the table.

The object of this game is to beat the dealer and you do this by getting closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. It is important to remember that you win money by beating the dealer, not by getting as close to 21 as possible. If the dealer goes bust (goes over 21) it doesn't matter how far from 21 you are - you are still a winner. The value of the different cards are as follows: 1-9 have the numerical value of the card, 10-K are all counted as 10, and aces can be counted as 1 or 11 depending on what's best for the hand.

Once the betting has been completed, two cards are dealt to each player, face up. The dealer has one card face up (the face card) and one card face down (the hole card). Some casinos do not use a hole card and the dealer's second card is instead dealt when it is the dealer's turn to act.

Once the initial round of cards have been placed on the table, each player is allowed to act (in turn). Players will typically make decisions based on both the cards they hold and the face card of the dealer. The face card of the dealer is one of the most important factors in deciding what the player should do. Anyone interested in using a system for how to act at any given point can pay a visit to the optimal strategy table on the “Winning at black jack”-page.

When it is the player's turn to act, she has the following options:

If you play black jack in a traditional casino offline, you are usually required to make hand signals for your actions instead of simply talking to the dealer. This is so that the surveillance cameras can monitor your decision.

The dealer's action is decided by rules that are normally written on the table. The most common rules are 17S and 17H. 17H means that the dealer has to hit on 17 and below. 17S means that the dealer stands on 17 and above. 17H is a bit more beneficial for the player as it increase chances of the dealer going bust.

A winning hand in black jack usually pay even money. The exception to this is black jack that pays 1.5 times the money (standard rules). In some establishments, the dealer wins if the game is a draw. This drastically increases the edge of the house and such casinos are best avoided.

Black jack rules can vary from casino to casino and you should always check the house rules before you start playing. Avoid playing in casinos (online and offline) with unfavorable rules.