The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game played with casino chips or “checks.” It is a highly popular game and can be found at many casinos. Before playing, players should familiarize themselves with the rules and objectives of the game. They should also become aware of the various options available to them during play.


The casino dealer begins the game by shuffling cards. He or she must then analyze each card and communicate with the other employees of the casino to ensure that the game is run securely. This is a very time-consuming and complex job and requires great skill.

In a typical round of blackjack, the dealer deals two face-up cards to each player and then one card to himself. The players then have the option to hit, which means taking another card, or stand, which means refraining from taking any more cards and keeping their score as is.

Alternatively, they can double their bet and receive one more card. The players may also choose to split their hand into two separate hands, if they wish.

Basic Strategy

The goal of the player in blackjack is to have a higher total than the dealer. To win, the player must have a hand value of 21 or higher on their first two cards. The dealer’s goal is to have a total lower than the player’s, but not below 21.

If the player’s first two cards add up to 21, the player has a natural and wins immediately unless the dealer also has a natural. If the dealer does not have a natural, then the hand ties and the player loses.


The dealer can ask the players to place an insurance bet before the dealer deals his or her first card. This is a side bet that the dealer has a blackjack. This is a risky bet and is only profitable in the case of a blackjack.

Dealer School

In the United States, dealers are trained through a series of classes called dealer schools. This is done at several casinos around the country, including Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, YBR Casino & Sports Book in Chittenango, and a special dealer development facility in Dreamcatcher Plaza in Oneida.

Insurance can be purchased before the dealer deals his or her first card, and is paid at two to one odds if the dealer has a 10-value card. However, even if the dealer does have a 10-value card, it is still unlikely that they will have a blackjack.

Early Surrender or Late Surrender

If a player believes they will not win, they can choose to surrender their hand before the dealer checks for blackjack. This is a risky move, but it is sometimes necessary to do so to avoid losing all of their money.


A push occurs when a player’s hand exceeds the total of the dealer’s hand, but neither party has busted. This is the simplest form of play in blackjack.

The game of blackjack can be a difficult and frustrating one, but it can be a rewarding experience as well. The key to winning is being able to make the correct decisions in each situation and knowing when to take advantage of the different betting opportunities. If you are not sure what to do, a friendly group or the dealer can usually give you some good advice.