Basic Strategy in Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the few casino games that requires skill and strategy to win. Blind luck is important as well, but it can only take you so far.

Players are dealt two cards and aim to get closer to 21 than the dealer, without exceeding it. A king, queen or jack is worth 10 points, while all other numbered cards are worth their numerical value.

Basic strategy

Blackjack basic strategy is a set of optimal playing decisions that will reduce the house edge in the game. It is easy to learn and memorize, and can be used by players both online and in brick-and-mortar casinos. However, some novice players misunderstand it, and make incorrect plays that cost them money over time. For example, they may deviate from the correct moves when they have a ten-value card against a dealer’s up card, believing that the dealer always has a ten.

Using the correct basic strategy can put you at less than a 1% disadvantage under most playing conditions. However, it’s important to remember that the strategy cannot guarantee you a win every hand. It also doesn’t cover side bets, which can eat into your profits.


Blackjack (also known as black jack) is the most popular casino banking game worldwide. It is part of a family of games that includes European games such as Vingt-et-un and pontoon, and the Russian game Ochko. The game is a comparing card game and is played against the dealer.

Side bets are wagers placed on specific cards in the blackjack hand. The most common side bet is insurance, which pays half of the initial stake if the dealer has an ace face up. Other side bets include pair of aces, which pays 10:1, and match of the suits, which pays 4:1. While these bets can be lucrative, they should not be used as a replacement for basic strategy. They are highly volatile and should only be used if the player has a large enough bankroll to support them.


In blackjack, a hand is either soft or hard depending on the presence and value of an ace. If an ace can be counted as one or eleven, it is considered a soft hand. Other hands are considered hard hands.

Generally, soft totals are preferred over hard totals because they allow players to draw additional cards without the risk of busting. However, these hands can be misplayed if the dealer has a weak up card showing.

Some blackjack games offer insurance or even money as side wagers. While these bets can increase the player’s winning potential, they should never be used as a substitute for basic strategy. Moreover, the house edge for these side bets is usually much higher than that of blackjack. Therefore, only a skilled card counter should play these bets.

Dealer’s up card

The dealer’s up card is the card that the casino dealer holds face up when they first deal out their cards. The dealer will check this card to see if they have a blackjack before anyone plays their hand. The dealer will also offer insurance or even money, but a basic strategy player should always decline these side bets. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer by getting a total of 21 on your first two cards. A dealer’s blackjack trumps all player hands except for players who have a blackjack themselves. This is known as a tie (push) and the bets are returned to the players without any adjustment. The game is traditionally played with a single deck of Spanish baraja playing cards.


Insurance in blackjack is a side bet that can be placed against the dealer’s up card. It pays out 3:1 if the dealer has a blackjack, and it is an option in most casino games. While insurance bets can make money for some players, they are not worth the cost over time. Ideally, players should stick to basic strategy and avoid this sucker bet altogether.

Most popular card counting systems recommend that players only take insurance when the true count is +4 and indicates a deck rich in Tens. However, this is not always practical in a live casino, where the true count can be difficult to determine. This is why some people still find taking insurance a good idea, especially with the recent surge in tables paying 6 to 5. Nevertheless, this side bet should be avoided when possible.

By admin1989