The "original bets only" rule variation appearing in certain no hole card games states that if the player's hand loses to a dealer blackjack, only the mandatory initial bet "original" is forfeited, and all optional bets, meaning doubles and splits, are pushed. Each blackjack game has a basic strategy , which prescribes the optimal method of playing any hand against any dealer up-card so that the long-term house advantage the expected loss of the player is minimized.
An example of a basic strategy is shown in the table below, which applies to a game with the following specifications: . The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations. For example, to use the table above on a game with the stand on soft 17 rule which favors the player, and is typically found only at higher-limit tables today only 6 cells would need to be changed: hit on 11 vs.
A, hit on 15 vs. A, stand on 17 vs. A, stand on A,7 vs. Regardless of the specific rule variations, taking insurance or "even money" is never the correct play under basic strategy. Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size. Most blackjack games have a house edge of between 0.
Casino promotions such as complimentary match play vouchers or blackjack payouts allow the player to acquire an advantage without deviating from basic strategy. Basic strategy is based upon a player's point total and the dealer's visible card. Players may be able to improve on this decision by considering the precise composition of their hand, not just the point total. For example, players should ordinarily stand when holding 12 against a dealer 4.
However, in a single deck game, players should hit if their 12 consists of a 10 and a 2. The presence of a 10 in the player's hand has two consequences: . However, even when basic and composition-dependent strategy lead to different actions, the difference in expected reward is small, and it becomes even smaller with more decks. Using a composition-dependent strategy rather than basic strategy in a single deck game reduces the house edge by 4 in 10,, which falls to 3 in , for a six-deck game.
Blackjack has been a high-profile target for advantage players since the s. Advantage play is the attempt to win more using skills such as memory, computation, and observation. These techniques, while generally legal, can be powerful enough to give the player a long-term edge in the game, making them an undesirable customer for the casino and potentially leading to ejection or blacklisting if they are detected.
The main techniques of advantage play in blackjack are as follows:. During the course of a blackjack shoe, the dealer exposes the dealt cards. Careful accounting of the exposed cards allows a player to make inferences about the cards which remain to be dealt. These inferences can be used in the following ways:.
A card counting system assigns a point score to each rank of card e. When a card is exposed, a counter adds the score of that card to a running total, the 'count'. A card counter uses this count to make betting and playing decisions according to a table which they have learned. The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for "balanced" counting systems. Unbalanced counts are often started at a value which depends on the number of decks used in the game. Blackjack's house edge is usually between 0.
Card counting is most rewarding near the end of a complete shoe when as few as possible cards remain. Single-deck games are therefore particularly advantageous to the card counting player. As a result, casinos are more likely to insist that players do not reveal their cards to one another in single-deck games. In games with more decks of cards, casinos limit penetration by ending the shoe and reshuffling when one or more decks remain undealt.
Casinos also sometimes use a shuffling machine to reintroduce the exhausted cards every time a deck has been played. Card counting is legal and is not considered cheating as long as the counter is not using an external device,  : 6—7 but if a casino realizes players are counting, the casino might inform them that they are no longer welcome to play blackjack. Sometimes a casino might ban a card counter from the property. The use of external devices to help counting cards is illegal in all US states that license blackjack card games.
Techniques other than card counting can swing the advantage of casino blackjack toward the player. All such techniques are based on the value of the cards to the player and the casino as originally conceived by Edward O. Shuffle tracking requires excellent eyesight and powers of visual estimation but is more difficult to detect since the player's actions are largely unrelated to the composition of the cards in the shoe.
Arnold Snyder's articles in Blackjack Forum magazine brought shuffle tracking to the general public. His book, The Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook, mathematically analyzed the player edge available from shuffle tracking based on the actual size of the tracked slug. Jerry L. Patterson also developed and published a shuffle-tracking method for tracking favorable clumps of cards and cutting them into play and tracking unfavorable clumps of cards and cutting them out of play.
The player can also gain an advantage by identifying cards from distinctive wear markings on their backs, or by hole carding observing during the dealing process the front of a card dealt face down. These methods are generally legal although their status in particular jurisdictions may vary.
Many blackjack tables offer a side bet on various outcomes including: . The side wager is typically placed in a designated area next to the box for the main wager. A player wishing to wager on a side bet is usually required to place a wager on blackjack. Some games require that the blackjack wager should equal or exceed any side bet wager. A non-controlling player of a blackjack hand is usually permitted to place a side bet regardless of whether the controlling player does so.
The house edge for side bets is generally far higher than for the blackjack game itself. A side count, designed specifically for a particular side bet, can improve the player edge. Only a few side bets, like "Lucky Ladies", offer a sufficient win rate to justify the effort of advantage play. In team play it is common for team members to be dedicated toward counting only a sidebet using a specialized count. Blackjack can be played in tournament form.
Players start with an equal numbers of chips; the goal is to finish among the top chip-holders. Depending on the number of competitors, tournaments may be held over several rounds, with one or two players qualifying from each table after a set number of deals to meet the qualifiers from the other tables in the next round. Another tournament format, Elimination Blackjack , drops the lowest-stacked player from the table at pre-determined points in the tournament.
Good strategy for blackjack tournaments can differ from non-tournament strategy because of the added dimension of choosing the amount to be wagered. As in poker tournaments, players pay the casino an initial entry fee to participate in a tournament, and re-buys are sometimes permitted. Some casinos, as well as general betting outlets, provide blackjack among a selection of casino-style games at electronic consoles. Video blackjack game rules are generally more favorable to the house; e.
Video and online blackjack games generally deal each round from a fresh shoe i. Blackjack is a member of a large family of traditional card games played recreationally all around the world. Most of these games have not been adapted for casino play. Furthermore, the casino game development industry is very active in producing blackjack variants, most of which are ultimately not adopted for widespread use in casinos.
The following are the prominent twenty-one themed comparing card games which have been adapted or invented for use in casinos and have become established in the gambling industry. Blackjack is also featured in various television shows. Here are a few shows inspired by the game.
Examples of the many local traditional and recreational related, blackjack-like games include French Vingt-et-un "Twenty-One" and German Siebzehn und Vier "Seventeen and Four". Neither game allows splitting. An ace can only count as eleven, but two aces count as a blackjack. It is mostly played in private circles and barracks. The popular British member of the Vingt-Un family is called Pontoon , the name being probably a corruption of "Vingt-et-un". In , professional gamblers around the world were invited to nominate great blackjack players for admission into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
Seven members were inducted in , with new people inducted every year after. Members include Edward O. Thorp , author of the s book Beat the Dealer which proved that the game could be beaten with a combination of basic strategy and card counting ; Ken Uston , who popularized the concept of team play; Arnold Snyder , author and editor of the Blackjack Forum trade journal; Stanford Wong , author and popularizer of the "Wonging" technique of only playing at a positive count, and several others.
Novels have been written around blackjack and the possibility of winning games via some kind of method. An almost identical theme was shown in the Canadian film The Last Casino. In The Hangover , an American comedy, four friends try to count cards to win back enough money to secure the release of their friend from the clutches of a notorious criminal they stole from the previous night while blacked out.
A central part of the plot of Rain Man is that Raymond Dustin Hoffman , an autistic savant , is able to win at blackjack by counting cards. This movie displays different blackjack lingo and risky moves that have high rewards. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the gambling game.
For other uses, see Black Jack. Gambling card game. Blackjack example game. Main article: Advantage player. Main article: Card counting. Main article: Shuffle tracking. Main article: Blackjack Hall of Fame. Scarne's new complete guide to gambling Fully rev. Barcelona: Flor del Viento Ediciones. Journal of the American Statistical Association.
Retrieved May 21, Wizard of Odds Consulting, Inc. Retrieved April 30, Fine points of basic strategy in single-deck blackjack. Retrieved December 8, Retrieved December 19, Huntington Press. Archived from the original on October 7, Retrieved October 26, Shuffle Tracking Counts.
Blackjack Side Bets. Glossary of blackjack terms Card counting Shuffle track Hole carding. Munchkin Don Schlesinger Darryl Purpose. Banking games. Banking game Casino game Game of chance Game of skill Poker. Hidden categories: Harv and Sfn no-target errors Articles with short description Short description matches Wikidata Use mdy dates from June Articles with Curlie links.
Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. The decisions open to you will depend upon the cards you are dealt and the game variant you are playing.
Here are the options traditionally open to you in Blackjack:. You can request additional cards to improve your hand s. Cards will be drawn one at a time until the total hand value is 21 or higher. When the total value of your hand is 21 or lower, and can choose to stand and not to risk the chance of your hand s exceeding 21 in total value. In certain variants, when your first two cards have equal value eight-eight, jack-ten etc , you can make additional wagers equal to the starting bet and create a second hand with which to play against the dealer.
You may place an additional wager, equal to the starting bet, in exchange for just one more card for your hand s , after which you will automatically stand. In certain game variants, when the dealer's first card is an ace, you can wager half of your original bet amount and receive a payout if the dealer hits Blackjack. If the dealer does have Blackjack, you will break-even on the hand. If you have been dealt Blackjack, and the dealer is showing an ace, even money is a special type of insurance bet that can be made.
If you decide to take even money, the payout will be , regardless of whether the dealer has Blackjack or not. If you do not take even money, the hand will play out as normal. A number of factors can sometimes impact on your play - from internet connection issues to misclicks. While we can't foresee every problem that may impact you, there are a number of protections built into our software to help those players who may make decisions which are inadvertent or accidental, and which are considered outside the boundaries of normal play.
If you attempt to make one of the following decisions, our software will issue a warning, prompting you to double check if the action you indicated is your preferred choice:. However, while we don't recommend it, these warnings can be turned off. You can choose to do so when issued a warning by our software. If you have any questions about Blackjack, contact Support. All rights reserved. License No. Responsible Gaming Help EN.
Stars Rewards Promotions. Home How to Play How to Play. How to Play. Casino Races. Withdrawal Policy. Multi Currency. Terms and Conditions. Blackjack games The rules of Blackjack can be grasped within minutes. How to Split, Double Down and Surrender Your actions in Blackjack are not just limited to drawing cards or sticking with what you are initially dealt. These options include: Splitting In essence, splitting turns one hand into two, giving you more chances to win.
Splitting can occur in the following situations: You are dealt two starting cards of equal rank king-ten, six-six and so on. Both hands are then played independently and will win, lose or push on their own merit In some blackjack variants, you may split equal cards more than once Splitting also has restrictions when it comes to being dealt aces. Game Play Options You will be presented with a number of decisions to make during each round of Blackjack.
Here are the options traditionally open to you in Blackjack: Hit You can request additional cards to improve your hand s. Stand When the total value of your hand is 21 or lower, and can choose to stand and not to risk the chance of your hand s exceeding 21 in total value. Split In certain variants, when your first two cards have equal value eight-eight, jack-ten etc , you can make additional wagers equal to the starting bet and create a second hand with which to play against the dealer.
Double Down You may place an additional wager, equal to the starting bet, in exchange for just one more card for your hand s , after which you will automatically stand. Surrender In certain game variants, you may forfeit half of your bet and end the hand immediately. Insurance In certain game variants, when the dealer's first card is an ace, you can wager half of your original bet amount and receive a payout if the dealer hits Blackjack. Even Money If you have been dealt Blackjack, and the dealer is showing an ace, even money is a special type of insurance bet that can be made.
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