Blackjack player’s try to get closer to 21 than the dealer. This requires blackjack players to know when to hit and when to stay. Successful blackjack employ strategies that lead to winning hands.

Check out the game rules first. Then, read about a simple strategy that you can employ.

  1. Blackjack is played with at least 1 full 52-card deck.
  2. We count aces as 1 or 11. 2-10 are counted at face value. Suited cards: queens, jacks, and kings count as 10.
  3. The sum of the cards make up the hand. For example, an ace (11) and a 10 = 21. A 3 and a 4 = 7. A 21-hand that includes an ace and a 10 is the best possible hand in blackjack.
  4. After wagers, the dealer tosses 2 cards to each player as well as himself. The dealer sets his second card face down.
  5. If a dealer shows an ace, players can purchase “insurance”. Insurance is a side bet that pays 2 /1. Players may only wager half their original wager. Insurance counters the possibility that the dealer’s down card is a 10.
  6. After offering players the chance to purchase insurance and the dealer shows an ace or ten, the dealer peeks to see if he has blackjack. If he does, he turns over the card.
  7. If the dealer has blackjack, all non-blackjack hands lose. The dealer pays out insurance.
  8. The dealer distributes cards from left to right. Once the player has her cards, she must choose one of the following:
    • Stand: Player decides to not draw any further.
    • Hit: Player draws a card. The player can draw as many cards as she wishes until the player goes over 21. 
    • Double: Player doubles her bet and gets a single card. Most players prefer to double on 11.
    • Split: If the player has a pair, or any two 10-point cards, then she may double her bet and separate her cards into two individual hands. The dealer gives each card a second card. The player plays each hand individually, standing or hitting depending on each card situation.
    • Surrender: The player forfeits half her wager, keeps the other half, and does not play out the hand. Surrender rules vary.
  1. After each player has had a turn, the dealer turns over the down card. If the dealer has 16 or less, the dealer must hit. In some cases, the dealer must also hit on a “soft” 17: an ace and cards that total 6 points.
  2. If the dealer goes over 21, any player who didn’t already bust wins.
  3. If the dealer doesn’t bust, high point total wins.

Simple Blackjack Strategy

Taking cues from the dealer’s up card is a simple way to play blackjack. For example, if your total is 17 and the dealer shows a 5, you should stand.

If you show 16 and the dealer’s up card shows an 8, you might want to hit. The dealer could have a 17, a 9 on the down card, or an 18, a ten on the down card, or even a 19, an ace on the down card.

If you get a couple of tens, you should consider a split. Remember, you must double your bet to split, though. You should always double on 11. The worst thing that can happen is you get an ace. That takes the total to 12. At that point, you must make hard decisions based on the dealer’s up card.

Blackjack Money Management Strategies

Some blackjack players make big money playing the game they love. If you’re new to the game, take it easy at first. Once you hone your skills, you should increase the amount you wager.