Casino Blackjack: Rules of the Game

Player draws another card and more if he wishes. The North American game of Blackjack, also known as 21, has been one of the most popular casino games of the last hundred years and has spread throughout the world. In the modern game, a blackjack refers to any hand of an ace plus a ten or face card regardless of suits or colors. For that information, just use our Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine. If you have a lot of low denomination chips in front of you at the table, you should trade them for the equivalent higher value chips instead. Blackjack Blueprint — A good book covering everything from Basic Strategy, through several counting systems and on to advanced techniques and team play. The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September

How to play

Part 1 – Blackjack Basics

For example, my simple strategy says to stand on 12 against a 2, when it is mathematically better to hit. If you want to learn a strategy that is correct all the time you should use the appropriate basic strategy for the set of rules you are playing. Here are some comments of clarification. A "hard" hand is one that either has no aces, or has aces that are forced to count as point, lest the hand bust. A "soft" hand is one with at least one ace, which may still count as one or eleven points. With a hard 10 or 11, double if you have more points than the dealer, treating a dealer ace as 11 points.

Specifically, double with 10 against a 2 to 9, and with 11 against 2 to If the strategy says to double, but you have three or more cards, or table rules don't allow soft doubling, then hit, except stand with a soft If the strategy says to surrender 16 vs. If the strategy says to "not split," then treat the hand has a hard total of 8, 10, or 20, according to the pair in question. A reader named Jeff provided another table of my simple strategy, with exceptions in small print.

Details about the Wizard's Simple Strategy can be found in my Blackjack appendix See my Blackjack House Edge Calculator to determine the house edge under 6, possible rule combinations. Following is a list of some common rule variations and the effect on the player's expected return compared to standard U.

Rule Variations Rule Effect Single deck 0. Beware Short Pays on a Blackjack More and more tables are showing up that pay less than the full 3 to 2 on a blackjack.

Most of these tables pay 6 to 5, but some even money and 7 to 5 tables are known to exist. In my opinion, only games that pay 3 to 2 deserve to be called "blackjack," the rest fall under "21" games, including Super Fun 21 and Spanish Regardless of the other rules, you should demand nothing less than 3 to 2 blackjack.

You should always check the felt to be sure, and if the felt doesn't say, look for a sign. If nothing says the win on a blackjack, then ask. Three popular bad strategies encountered at the blackjack table are: All three are very bad strategies. Following are my specific comments on each of them, including the house edge under Atlantic City rules dealer stands on soft 17, split up to 4 hands, double after split, double any two cards of 0.

For my analysis of this strategy I assumed the player would never hit a hard 12 or more. All other decisions were according to correct basic strategy. This "never bust" strategy results in a house edge of 3. For my analysis of this strategy I assumed the player would always hit 16 or less and stand on17 or more, including a soft The player never doubled or split, since the dealer is not allowed to do so.

This "mimic the dealer" strategy results in a house edge of 5. Assume a ten in the hole: For this strategy I first figured out the optimal basic strategy under this assumption.

If the dealer had an ace up, then I reverted to proper basic strategy, because the dealer would have peeked for blackjack, making a 10 impossible.

This "assume a ten" strategy results in a house edge of Wizard of Odds uses cookies, this enables us to provide you with a personalised experience. More Info Got It! Enter your email address below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter along with other special announcements from The Wizard of Odds!

The Wizard of Odds. Total dependent expected return table for an infinite deck 2a: Probabilities of dealer blackjack after peek 2b: Probabilities of dealer blackjack before peek 3a: Exceptions to single-deck S17 basic strategy 3b: Exceptions to double-deck S17 basic strategy 3c: Exceptions to single-deck H17 basic strategy 4: Blackjack standard deviation details 5: Infinite deck expected return by player hand and dealer upcard 6: Fine points of when to surrender 7: Effect of card removal 8: Analysis of blackjack side bets 9: Composition-dependent expected returns for 1 to 8 decks Continuous shuffling machine vs.

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Wizard's Simple Strategy