Things You Should Know Before Playing Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino card game played by two players against the dealer. The goal of the game is to reach a total of 21 or to go closest to 21, without going over 21 (known as busting).

There are many variations on this classic casino game, but the basic idea remains the same. A player receives cards face up and can make decisions about how to play them, based on their hand and the dealer’s upcard.

The game is a popular choice for beginners, but there are some things you should know before playing blackjack. These include the rules of the game, the different options available and how to play them.

Using Basic Strategy

One of the best ways to improve your odds at blackjack is to use basic strategy. This involves analyzing the dealer’s up card and making decisions based on your own hand. This strategy can be found in books and online and will help you decide whether you should hit, stand or double down.

Splitting a Pair

When you have a pair of aces, for instance, it may be worth splitting them into two separate hands. This allows you to hit more cards and increase your chances of winning.

It also makes it easier to play more than one hand at a time.

Counting the Cards

When you are playing blackjack, you should always keep track of how many cards are left in the shoe. This helps you to see how close the dealer is to busting and gives you an idea of when you should make your next move.

You should also keep track of your running count. This is the number of cards you have in your hand right now, and it should be divided by the total amount of decks that are still in the shoe to get an overall picture of how close the dealer is to busting.

The dealer will then show their hole card to the entire table. If the dealer has a hand of 16 or less, they must hit; if they have 17 or more, they must stand.


When the dealer has an ace, they can offer players insurance – a side bet that pays 2-1 if they end up with blackjack. This is a tempting bet, but it is only worth taking if you are prepared to lose your original bet if the dealer does not have blackjack.

If the dealer has a blackjack, they will call this and pay out the players’ bets plus the insurance price. This is a sucker bet as the chance of the dealer having blackjack is only about 9%, but it can be a good way to boost your bankroll.

A Bet Limit

Experienced blackjack players understand the importance of setting a winning and losing limit before they begin a hand. This way, they can stop playing as soon as their limits are reached.

This is especially important when you are new to the game and have no idea how to play it. This will help you avoid making mistakes that can cost you money.