Getting in the Game

BlackJack is a very popular casino game involving a full deck of cards. Cards 2-10 count at their face value, face cards count as 10, and aces count as 1 or 11 depending on what helps you the most. The point of the game is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 without going over.

Basic Rules

All players must make their bets before any cards are passed out. If the player goes over 21, they "bust", which means they automatically lose and their bet is taken by the dealer. If the player gets closer to 21 than the dealer, or the dealer busts, the player wins and receives an amount equal to their bet from the dealer. If the player receives a Blackjack(a face card or 10 and an ace on the first two cards), then they receive an even higher payout(typically 3/2), and win automatically unless the dealer also has a Blackjack.


The game begins with each player receiving two cards face-up and the dealer receiving one card face-up and one card face down. The player has two basic moves. They can either "hit" and receive another card or stay and keep their current score. The dealer has a specific set of rules that they must follow, usually they must hit on soft 17(17 involving an ace counting as 11) and anything below. Because the dealer's moves are based on predetermined rules and are not affected by the player's, the player's cards are placed face-up.

The basic and most widely used form of Blackjack will be described in regards to strategy. Multiple decks are used (usually five), Blackjack pays out 3/2 and the dealer hits on soft 17 and anything below.

Basic strategy will be discussed on the Hit/Stay page and more advanced strategy will be discussed on the Double/Split page.