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Blackjack : Game Tips & Strategies

Blackjack is played with a standard deck and usually no wild cards. All face cards have a value of 10. Aces have a value of either one or 11 points; if counting the ace as 11 would put the hand over 21, count the ace as 1. Other cards are worth their face value.

After each game has been played, the used cards are shuffled back into the deck.

If the total of your cards exceeds 21, you 'bust' and lose your bet. If you have the same total as the dealer, from 17 and up, it is a push. The dealer must draw cards until he has at least 17, and must stand at 17 or higher. Hence the term "17 against the dealer". If the dealer gets 16, he must take another card. The dealer may not decide whether or not to draw a card based on your hand, but must abide by the existing dealer rules.

At some casinos, when both your hand and the dealer's hand is the same, it's a 'push' or a tie, which results in the return of your bet. If you get Blackjack (which is a perfect 21, made up of two cards, an ace and a face card), you win automatically, regardless of what the dealer has. At other casinos, in the first case you loose and in the second you should wait the dealer and if both your hand and the dealer's hand is 21 you loose again.

The dealer will always 'draw' cards to 16 and will always stand on 17 (depending on casino rules), including a soft 17 (Ace and a 6). If the dealer busts, the game is over and you win. Once the dealer stands, the hands are compared and the hand closest to 21 is paid. The simplest way to get exactly 21 is to hold an ace and either a face card or a ten.

Always remember that when you play blackjack it's you against the dealer. The two variables that determine how you should play your hand are the dealer's upcard (the card showing, face up) and your hand. With more experience, you'll also be able to use the information of all the cards that you see on the table (yours, the dealer and your fellow players) to make a more informed decision on how much to bet and how to play the hand.

Now that you know the basics, you can play our free Blackjack game.

Blackjack School Lessons
Lesson 1: Blackjack History
Where was the game born? And who named it BlackJack?
Lesson 2: Blackjack Rules
All you need to know before getting started.
Lesson 3: Blackjack Strategy
The many strategies to get a winning edge over the casino, besides getting "Rain Man" to play for you of course!
Lesson 4: Blackjack Vocabulary
Speak like a pro. Talk the talk, the walk is up to you!
Lesson 5: Blackjack Tips
What you should keep in mind, and even a little more on strategy.
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