The dealer's card which faces up. Welcome to the internet's top site for online blackjack. Only contains two cards. For card counting to work, you have to play a lot of the shoe before the shoe reshuffles. With that said, whatever strategy you choose to learn, we recommend sticking with ONLY those materials. Blackjack , also known as twenty-one , is a comparing card game between usually several players and a dealer, where each player in turn competes against the dealer, but players do not play against each other.
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Advantage play techniques can sometimes identify such situations. In a multi-hand, face-up, single deck game, it is possible to establish whether insurance is a good bet simply by observing the other cards on the table after the deal; even if there are just 2 player hands exposed, and neither of their two initial cards is a ten, then 16 in 47 of the remaining cards are tens, which is larger than 1 in 3, so insurance is a good bet.
This is an elementary example of the family of advantage play techniques known as card counting. Bets to insure against blackjack are slightly less likely to be advantageous than insurance bets in general, since the ten in the player's blackjack makes it less likely that the dealer has blackjack too.
The rules of casino blackjack are generally determined by law or regulation, which establishes certain rule variations allowed at the discretion of the casino. The rules of any particular game are generally posted on or near the table, failing which there is an expectation that casino staff will provide them on request.
Over variations of blackjack have been documented. As with all casino games, blackjack incorporates a "house edge", a statistical advantage for the casino that is built into the game. The advantage of the dealer's position in blackjack relative to the player comes from the fact that if the player busts, the player loses, regardless of whether the dealer subsequently busts.
The loss rate of players who deviate from basic strategy through ignorance is generally expected to be greater. Surrender, for those games that allow it, is usually not permitted against a dealer blackjack; if the dealer's first card is an ace or ten, the hole card is checked to make sure there is no blackjack before surrender is offered.
This rule protocol is consequently known as "late" surrender. The alternative, "early" surrender, gives player the option to surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack, or in a no-hole-card game. Early surrender is much more favorable to the player than late surrender. Most medium-strength hands should be surrendered against a dealer Ace if the hole card has not been checked. For late surrender, however, while it is tempting to opt for surrender on any hand which will probably lose, the correct strategy is to only surrender on the very worst hands, because having even a one in four chance of winning the full bet is better than losing half the bet and pushing the other half, as entailed by surrendering.
With no hole card, it is almost never correct basic strategy to double or split against a dealer ten or ace, since a dealer blackjack will result in the loss of the split and double bets; the only exception is with a pair of A's against a dealer 10, where it is still correct to split.
In all other cases, a stand, hit or surrender is called for. For instance, holding 11 against a dealer 10, the correct strategy is to double in a hole card game where the player knows the dealer's second card is not an ace , but to hit in a no hole card game.
The no hole card rule adds approximately 0. The "original bets only" rule variation appearing in certain no hole card games states that if the player's hand loses to a dealer blackjack, only the mandatory initial bet "original" is forfeited, and all optional bets, meaning doubles and splits, are pushed. Each blackjack game has a basic strategy , which is playing a hand of any total value against any dealer's up-card, which loses the least money to the house in the long term.
An example of basic strategy is shown in the table below, and includes the following parameters: The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations. For example, if the above game used the hit on soft 17 rule, common in Las Vegas Strip casinos, only 6 cells of the table would need to be changed: A, surrender 15 or 17 vs.
A, double on A,7 vs. Also when playing basic strategy never take insurance or "even money. Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size. Most blackjack games have a house edge of between 0. Casino promotions such as complimentary matchplay vouchers or 2: Basic strategy is based upon a player's point total and the dealer's visible card.
Players may be able to improve on this decision by considering the precise composition of their hand, not just the point total. For example, players should ordinarily stand when holding 12 against a dealer 4. However, in a single deck game, players should hit if their 12 consists of a 10 and a 2. The presence of a 10 in the player's hand has two consequences: However, even when basic and composition-dependent strategy lead to different actions, the difference in expected reward is small, and it becomes even smaller with more decks.
Using a composition-dependent strategy rather than basic strategy in a single deck game reduces the house edge by 4 in 10,, which falls to 3 in , for a six-deck game.
Blackjack has been a high-profile target for advantage players since the s. Advantage play is the attempt to win more using skills such as memory, computation, and observation. These techniques, while generally legal, can be powerful enough to give the player a long-term edge in the game, making them an undesirable customer for the casino and potentially leading to ejection or blacklisting if they are detected.
The main techniques of advantage play in blackjack are as follows:. During the course of a blackjack shoe, the dealer exposes the dealt cards. Careful accounting of the exposed cards allows a player to make inferences about the cards which remain to be dealt. These inferences can be used in the following ways:. A card counting system assigns a point score to each rank of card e. When a card is exposed, a counter adds the score of that card to a running total, the 'count'. A card counter uses this count to make betting and playing decisions according to a table which they have learned.
The count starts at 0 for a freshly shuffled deck for "balanced" counting systems. Unbalanced counts are often started at a value which depends on the number of decks used in the game.
Blackjack's house edge is usually between 0. Card counting is most rewarding near the end of a complete shoe when as few as possible cards remain. Single-deck games are therefore particularly susceptible to card counting. As a result, casinos are more likely to insist that players do not reveal their cards to one another in single-deck games.
In games with more decks of cards, casinos limit penetration by ending the shoe and reshuffling when one or more decks remain undealt. Casinos also sometimes use a shuffling machine to reintroduce the exhausted cards every time a deck has been played. Card counting is legal and is not considered cheating as long as the counter isn't using an external device, : Sometimes a casino might ban a card counter from the property.
The use of external devices to help counting cards is illegal in all US states that license blackjack card games. Techniques other than card counting can swing the advantage of casino blackjack toward the player. All such techniques are based on the value of the cards to the player and the casino as originally conceived by Edward O. Shuffle tracking requires excellent eyesight and powers of visual estimation but is more difficult to detect since the player's actions are largely unrelated to the composition of the cards in the shoe.
Arnold Snyder's articles in Blackjack Forum magazine brought shuffle tracking to the general public. His book, The Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook, mathematically analyzed the player edge available from shuffle tracking based on the actual size of the tracked slug. Patterson also developed and published a shuffle-tracking method for tracking favorable clumps of cards and cutting them into play and tracking unfavorable clumps of cards and cutting them out of play.
The player can also gain an advantage by identifying cards from distinctive wear markings on their backs, or by hole carding observing during the dealing process the front of a card dealt face down. These methods are generally legal although their status in particular jurisdictions may vary. Many blackjack tables offer a side bet on various outcomes including: The side wager is typically placed in a designated area next to the box for the main wager. A player wishing to wager on a side bet is usually required to place a wager on blackjack.
Some games require that the blackjack wager should equal or exceed any side bet wager. A non-controlling player of a blackjack hand is usually permitted to place a side bet regardless of whether the controlling player does so. The house edge for side bets is generally far higher than for the blackjack game itself. Nonetheless side bets can be susceptible to card counting.
A side count, designed specifically for a particular side bet, can improve the player edge. Only a few side bets, like "Lucky Ladies", offer a sufficient win rate to justify the effort of advantage play.
In team play it is common for team members to be dedicated toward counting only a sidebet using a specialized count. Blackjack can be played in tournament form. Players start with an equal numbers of chips; the goal is to finish among the top chip-holders.
Depending on the number of competitors, tournaments may be held over several rounds, with one or two players qualifying from each table after a set number of deals to meet the qualifiers from the other tables in the next round.
Another tournament format, Elimination Blackjack , drops the lowest-stacked player from the table at pre-determined points in the tournament. Good strategy for blackjack tournaments can differ from non-tournament strategy because of the added dimension of choosing the amount to be wagered. As in poker tournaments, players pay the casino an initial entry fee to participate in a tournament, and re-buys are sometimes permitted. Some casinos, as well as general betting outlets, provide blackjack among a selection of casino-style games at electronic consoles.
Video blackjack game rules are generally more favorable to the house; e. Video and online blackjack games deal each coup from a fresh shoe, rendering card counting much less effective.
Blackjack is a member of a large family of traditional card games played recreationally all around the world. Most of these games have not been adapted for casino play. Furthermore, the casino game development industry is very active in producing blackjack variants, most of which are ultimately not adopted for widespread use in casinos.
The following are the prominent twenty-one themed comparing card games which have been adapted or invented for use in casinos and have become established in the gambling industry. Twenty-one or "Siebzehn und Vier" German: An ace can only count as eleven, but two aces count as a blackjack. It is mostly played in private circles and barracks. A British variation is called "Pontoon", the name being probably a corruption of "Vingt-et-un".
Blackjack is also featured in various television shows. Here are a few shows inspired by the game. In , professional gamblers around the world were invited to nominate great blackjack players for admission into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Seven members were inducted in , with new people inducted every year after. Members include Edward O. Thorp , author of the s book Beat the Dealer which proved that the game could be beaten with a combination of basic strategy and card counting ; Ken Uston , who popularized the concept of team play; Arnold Snyder , author and editor of the Blackjack Forum trade journal; Stanford Wong , author and popularizer of the "Wonging" technique of only playing at a positive count, and several others.
Novels have been written around blackjack and the possibility of winning games via some kind of method. An almost identical theme was shown in the Canadian film The Last Casino. In The Hangover , an American comedy, four friends try to count cards to win back enough money to secure the release of their friend from the clutches of a notorious criminal they stole from the previous night while blacked out.
A central part of the plot of Rain Man is that Raymond Dustin Hoffman , an autistic savant , is able to win at blackjack by counting cards. This movie displays different blackjack lingo and risky moves that have high rewards. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not talking about the face value, like the 6 on a 6 of diamonds.
We're talking about three numbers that you'll use to count cards. That's pretty much all there is to this basic card counting Blackjack strategy. A higher count means you're more likely to hit a Blackjack or be dealt a face card.
A lower count means you're likely to get unfavorable cards. Use this information to win big at the tables. In order to help you out along the way, we have developed a great game to help you count cards like a pro. Below, you can practice keeping count and learn as you go along.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, enjoyed by huge numbers of people every day, both in land-based and online casinos. The history of blackjack is a long and complex one though, as well as one steeped in myth and folklore.
Therefore, it is tough to pin down the exact moment when blackjack - or any of its potential predecessors - was conceived. What is known is this though: There are others though who think that the game dates back even further, possibly even back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. There are other theories as to the origins of blackjack though. One of the most widely supported is that it originated in France in the 18th century, with a game known as Vingt-Un. This game saw betting rounds between each card being dealt, as well as the dealer being the only person allowed to double down, but the basic object of the game was still essentially the same as the blackjack played in casinos today.
References to this game can be found in the book Round Games with Cards, which was written by Baxter Wray in , and in this book he describes the game as a popular one. Even Wray fails to pin down the exact origins of the game though, once again suggesting that Vingt-Un had predecessors.
He says in the book "Its name would seem to imply that it is of French origin; but in reference to this, as well as in regard to the date of its introduction into the country, we have no definite details. Regardless of where the original form of blackjack originated though, it can then be shown that the game gradually spread around both France and Spain.
It would then migrate to the casinos of the United States, where it was referred to as twenty-one - a name still commonly used to refer to the game today. Blackjack is one of the classic casino favorites that you're bound to find at every site, but sometimes you'll discover a new aspect that you're not certain about.
For that reason, we've collated this list of frequently asked questions so that you can focus on enjoying your game and leave any queries you have behind. The first place to look is on the pages of our website. We thoroughly research each online blackjack casino to be sure it has the best graphics, highest payouts, great bonuses and is safe and secure for your protection. Don't rest your fate upon the outcome of a simple Google search. Also look for a site that offers both real cash and free play - free blackjack games allow you to 'test drive' the casino before taking the plunge with a real bankroll.
A computer or mobile internet device and an internet connection are all you need to begin. You will have to download the casino's software, or for Mac and iPhone users, play at online blackjack casinos that offer web-based, no download software platforms.
You get each online casino's blackjack software at that casino. They are not interchangeable so if you want to play at a different real money blackjack casino, you have to download the new casino's software too. You can also play at no download online casinos but you still have to complete a player registration form first. Don't worry though, the registration process if free and it only takes a couple of minutes.
Yes, most online casinos with real money games also offer free online blackjack games so you can get used to the game, develop your strategy and have fun without risk. However, even though these games look, sound, and feel just like the real thing, you cannot keep any of the winnings that pile up while playing for fun.
For the sake of brevity, most of the table rules are abbreviated. Knowing what is allowed and not allowed will make the game easier for you. Some of the abbreviations used can seem like foreign languages until you get used to them.
The most common ones are:. The dealer can also bust under the same circumstances, which is a great thing for you. Insurance is a side bet, of up to half your original bet and can be made when the dealer's "upcard" is an ace. If the dealer has a natural 21 your insurance bet pays out at 2: This might sound negative, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. When early surrender is allowed, you can surrender your hand if the dealer is showing an Ace and only lose half your bet instead of all of it.
If you surrender early you only lose half your bet, so in the long run it seems to make a lot of sense to get out if your cards are bad. However, it is always a risk because even what seem to be really bad hands can end up winning if played right, and the dealer busts. There are no sure things on the casino floor. In general, online casinos use the same rules as live casinos when it comes to blackjack hence, the same strategy works. Having said that, bonuses and loyalty programs offer you chances to make up for the house's built-in edge.
Just because lots of players will lose in the long run, doesn't mean you have to! The online casinos are heavily regulated by all countries that allow them.
Do yourself a favor and use our reviews to find your next real money blackjack casino and avoid the less scrupulous alternatives. Yes, but it is just as hard, and actually impossible at an online blackjack casino because of the speed that the computer plays. You assign a value to types of cards in the deck with a positive or negative value.
Then you keep a running value as cards are dealt out giving you a more accurate reading of what types of cards are left in the deck. Check out our blackjack card counting guide and trainer for more. There are many good strategies for playing blackjack, both online and off. You can and should use any of the common strategies at online blackjack casinos, whether you're playing for free or for real money.
You won't gain an edge over the house, but you'll reduce their edge to the point where the game is nearly perfectly fair. The sum of all money that you have access to for gambling purposes. Keep this separate from the college fund! This is the first card drawn from the top of the deck. A hand that is worth more than A bust is always your fault since your starting two cards can never be worth more than Card counting is never effective online. The percentage of cards that have been in play since the previous shuffle.
Important information for card counters. The choice to double your original bet typically with a strong hand with the limitation that you must accept exactly one more card. This cannot be performed on a hand that contains more than two cards. Betting the same for each hand. No variation in bet size. Typically considered a bad strategy, though it makes sense if you aren't counting cards. A listing of known card counters referred to as a black book which circulates among casino security workers in brick and mortar casinos.
It is named after Griffin Investigations: A hand that can only have one value — either without any aces, or a hand with a high enough value that any aces can only be worth 1. When there is only one player playing at the blackjack table. Most online games are played heads-up. The house's statistical advantage. With all other things being equal, a lower house edge is better from the player's perspective. In blackjack, your ability determines the house edge. A hand that does not require any action to be worth Only contains two cards.
This hand cannot lose. Any hand that contains one or more aces that can be worth either 1 or Since this hand has a degree of flexibility, it protects you from busting after a hit. The decision to forfeit a blackjack hand and have half of your wager returned to you. This cannot be performed after any other action e. It's just based on receiving an unfortunate hand at the start. The dealer's card which faces up. It provides valuable information for any player attempting to follow basic strategy or count cards because it clues you into the house's prospects.
Unfortunately the online casino that you have clicked on does not accept USA players. Top Rated US Casino. Play Now Read Review. Compare Added to compare. Compare up to 3 casinos. Compare Casinos 2 max Reset Remove all. How to Play Blackjack like a Pro. Improving Your Chances Our downloadable basic strategy guide will give you lots of pointers as to when you should hit and when you should stand or double down.