An introduction to Blackjack

It is the most popular casino banking game in the world. The game may seem simple but their is plenty of strategy involved. Blackjack or Twenty-one is a staple of online casino games.

What is Blackjack?

In blackjack, each player begins with an initial two card hand. From that beginning, the player tries to reach the closest value of twenty-one without going over. The player is able to add single cards to their initial hand in an attempt to reach twenty-one. The card values play a role in the basic simple rules of the game. Cards 2 through 9 are each worth their appropriate value. In addition to the 10 cards, jacks, queens and kings are also assigned a value of ten. The ace cards can be valued at 1 or 11 with the value being determined by the player. A player will play their hand before the dealer plays. The competitor finishing closest to twenty-one without going over is the winner.


The origins of blackjack date all the way back to the 17th century. The basic concepts of the game appear to have originated in Spain and France over 400 years ago. In France, a game called Vingt En Un was played in French casinos. Vingt En Un translates to the term “twenty-one” in French.

The game wasn’t an immediate hit when it was introduced into Las Vegas casinos in the 1930′s. So, casinos added some bonuses to certain hands to draw more players. A player could obtain a 10-1 bonus with an ace of spades and a black jack (clubs or spades). This hand became known as “blackjack” and helped to increase the popularity of the game. While the bonuses were quickly abolished from the game, twenty-one became widely known as Blackjack in the years to come.

Card counting in Blackjack

While there is plenty of chance involved in Blackjack, there are some basic strategies that can be employed to have success in the game. Some of these strategies are pretty basic. For example, the player will generally “hold” their hand once they get to a certain number to avoid going over. A player will rarely attempt to add another card once their hand is at 17 or higher.

A more complex strategy in Blackjack involves card counting. In card counting, the player keeps track of the ratio of high cards to low cards. A player can gain an advantage of up to 2% over the house through the use of proper card counting techniques.

Card counting helps the player in a couple of important ways. First, the player is able to determine which cards are left in the deck. This helps the player develop his strategy. Second, the player can make aggressive bet amounts based on the cards that are remaining in the deck.

While mental card counting is legal in casinos, the practice is frowned upon by most casino operators. If a player is viewed to be a card counter, the casino will take steps to ban the player from the property.