Blackjack 

Blackjack is the most widely played casino card game in the world today.  Blackjack is also sometimes referred to as twenty-one. The game is played using one or more decks of 52 cards. 

Blackjack is one of the few games where it is possible for a player to beat the house.  If you know the rules and have an understanding of the strategy needed to succeed at blackjack, you stand a chance of finishing your games in the black.  

When playing blackjack you do not play against the other players.  Instead you are playing against the dealer.  The object of the game is to beat the dealer.  You can do this in several ways:  If a player gets 21 points on the first 2 cards it is called a blackjack or natural.  The player wins if the dealer is without a dealer blackjack on his first 2 cards.  Another way to win is to end with a score higher than the dealer, but not exceeding 21.  The third way to win is the let the dealer continue to draw additional cards until his hand exceeds 21. 

When playing blackjack you are dealt 2 cards. They may be either up or down depending on where you are playing. The dealer also receives 2 cards and usually his are 1 face up and 1 face down.  You total your two cards to determine the value of your hand. 

After determining the initial value of your hand, you have the option to draw additional cards to improve you hand.  This is called a hit. Or, if you are satisfied with your total then you can stay with your current hand or stand.  After each player has completed his hand and if no player has reached 21 and if all the players have not busted, then the dealer will reveal his hidden card.  He will draw cards until his total reaches at least 17.  Players win if they have not busted and their total is higher than the dealer’s score, but not above 21.  If the player and dealer have the same total (excluding blackjack) the player usually does not win or lose money on that hand.   

The rules for blackjack are simple.  The strategy for winning at blackjack involves knowing the odds, knowing whether to hit (get more cards) or stand (stay with your current hand). The great thing about learning some blackjack strategy is the more tips you learn the better you will become at the game.  Knowing a few strategy tips can dramatically improve your game. 

If you are a beginner at playing blackjack, there are sites online offering interactive blackjack tutorials.  Once you are familiar with the basics of playing blackjack you can upgrade to more advanced blackjack sites. There are sites online where you can plan for free to get some practice.  The rules are easy to learn.  It takes time, perseverance and practice to master some of the strategies.   

After you feel comfortable with the game you can decide if you want to play for real money either online or at a casino.