Blackjack has long been a staple of casinos and has enjoyed continued success among both novices and professional players. In part, this is because blackjack is an easy game to learn, but takes both skill and luck to master. Few casino sites are complete without solid blackjack offerings, and there are great many that provide a wide range of classic and modern takes on this king of card games.

The basic objective of blackjack is to obtain a higher point total than the dealer without going over 21; exceeding 21 is a "bust," and you will lose the game. After placing an initial wager, you will receive two cards that are face-up at the beginning of each hand; the dealer will also receive two cards but one will be face-up, and the other face-down. With each turn, you will need to decide how you will proceed. There are several options:

  1. Hit — You take an additional card.
  2. Stand — You elect not to take any more cards.
  3. Split — You divide your current hand into two hands.
  4. Double Down — You take one card without the option of taking any more.

The dealer must hit on any hand with a value under 16; you have the option of hitting, standing, or doubling down on each turn. You may only split when you are dealt a pair of the same card (two aces, for example). As long as your card total remains under 21, you are still in the game.

Once you (and all other participants) are satisfied with your hand, the dealer will reveal their facedown card, concluding the round. Remember that Aces are worth either 1 or 11 (it's up to you to decide), face cards are worth 10, and all additional cards retain their pip value.

Strategy in blackjack involves knowing when to make the most appropriate move. Whether you should hit, stand, split, or surrender depends on a long list of probabilities. Card experts have calculated the most likely outcomes for any given hand, and have also developed detailed blackjack game guides and strategy charts for players looking to improve their game. You can find many online, and memorizing these will improve your likelihood of winning.

Of course, there are plenty of variants on the traditional form of blackjack, and you can learn more about the specific rules of the type of blackjack you're playing when reviewing a casino site and their game offerings. Some of the common blackjack permutations you'll find include: Vegas Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, Blackjack Sidebet, and Micro Limit Blackjack.

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