Blackjack 101

blackjack betting tips

Blackjack, or sometimes known as ‘21’ is one of the most popular card games in casinos. Its simplicity, as well as strategy based skill, makes it appealing to beginners and veterans of casinos alike. It is one of the favourites of Betting Tip Stars writers and when you don’t find us glued to the sports on TV you can find us trying our luck at beating the dealer and casino in this fun game. If you are new to Blackjack and want to know a few things about it before you take the plunge and sign up for an account with an online casino and play, then we have a nice breakdown of information all about the game.



The first historical mention of a game related to Blackjack was by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. He is famous for writing Don Quixote. Miguel was a notable gambler and in his story  “Rinconete y Cortadillo”, from Novelas Ejemplares, he talks about two men who try to cheat their way to riches in Seville. This was written in 19602, making it one of the earlier mentions of a betting game that is still played today!  That’s history!

When the game reached the USA, the name Blackjack was invented. To get people interested in playing they offered a special bonus which gave the player 10/1 odds if the player got an Ace and Picture card, adding up to 21 points, straight away. This was called a blackjack and eventually became the standard name for the game in the US. This 10/1 option is no longer part of the game, unfortunately!

Blackjack has long been a favourite of mathematicians as it is a game that can be predicted if you have strong enough powers of the mind. In the 1950’s and 1960’s many books were written about methods to win by ‘card counting’. This method has long been frowned upon by casinos and they will remove the players from games if they believe they are trying this technique.


How It Works

Blackjack is a beautifully simple game involving playing cards. There are usually multiple players at a single table. A dealer will give out two cards to each player and then two to himself. The players then view their ‘hand’.

The value of Each card is given a number of points. From 2 for a 2 to 10 for a royal card. The ace is a unique card in the deck as it has a value of 1 or 11 depending on what the player requires.

After the players have their first hand they add up their points and then try to collect cards to make 21. The aim of the game is to get to 21 or to have a number bigger than the dealers. If the dealer wins then the house takes the money. You also lose a bet if you have too many points. This is called going bust.

After you receive your two cards you will take it in turns with other players to hit or stick. If you choose to hit the dealer will give you another card from the pack. If you stick then you don’t get a card. Players do this when they want to stop receiving cards and are happy with the amount of points they have in their hands.

This game may seem simple but the easy skill of being able to count to 21 is just half the battle. You also have to decide the risk of asking a new card and bluff opponents too in the confidence you have in your cards or what they might have. This is what makes it one of the most popular games in casinos.



          To begin with try not to be gung-ho with hits/twists. You may be risking having too low a number but every time you don’t go bust there is always a chance of winning. The chance of winning when going bust is 0.

          Blackjack has the lowest house edge over the player of all casino games. So, if you are going through a losing streak in other games play a few hands of Blackjack and find your mojo again.

          A good rule to adhere to as a beginner or a pro is to never twist on 17 and above. This may may lose you a handful of hands but never as many as the amount of aggressive busts you will do if you don’t stick to the rule.

If you are looking for a new bookmaker then see our  free bets

If you don’t know which bookmaker is for you, then visit our bookmakers reviews

See what we do best and view our latest betting tips

Read articles and features by our team of writers in our onsite magazine Beat The Score