Everything you could ever want to know

  about Blackjack and Card Counting.
What about those BIG Winner's BANNED from Casinos?

       More than any other Card Game; Blackjack is a Game of ODDS. 

       Over a long period of time;
       if you play/Bet with the favorable odds;
       you will Win consistently.

       If you bet small, when the odds are against you;
       and Bet Big; when the odds are in your favor;
       your winnings will be multiplied.

       This is the "Secret". But; (just like Bad Beats in Poker),
       even when the odds are in your favor;  you can Bet Big and lose BIG!

? These are the  CARD COUNTER'S

The "Greats" that you have heard about; were highly intelligent and extremely gifted, some had photographic memories; and could know exactly what cards were left, even in a 6 Deck shoe.  This meant that they knew the exact adds for getting any hand; and could always bet when the odds were in their favor. 
The "House" on the other hand takes what ever Bets come along.   Stu Unger, the Poker champ,  was one;  as were : Ken Uston, Jes  Marcum, Arnold Snyder, Stanford Wong and Ed Thorpe.  They also began the concept of gathering and sharing information in "Team" Play.

If you can become a master of Card Counting techniques; devolep skill, observation and discipline; and have a large bankroll to work with;
you might be able to become one of these  WINNERS. 
But for most  of us; we would do well to learn the standard  basic  play to just keep our heads above water. 

Sometimes; Luck may also favor us with a few Dollars extra.
Treasure Hunter
Why?  are all the POKER Rooms offering Blackjack?

The Poker Sites would like to keep the Player's losses for themselves, .  .   .     .    instead of just a small percentage of "Rake".

This page was last updated on: 9/1/2011
Poker Pages
Copyrite RiciaJo 2004 all rights reserved
BONUS Mecca ?
Stand  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  X  A

17        S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S        
16        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
15        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
14        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
13        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H
12        H  H  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H 
A7       S  S  S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H 
STAND (Comprehensive)
Down   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

11        D  D  D  D  D  D  D  D  D  D
10        D  D  D  D  D  D  D  D  H  H 
  9        H  D  D  D  H  H  H  H  H  H
  8        H  H  H  H  H  H  H  H  H  H  
Double Down (Soft Totals)
Stand  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  X  A

17        S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S1  S        
16        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
15        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
14        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H 
13        S  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H  H
12        H  H  S  S  S  S  H  H  H  H 
A7       S  S  S  S  S  S  S  H  H  S2 
Down  2  3   4    5    6   7  8  9  T  A

A9        S  S   S    S    S    S  S  S  S  S
A8        S  S   S    S    S    S  S  S  S  S
A7        S  DS  DS  DS  DS  S  S  H  H  H
A6        H  D    D    D    D   H  H  H  H  H 
A5        H  H    D    D    D   H  H  H  H  H 
A4        H  H    D    D    D   H  H  H  H  H 
A3        H  H    H    D    D   H  H  H  H  H
A2        H  H    H    D    D   H  H  H  H  H 
Double Down
Surrender   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

   16                                          $    $    $
   15                                               $
PAIRS   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

AA       Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y   Y 
TT        N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N   N 
99        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  N   N
88        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 
77        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y   N  N  N  N 
66        N  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N  N
55        N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 
44        N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 
33        N  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N 
22        N  N  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N 
PAIRS   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

AA       Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y   Y 
TT        N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N   N 
99        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  N   N
88        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y 
77        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y   N  N  N  N 
66        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N  N
55        N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N  N 
44        N  N  N  N  Y  Y  N  N  N  N 
33        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N 
22        Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N 
Pair Splits (With Double)
Pair Splits (No Double)
PAIRS   2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

AA        Y   Y   Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y   Y1
TT         N   N   N  N  N  N  N  N  N    N 
99         Y   Y   Y  Y  Y  N  Y  Y  N    N
88         Y   Y   Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y  Y1  Y1 
77         Y   Y   Y  Y  Y  Y   N  N  N   N 
66         N2  Y   Y  Y  Y  N  N  N  N   N
55         N    N   N  N  N  N  N  N  N   N 
44         N    N   N  N  N  N  N  N  N   N 
33         N    N   Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N   N 
22         N    N2  Y  Y  Y  Y  N  N  N   N 
Pair Splits (No Double)
1 = Stand with 3 or More Cards
2 = Hit in Multi-Deck, or if Dealer Hits S17

PAIRS  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  T  A

AA       Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y   Y   Y  Y   Y 
TT        N  N  N  N   N   N   N   N  N   N 
99        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y   N   Y   Y  N   N
88        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y    Y   Y  Y  Y 
77        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y   Y2   N  N  N 
66        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y2  N    N  N  N
55        N  N  N  N   N  N    N   N  N  N 
44        N  N  N  Y2 Y  Y    N   N  N  N 
33        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y    N2  N  N  N 
22        Y  Y  Y  Y   Y  Y    N   N  N  N 
1 = European No-Hole Hit
2 = Single Deck Only
Y = Split
$ = Surrender
Y = Split
Pair Splits (With Double)
1 = European No-Hole Hit
2 = Single Deck Only
(How to Play)
Object of the Game

Blackjack is solo game. Each person plays for himself against the Dealer; no matter how many other players are at the table.  Before being dealt any cards, the player must make a bet, by placing chips in the circle directly in front of the player's seat.  A 52  Card Deck is used.  It is shufled; The betting rounds are dealt until the Deck is exausted.

A Blackjack is an Ace and a Face Card (the best possible hand in Blackjack) it generally pays one and a half times your Bet.  Otherwise; the goal of blackjack is to get the highest hand possible without going over 21. If you go over 21, you "Bust" and the dealer wins the hand.

You obtain the value of your hand by adding together the cards that are face up in front of you, remembering though that the ace is worth either 1 or 11. So if you have an ace and a 10 you would have a hand worth 21.  You would  also have a hand worth 21, if you had a 10 two 5's and an ace;  because the ace could count as 1.  In some games; it was once the custom, of paying a premium to a player who was dealt 5 Cards; and still had not gone over 21.


Is  when a player takes another card from the Dealer.


Is  when a player plays the cards dealt to them without taking another card from the Dealer.


Is when you tie with the Dealer. The player neither wins nor loses and bet is returned.


Is when the player's  hand adds up to a total of more than 21. The Player loses.  In some venues it is a Push, if the Dealer also Busts.

Splitting Pairs

Splitting pairs is fairly self-explanatory. If you are dealt any Pair to start the hand, then you may split the pair and play each as a separate hand.  You might wish to split two aces  or other cards Why? Because starting with an ace is a favorable hand, and you are doubling your chances of winning. The only thing is you are also doubling your bet. You could win both, lose both or come out even.

There are many different splits that you could play, but a basic rule is that you always split aces and 8's maybe 9's.  People are divided about  splitting the 10's.  First;  most experts suggest you do not want to break up a very strong hand, one will likely win.  Others feel that since there are 26 other cards (A-8) giving you strong hands; or if the Card Count is good, it is worth the risk.

Double Down

Doubling down is exactly what it sounds like; it is when you have been dealt a favorable hand, and wish to double your bet. Let's say that your first two cards are a 5 and a 6. This is a situation in witch you would want to double down, because the total value of your hand is 11, and you have a very good chance of landing either a 9, 10 or a face card, to more than likely win the hand. So, if you double your bet, you double your winnings. Basically, you want to double down on a 9, 10, or 11 total on your first two cards. The only thing to remember is that you are only allowed to be dealt one more card after you double down. So, if the total of your first two cards is 9 and you double down, and then you receive a 2, you are stuck with an 11 and must have that the dealer busts.

Some think you should also double down when the dealer shows a weak first card, such as a 5, because the odds of the dealer busting have greatly increased in this situation. For instance, if the dealer then sees a 10 and a 7, he will bust and you'll win double your bet. But I do not agree with that.  I favor standing even with cards that are not that high; because of the chance encreased chance that the Dealer will bust; without the risk of busting yourself.


When the dealer's first card is an ace, you have the opportunity to take out "insurance" against the Dealer having Blackjack; by paying half of your original bet. If the dealer hits a blackjack, your insurance bet pays off at 2 to 1, and you don't lose any money in the hand. If the dealer does not hit a blackjack but still beats your hand, then you lose your original bet, plus the insurance bet.


Surrendering is like folding in poker. If you don't want to play your hand, you "surrender", and turn in your cards; and half of your original is returned to you. Most casinos don't offer this feature, but some do, so I mention it (see Charts)..


People they now refer to as "pioneers in Blackjack"; painstakenly figured out the odds of being dealt; and/or hiting different combinations and devised a Basic Blackjack strategy.  Which has since been proven by computer simulations.

Card Counting

Traditionally; 21 was played with a single Deck of 52 Cards. Since the deck was used after the initial shuffle until exausted; if a person could remember what Cards had already been dealt; they would have an advantage in determining how much to bet; when to Hit certain combinations; and when it called for Insurance.  There were some individuals who Won huge amounts from Casinos because they perfected a technique of  card counting that gave them much higher odds of winning. 

As the Casino's caught on;  they tried to make counting more difficult by using more Decks; in a SHOE.  Two Decks; then 4, 6, 8. the more Decks there were
to be dealt from; the more random the Card distribution becomes. This did two things:  First it made it more difficult to count cards.  Second; it gave an even bigger advantage to those who could master the skill.  Because of the wider distribution for the probabilities to occur.(For Example: if 3/4 of the Shoe, had been used up; and only half the  10 Cards had shown up; there would be a much larger percentage of 10 cards left to be played.)  Co-ordination of the Basic Strategy; along with determining actual Odds by Card Counting created a winning edge.


Card counting is for the most part useless; because each round is shuffled and dealt independantly.  Using Basic strategy has proven the most helpful.

History of Blackjack

First, a short history of cards: Playing cards are believed to have been invented in China and/or India sometime around 900 A.D. The Chinese are thought to have originated card games when they began shuffling paper money (another Chinese invention) into various combinations. In China today, the general term for playing cards means "paper tickets".

The contemporary 52 card deck used in the U.S. was originally called the "French Pack" (circa 1600's) which was later adopted by the English and subsequently the Americans. The first records of gambling were in 2300 B.C. or so, also, by the Chinese.

BlackJack originated in French casinos around 1700 where it was called "vingt-et-un" ("twenty-and-one"). 

It hashas been played in the U.S. since the 1800's; where it got the name BlackJack.  Because of a custom where:  if a player got a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards (Spade being the color black of course), the player was additionally remunerated.

Gambling was legal out West from the 1850's to 1910, at which time Nevada made it a felony to operate a gambling game. However;  In 1931, Nevada re-legalized casino gambling where BlackJack became one of the primary games of chance offered to patrons.
As I stated earlier (talking about "Comps".  Blackjack is very nearly an even-money Game; Online the "House" has an even larger edge.  
(The only way to compensate for this edge is to master;
and regularly use the tried and true Basic Strategy.)
There are growing number of Internet promotions telling you you can get rich playing Blackjack online.  They even give you the charts to learn the Basic strategy. 
Some (are somewhat honest) in telling you that with this strategy; you will barely "break even" or perhaps "not lose very much".

Their Theory for YOU making money; is by collecting BONUS'S.
That even though you did not "Win" any money; you will obtain the Bonus's for playing and end up with a HUGE profit in the long run. 

In order to do this: you need to First; find the Highest  % of Bonus Money Paid out .
(They will kindly provide you with a list.)
Second; make a LARGE DEPOSIT
(for which they receive an affiliate payment AND a % of your losses.)

If you want to play Blackjack online, fine; but be Hip to the Hype!
Yes! you can make some Money:
Online: the First; most important thing is choosing a reputable/honest Casino.
(Read the Rules/for getting those Bonus's  AND Cashing out including Cash-out minimum)

Study the Basic Stratgy.  USE IT!

Study the Basic Stratgy; 
learn to Count Cards;
Then head off to the Casino; to try your Luck; and Skills.
S = Stand
H  = Hit
Quick Tips

1. Never take insurance.

2. If the dealer's upcard is 7, 8, 9, X or A,
hit until you get to hard 17 or more.

3. If the dealer's upcard is 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6,
stand on all your stiffs; hard 12 through 16.

4. Hit all soft hands of soft 17 (A,6) and below.

5. Stand on soft 18 (A,7) or higher.

6. Double down on 10 and 11
vs. any dealer up card from 2 through 9.

7. Always split aces and 8s.

8. Never split 4s, 5s or 10s.

9. Split all other pairs - 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s and 9s -
vs. any dealer up card of 4, 5 or 6.

10. Surrender 16 vs. 9, X or A.

Basic strategy may be used for any game.

D = Dbl Dn
S = Stand
Ds = stand if DD not avail
Table 1
Table 2
Arnold Snyder's Blackjack Forum
Although the games on this site are: "Just for Fun". There are links here to "Real Money" Gambling Sites.  You are required to be of
Legal Age to enter.
Just for Fun
(on this site)
(Chart information courtesy of  Arnold Snyder's Blackjack Forum)
Strategy Hints from:

Playing Blackjack to Win
This is the book written by four mathematicians:
  Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, & James McDermott

Blackjack Games to Avoid

While exotic versions of blackjack do provide intriguing changes, and highly skillful players may well win playing those exotic versions, a general rule of thumb is that none of the blackjack variants give the player better odds than does standard blackjack. Listed below are some of the most disadvantageous blackjack variants. Casinos often cook up or perpetuate very unfavorable rules in the belief that relatively inexperienced tourists will take the bait. Educating yourself and others as regards the most unfavorable rules is the best defense; if nobody plays the worst games, casinos will have no incentive to offer them.

(1) Using 8 decks of cards. This increases the casino's edge by 0.65%.

(2) Dealer wins all ties. Don't play if such a rule is in force.

(3) Dealer hits soft 17. Your odds are considerably better if dealer must stand on soft 17.

(4) Single deck that pays 6 to 5 on blackjacks. Here a player's potential take is very substantially lower than in the standard 3 to 2 payout.

(5) Hand-held multi-deck games. In this case, the dealer appears to be holding only one or two decks, but the cards in them are in reality from a 5 to 8 deck game. Savvy casino-goers know to be on the lookout for a "Hand-held Multi-deck Game" sign conveniently placed where seeing it is difficult.

(6) Single deck games that pay even money for blackjack. Avoid them like the black plague. Casinos try to camouflage the horrible odds presented by the even blackjack payout by offering more liberal rules in other areas, such as allowing a surrender at any time, even after hitting. Don't be taken in.

(7) Doubling down on 11 only. This practice raises the house edge.

(8) Continuous shuffling machines. Because the dealer inserts the used cards from each round back into the shuffling machine rather than into the usual discard tray, every round is played with a full deck, decreasing the player's odds. Furthermore, the machines speed the pace of play and simultaneously, the pace at which the lesser-skilled players lose money.

Anatomy of a Card Counting Group

How can you gain an advantage against the house in blackjack?

By developing your card counting skills.

A basic fact can give you as a card counter that advantage. When there are not so many cards between 2 and 8 left in the deck, you have the advantage; the dealer gains the advantage when there are not so many 9s, 10s and Ace-value cards.

Ideally you would have a photographic memory; failing that, there are many card counting systems you might master. One model system assigns a value of one (1) to cards 2 - 6, zero (0) to cards 7 - 9, and negative 1 (-1) to 10 and Ace-value cards.

A certain mental agility is required to continue playing while keeping track of whether the table presents an advantage to you or to the dealer; those who master this skill are more likely to win money than those who do not.

Casinos take action against especially successful card counters. Private casinos actually have the law on their side to ban somebody from their premises at any time for any reason; and they do ban very successful counters with regularity. However, they also recognize the difference between those who can count and those who think they can count; in other words, casino owners' greedy hearts recoil and skip beats at the thought of all would-be card counters being banned from their facilities.

So make sure to hone your counting skills before putting them into practice in a casino. And once you've honed your card counting skills, do not go to a casino which uses automatic card shufflers, which make every hand utterly random.

What might be a good model for your card counting strategy?

In the 1990s, a particularly talented group of MIT students made blackjack history by functioning as a spectacularly money-making blackjack card counting group. You can read at length about their exploits and methods in the book "Bringing Down The House," by Ben Mezrich. For all that it is tough to duplicate their successes, reading about it presents you with a colorful chapter of blackjack history.

At the heart of the MIT Group's strategy was the deployment of a four member team.

(1) THE BACKSPOTTER - This chap stood and counted cards but did not play a hand.

(2) THE SPOTTER - This team member made modest bets at the table and relayed messages to:

(3) THE GORILLA - Who took his cues from the backspotter and the spotter as to which table would give him the best advantage; and he made consistently enormous bets.

(4) BIG PLAYER - Who counted cards and played large hands.
The skills and coordination of the MIT team did not allow them to always win, but did allow them to win big overall.

As a result of their triumphs, they had some exceedingly colorful experiences, quite apart from winning fortunes. One of them was physically beaten in a Jamaican casino. Two others had $70,000 robbed from their apartment by what turned out to be casino hires. And finally, somebody from within the group sold their names to a Las Vegas agency. So maybe to keep your circle of friends from turning into a nest of vipers, you should concentrate on developing your individual card counting skills, and share all your winnings with yourself.

General Blackjack Tips

Play games where dealer stands on soft 17.

Play games with payout 2 to 1 for Blackjack.

Play games where you are allowed to double down any number of cards.

Play games where you are allowed to double down after splitting pairs.

Always evalute all rules when playing in a new casino.

Practice Playing. There are Blackjack Strategy Engines available online.
More Strategy
from the

FOUR Horsemen
of Blackjack
FREE Elimination Blackjack
Fee $ Member's play for Prizes
(excluded States play for Free).Good Site!
FREE Elimination Blackjack Tournaments here:
  WHY Should you play?  and  WHY Shouldn't you play?

     But; there are good reasons to play; especially in  a live Casino.

A few of you may know that I was once a "Professional Card Player".    lol
(which only means they paid me to play there.)

I was a Shill at the Mapes Casino, in Reno NV in 19-long ago. 
A shill does not collude with the house, or pretend to be a high-roller. 
They only play games during slow Casino Hours, so there are people at the Tables when patrons want to play.  There are strict rules about how you are allowed to Bet.

I will share what I learned playing Craps and Blackjack every Night/Morning.
That will allow you to vacation at a Gambling mecca earning "Comps"  *
in Hours of play and never lose; if you follow the same simple betting,

That's right! Never lose! 

Our Rule:  in Craps: we simply bet  the Pass line.  (or Don't Pass) 
But you can not vary your play.  This is an even-money Bet which will fluctuate a little over the Hours; but basically come out even.

Blackjack is the same.  It is very nearly an even-money Game; with the house having only a slight edge.  (more later how you can compensate for the house edge by proper play.)

Our Rule: was that we were not allowed to hit over 14.  "Gambling" against the odds is what makes your stack go up/down.
Playing that tightly; made us come out even, after Hours of play.

That's right! Never lose. But; you will also never Win!  Big that is.  The trick is to Quit, as they say, when you are ahead; and not when you are behind. 

This is not as Fun & exciting as "Gambling".  But it will rake in those freebies.

*(Complimentary: Rooms; Food; Drink , Gifts & Tickets.)