Play strategically to beat the Dealer


Based on ‘21’, a popular card game from the 18th century, much loved in particular by Madame du Barry and later by Napoleon, who played it to pass the time while in exile on St. Helena, Blackjack became popular across the pond after the French Revolution. It became popular in American gambling circles where bonuses were invented to keep players playing. If your first two cards were the jack of spades and an ace, you got an extra payout. Hence the name Blackjack. These bonuses don’t exist any more, but the principle remains the same. The name of the game is to beat the Bank, in the person of the Dealer, without exceeding 21. Otherwise you lose your bet. If you reach a Blackjack (21) your bet is multiplied by 3. If you beat the Dealer without reaching 21, you win double your bet.

Although luck determines the hand you’re dealt, strategy has its role to play too. Depending on the hands of the other players and of the Bank, an informed player will know whether it’s wise to take another card, stop, or keep playing.  


- From 2 to 9: each card has its own numerical value

- The 10s and the face cards, i.e. Jacks, Queens and Kings, are worth 10.

- The Ace is worth 1 or 11 depending on the player’s hand. If your hand does not exceed 21, the Ace counts as 11. If it does exceed 21, the Ace counts as 1. The value of the Ace is always calculated to your advantage

- The hand called ‘Blackjack’ is made up of an Ace and a card worth 10, making a total of 21, dealt in the player's first two cards.


Although Blackjack is certainly a game of chance, it is possible to improve your odds with a strategy based on observation. The simplest principles are:

- If the dealer has a card between 2 and 6, he or she can't win, since even with a 10 or face card, he or she will have a hand below 17 and will have to draw an additional card

- If the dealer has a 7, be careful because he or she could draw a 10 or face card and be in a position to win.

With practice, you will learn to anticipate the Dealer's options and your chances of winning will increase. Get started and decide when you’re going to stop, double your bet or draw two equal cards.