The Blackjack Fundamentals

A vast nebula of science and superstition surrounds the game of Blackjack. Dozens of books, video- and audio-tape presentations, classes and seminars, computer programs and CD-ROMs, hundreds of Web pages, and millions of lines of bulletin board and chat-room discussions have been devoted to the subject—and the volume continues to expand, even 300 years after the game was introduced.In spite of all of the data that surrounds blackjack, it’s a very simple game. The following information will focus on the very fundamentals of blackjack:

Blackjack Basics
If you’ve never heard of Blackjack before, or are only vaguely familiar with the game, read this section. The game, rules, and plays including splitting, doubling down, insurance, and side bets.
Variations
When playing casino blackjack, the house sets the rules—and while the game is basically the same all over the world, there are a number of subtle, but significant, variations.
Chances of Winning
Since blackjack is almost always played for money (there’s little point in it otherwise), it’s important to understand your chances of winning. Here’s a basic overview of these odds, along with the way that they can be “adjusted” by the house rules.

After reading these sections, you should have a thorough understanding of the basics—but it would be unwise to go out to play at this point. Before wagering any cash, you should read the sections on casino play and basic strategies (at the very least) to avoid some embarrassing, and costly, mistakes.