Blackjack is the most popular and the most profitable game in a casino. Blackjack’s history can be traced back to a 17^{th} century French game ‘Vingt et un’ which translates literally to “Twenty-one”. The object of Blackjack is to get as closer to twenty one than the dealer gets without going past the number.

**Basic terminology: **Here are a few words you must know before you sit at a blackjack table

Hit – Get a card

Stay – Stop getting cards

Double down – Double the bet

Shoe – The device holding all the cards

Break – Breach 21

**Finding your blackjack table: **

Check out what the minimum bet at a table is. Look for the table where the minimum bet is lowest and play there till you get the hang of the game. Secondly, you have to read the rules for the dealers which are usually written on the table itself. For example, if it says the dealer must draw to seventeen and stand on all eighteens, it means that even if the dealer gets an Ace and a seven, he has to stay there because the total comes out to an even eighteen. Though he might have chances of getting a higher sum if he hits it, he has to stay on it since the rules dictate so. Such tables where the dealer is constrained are the tables to look out for.

**Card counting**

Impressed by the amount of money Kevin Spacey and his students made in the movie ‘21’ by counting cards? Though it is not illegal to do card counting mentally, a player might be banned from a casino if he is caught doing so.

Here we will go over the hi-low card counting system and see how it works. In this each card is given value of a positive one, a zero or a negative one. The player in turn keeps a running total of the cards that are dealt thereby making him/her able to calculate the probability of a high card (a ten) being dealt.

In the Hi-low card counting system, each card is assigned a specific point value. Aces and ten value cards are a negative one; 7, 8 or 9 are a zero; the remaining cards are a positive one. As the game goes on, the player keeps a total of the cards that are being dealt. A higher sum means that there is a good probability that the next card dealt might be a ten value card. If the sum is a zero, the deck is said to be neutral.