Blackjack is a game of chance that requires a mix of skill, strategy and luck to win. It is a highly popular card game and can be played in many casinos. The basic strategy is to play cards that total as close to 21 as possible without going over.
The player and the dealer are both dealt two cards and have to decide whether to stand (stop drawing) or draw further based on rules. They may also choose to split or double down, which changes the value of the original bet.
There are a number of strategies to consider when playing blackjack, including the use of side bets. Adding these bets to your winnings can increase your odds of winning.
When the dealer’s up card is less than 10, you may buy insurance to protect your original bet if you think that the dealer has a blackjack. You can do this by placing an additional bet equal to your initial wager. This bet will be paid back if the dealer’s up card is an Ace or a 10 for a blackjack, and is given to you by the dealer after the hand is over.
You can also surrender a hand that is not a blackjack by giving up half your bet and not playing out the hand. However, this option should be used very sparingly if you think that you have a chance of winning the hand, as it is an expensive way to lose.
Using the Basic Strategy
The most important thing to remember when playing blackjack is that the cards’ values are irrelevant. The goal is to accumulate cards that total as close to 21 as possible, without going over.
A good strategy is to always try to split eights and Aces. These are hands that often result in big wins, and it is very difficult to bust when you have a hard hand with two 8’s or an Ace.
You should also try to stand on anything nine or less and 12 or more, while hitting on eights and nines. This will help you avoid going over 21, which is known as a bust.
If you are playing against a dealer who has a soft hand, it is vital that you don’t bust. You can’t hit on a soft hand when the dealer has a hard hand, and you can’t stand on a soft hand when the dealer has an ace.
Don’t stand on a soft 16 – This is an extremely bad hand for you to hold. If you are holding a soft 16 and the dealer has an ace, it is best to double down rather than hit on your hand. This will give you a better chance of winning than risking a bust by taking another hit.
Be sure to read the rules before you begin to play any blackjack game, and be aware of how the dealer’s upcard can impact your game. The rules will be different in every casino, so you should check them before deciding on your strategy.