Blackjack is a casino card game in which your goal is to beat the dealer’s hand total without going over 21. You can do this by hitting (taking another card), standing (keeping your current hand), doubling down (doubling your bet for the chance to receive one more card) or splitting pairs (dividing matching cards into two separate hands). To succeed, you must make strategic decisions throughout each round. Practicing your strategy and adapting to special situations are key to becoming a successful blackjack player.
Before the start of a blackjack game, you’ll need to exchange your real money for the casino’s in-house currency: chips. Once you’re done, find a seat at a blackjack table and place your bet within the designated betting area. Once everyone has placed their bets, the dealer will begin distributing the cards. The dealer will give each player, including themselves, two cards and then lay one of their own cards face up over the other (this is called the hole card).
Each player must work out the value of their hand in order to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. This can be done by using their instinct or by following a blackjack strategy cheat sheet. Once you’ve worked out the value of your hand, you can decide whether to hit (ask the dealer for another card) or stand (keep your current hand). If you go over 21, you lose your bet and you must wait for the next round to play again.
As the game progresses, players can also increase their bet size by doubling down or splitting pairs. Increasing the bet size increases your chances of winning but you must be careful not to overbet and put yourself in financial jeopardy.
When the dealer is displaying an up card of 6 or less, it’s generally good to stand. This is because the dealer will likely draw a higher value card, making their blackjack hand more likely to bust. On the other hand, if you have a pair of fours and the dealer shows a three or more, it’s usually better to hit.
Once the dealer has resolved their hand, it’s time to resolve yours. If your hand’s value surpasses the dealer’s and doesn’t exceed 21, you win! This is known as a “blackjack” or “natural,” and you’ll be paid 3:2 on your bet.
As the game progresses, you can keep track of which cards have already been played by keeping a simple card counting system in your head. This will help you improve your blackjack basic strategy and reduce the house edge to less than one percent! This is a huge advantage over the untrained blackjack player.