Blackjack is a game of skill and strategy that can help you win big money. Whether you play online or in person, there are certain tips that you should always keep in mind to maximize your chances of winning. These include knowing when to hit, double down, and surrender. It’s also important to know the difference between a hard and soft hand in blackjack. A hard hand is made up of two cards while a soft hand is made up of three or more cards. A hard hand is more likely to bust, but a soft hand can improve into a better total.
Generally speaking, when it comes to hitting in blackjack, you should only do so when your current card total is higher than the dealer’s. However, there are some specific situations when it is statistically smart to hit. This is especially true if your current hand has an ace and a picture card (i.e., a blackjack). If your current total is 17 or more, then you should always hit, no matter what the dealer’s showing is.
It is also a good idea to split your aces when the situation calls for it. This is because a pair of aces is one of the most powerful hands in blackjack. This is because they can be counted as either 1 or 11 and therefore will give you a better chance of beating the dealer. Similarly, you should always split eights and nines when the situation calls for it.
Another key tip is to avoid taking insurance. This is a side bet that pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack. However, the dealer is almost always going to have a blackjack. This makes the insurance bet a loser in the long run.
Finally, it is vital to set a budget before you start playing blackjack. This will help you walk away with some cash at the end of your session. Brian recommends that you choose a goal or set amount to spend and then stick to it. It is also important to keep in mind that blackjack flows in streaks, so if you are on a winning streak, it is important to raise your bet. However, if you start losing, it’s best to lower your bet.
It is also a good idea to learn the rules of each blackjack variant that you plan to play. Different blackjack games have different rules and side bets that can significantly increase your house edge. In addition, some blackjack variants don’t even offer the surrender option, which can make your winning chances much lower.