How to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino card game in which players compete against the dealer to achieve a higher hand total without going beyond 21. One to eight 52-card decks may be used, where numbers (2-10) score their value; face cards such as Jack, Queen and King count for 10 points each while an Ace may either count as 1 or 11.

Each player receives two cards and must choose whether to stay (stand) or hit (request more cards) when given their two. Once all decisions have been made by all players and dealers have made their decisions, the dealer will check her hole card for any evidence of a blackjack – this pays out at 2 to 1. Once that is determined, game play continues as normal.

While some believe luck to be the primary factor in playing blackjack, others have devised a system of playing that makes the game more profitable – known as counting cards – which requires using a strategy chart and keeping an accurate running count of each card dealt. Knowing when and why to hit or stand depends heavily on this count in order to maximize bankroll potential.

Before cards are distributed, each player must place a bet. Minimum and maximum bets should be posted on the table; once all bets have been placed, a dealer will distribute two cards to each player – they then have the choice between “hitting” (requesting more cards) or standing (keeping their current hand).

Splitting cards is a good strategy when starting with powerful starting hands such as two aces or eights, but be wary that when splitting pairs you must also add an equal bet representing the new hand you have created – these will then be played separately with potentially different outcomes for both.

Doubling down is another popular strategy used in blackjack. Doubling means increasing your initial bet after receiving two cards to receive three more and then receiving an extra card – this approach should only be pursued if your total of cards total 11 or less, as increasing chances for high-value cards to come up will help give you a winning hand.

Blackjack side bets have grown increasingly popular over time. These additional wagers allow a player to place an additional bet, covering various situations like whether the dealer has blackjack or not, whether a player hits an Ace, busting of the dealer etc. These bets can be placed using cash or casino chips.

Insurance is a popular side bet in blackjack, but you should avoid it whenever possible as it represents an even money bet on the dealer’s hole card – something to avoid if he or she shows an Ace and appears weak – although other ways exist for increasing chances of success without taking unnecessary risks.


May 2024


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