Learn the Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of strategy that involves cards and a dealer. The goal is to get closer to 21 than the dealer, and if you do, you win. If you don’t, you lose. There are several variations of the game, but all involve similar strategies and rules. Some of them even include side bets, which can boost your winnings!

Having the right knowledge and technique can help you reduce the house edge. There is a lot to remember, but if you can master the basics of the game, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro.

Hit: Asking for another card (or “hitting”) is one of the most important blackjack playing decisions. You should always hit when your first two cards add up to 11 or less, especially when the dealer is showing a low value card, such as a six. It’s also a good idea to hit when your hand is a soft 16 or less. This is because drawing to a soft hand can make it harder to bust than you might think, and the odds are favorable for beating the dealer.

Stand: Sticking with your current hand and not asking for more cards is known as standing or staying. Unless the dealer shows an ace, this is usually the correct play, as it’s highly unlikely that she will have a blackjack. You can also stay when your hand is a seven or higher, but it’s generally best to hit when your hand has more value than the dealer’s.

Insurance: A side bet that you place when the dealer shows an ace, and is paid like a regular blackjack win (2 to 1) if the dealer has blackjack. Insurance is a sucker bet, as the dealer’s odds of having blackjack are only 9:4 – lower than a regular game win without it!

Effective bankroll management is vital to long-term success at blackjack. It’s recommended to set a bankroll ahead of time, and only wager one to two percent of that amount per hand. This will help you avoid making impulsive decisions after a losing streak, and ensure that you’re not risking more than you can afford to lose. It’s also important to maintain a positive mindset, and not let your emotions get the better of you in the heat of battle! Good luck, and happy blackjacking!