Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. Whether you’re a professional player or a novice, learning the basics of this card game can make a huge difference in your chances of winning. Here’s a basic introduction to the game, followed by some tips on playing it like a pro:
Learn Basic Strategy
You don’t need to be a math major to play blackjack well; the most important thing is to understand the rules of the game and the odds against you. Using strategy gives you an edge over the house and can turn the tables in your favor.
The objective of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand (known as “the count”) by scoring a hand value that goes over 21 while avoiding going bust, which means losing your bet. You can accomplish this by following certain rules and by counting the cards in the deck.
Know When to Hit and Stand
To play blackjack, you should always make sure that your hand doesn’t cross values of 16 or 17. This is because if it does, you will lose your bet. Likewise, you should also keep an eye on the dealer’s cards as this will give you an idea of whether to hit or stand.
One of the most popular strategies used by blackjack players is to count cards. This involves assigning a value to each card as it’s removed from the deck, giving you an idea of what size cards are in the deck and how many small cards there are.
Counting is an effective strategy to use when playing blackjack, but it requires a lot of practice and attention. It’s worth spending a few hours at the table practicing and learning the correct way to count cards.
Learn When to Split
If you have a pair of cards with equal value, it’s usually a good idea to split them. This allows you to double your bet and gives you two new hands to play against the dealer.
Learn When to Ask the Dealer for More Cards
You can ask the dealer for another card, called a “hit”, when you have a hand value that’s high enough that the next card won’t cause you to go bust. This can be done by scraping your cards gently on the table or by waving them towards yourself.
In this case, the dealer will deal you another card face up and place it next to your original two cards. You then have the choice of standing with your current hand or hitting again, which will increase the value of your hand but will also cost you more money.
Know When to Double Your Bet
The double bet option is an excellent way to increase your chance of winning in blackjack. It’s an additional wager that you can place after the initial bet, and it pays 2:1.
It’s also a great option if you’re having trouble deciding whether to stand or hit. It’s a good idea to double down when you have a hard hand between 12 and 16 or a soft hand that’s valued lower than 17.
Don’t be afraid to split your cards, but be aware that splitting the same pair can increase your risk of going bust.