Blackjack is a card game where players play against the dealer. The object is to get as close to 21 as possible without busting and have a higher hand than the dealer. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win an equal amount of money; if your hand is over 21, you bust and lose your entire bet.
In blackjack, players can take one of four actions after each round: “Surrender,” “Split,” “Double,” and “Hit.” Each action is designed to increase your chances of winning while avoiding losing too much money.
Surrender: When you decide to surrender, you give up your original bet and your hand to the dealer and ask for another card. This is a good choice if you have a weak first hand and want to make it better. You also can do this when you’re sure that your next card will not cause you to go over 21, or if you’re willing to risk losing your bet in order to win.
Split: You can also choose to split your cards if you have two identical cards, but this is only a good idea if the dealer has an ace showing or a high card. It is important to remember that the value of the two cards you are splitting must be at least equal to the initial wager.
Double: You can also choose to double your bet, and the dealer will give you another card. This is a good choice when you have a weak first hand and want it to be stronger, or if you are confident that your next card will not cause you to bust.
Hit: You can also choose to hit your bet, and the dealer will give your new card a face-up value of two, three, or four. This is a good option when you have a low or moderately good first hand and you want to make it better, or if you are confident that your new card will not cause you to bust.
Insurance: You can also buy insurance on your bet, and the dealer will check her hole card (using a special viewing window) to see if it has a ten underneath. This is a good way to protect yourself against an ace and can be very profitable in some cases.
To help you get the most out of playing blackjack, you should learn how to use a basic strategy. This chart shows you how to best play the game based on your current hand and the cards the dealer is showing.
Once you’ve mastered this chart, you can move on to more rules-specific charts. For example, if you’re playing a game that has a rule about a dealer hitting on soft 17, then you’ll have to learn the specific rules for that game.
Following a sound strategy is the only way to improve your odds of winning at blackjack. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it will pay off in the long run.