Blackjack is a card game in which the player competes against the dealer to try and win money. The goal is to beat the dealer by having a hand value that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s and not “bust”.
Blackjack can be played with individual or extra decks of cards, and it is the most widely-played casino banking game in the world. It is usually played with up to six players, although it is also possible to play a single-player version of the game.
The dealer deals each player two cards, one face up and one face down. The players may then choose to do any of three things: Stand, Buy Insurance or Surrender their hand.
Buying Insurance is an option that allows a player to double their initial wager if the dealer shows a ten-value card. In this case, the dealer will check her hole card (a special viewing window in the table) to see if she has a ten underneath. If the dealer does, everyone who bought insurance will get their original bet back and the rest of the betting round will continue as normal.
A basic strategy for playing blackjack is to use your first two cards and the dealer’s up card to decide whether you should hit, stand or split. Using your basic strategy will help you win more often and give you a better chance of winning the pot at the end of the hand.
If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, you should hit, as you have a higher chance of winning than the dealer does of busting. If the dealer’s up card is a 10 or a face card, you should stand.
You can also ask the dealer for a second card. This can be done by scraping the cards on the table, or by waving your hand toward the dealer. The dealer will then deal you another card, face up.
Don’t Hit a Soft 17
The dealer will sometimes hit on soft 17s, a hand that has an Ace but no other card worth more than 11. Some casinos will allow you to hit on soft 17s and some will not. Make sure you check the rules before playing at a blackjack table.
Don’t Split a Pair of Tens
You don’t want to split a pair of tens because the payoff for splitting is less than the payoff for holding two aces and getting a Blackjack. You also don’t want to split a pair if you have any ten-value cards in your hand, because you will receive only one card and then lose the entire hand.
It is also very important to remember that if you split two aces, you will only receive one card and then lose your entire hand. This is because a natural, a hand with an ace and a ten-value card, has a total of 21, which is a Blackjack.
The house edge for the game of blackjack is relatively low, with players using basic strategy losing on average only 1.1% of their action over the long run. However, deviations from this strategy increase the house edge by 1.4% or more.