Blackjack is a card game that pits the player against the dealer. The objective of the game is for the player to make a higher unbusted hand than the dealer. It is also possible to win a hand by getting 21 or less, which is called a Push or a Stand. If the dealer gets a Blackjack, then the player loses.
The dealer receives two cards – one face up and the other facing down. The player must work out the value of his or her hand and that of the dealer’s in order to determine when to hit or stand. This can be done either by memory or by referring to a chart.
It is a good idea to separate your gambling bankroll from your day-to-day living funds before you start playing blackjack, as this will help you avoid the temptation to gamble more than you can afford to lose. You should also try to avoid alcohol and playing after a long day at work as these can negatively impact your decision making when playing blackjack.
There are some situations where you should split your hand – for example, splitting two 8s is the best way to maximise your chances of landing at least one high value card. In addition, you should always split pairs of eights against a dealer’s face or ace as this is statistically the worst hand for a player to stand.
When to Hit
You should hit when your cards add up to 11 or less, and you’re confident that the next card won’t cause you to bust. You should also hit when the dealer has a low value card, such as a 6, 7, or 8. Finally, you should hit when the dealer is showing an ace.
When to Stand
There are only two good reasons to stand in blackjack – you have an excellent chance of beating the dealer’s hand, or you believe that the dealer will bust. You should never take insurance, as this bet has a negative expected value for the player unless you have a clear estimate (such as from card counting) of the dealer’s hole card.
You should avoid side bets in blackjack as they increase the house edge and will reduce your odds of winning. In addition, most of these bets are not based on a true mathematical process, such as card counting. Moreover, most of these bets are not fair towards the players. Instead, try to focus on the main game of blackjack and learn as much as you can about it. It may take some time, but it will be well worth the effort in the end. The ultimate strategy for a blackjack player is usually a combination of several different systems. Read up on the various systems, practice them and then decide which ones are right for you. Good luck!