Learn the Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of strategy and chance. A good understanding of the rules and how to play the game will improve your chances of winning. Using a good strategy will lower the house edge and help you beat the dealer.

You should always bet based on the rules of the game and not just go with your gut instinct. Second-guessing your decisions will only hurt your odds of winning and can push the house edge even higher. A good way to avoid this is by learning the basic Blackjack strategy and reading books on the subject.

Doubling down is one of the best ways to increase your payouts in a blackjack hand. It allows you to double your initial bet and receive one additional card. However, you can only do this if your original two cards have a value of 11 or more. You can also split your starting two cards if they are identical (like two nines or two threes). This will give you each of them their own separate hand, which you will play as if it were a single unit.

Another way to increase your chances of winning is to count cards. This is not a guaranteed method of winning, but it will give you an idea of how many high and low cards are left in the deck. Then you can raise your bet when the odds are in your favour, increasing your potential for a big win. This is not something you can do while playing online, as the cards are shuffled much sooner than in a live casino.

Lastly, you should never take insurance on a dealer’s ace. The insurance bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack, but the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are still slightly against you. Statistically, you will lose more money on the insurance bet than you will win on your blackjack hand.

Once you have a firm grasp of the basics of blackjack, it’s time to learn some advanced moves and strategies. One of the most important is knowing when to hit or stand. This is determined by the total value of your hand and the dealer’s upcard. Our blackjack strategy chart below will tell you what to do based on the combination of your hand’s value and the dealer’s card. It will also suggest when you should double down, split or surrender if that option is available. While it won’t be 100% accurate, following the chart will make you a better player than not following it at all.

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