The Basics of Blackjack


Whether you are a novice or an experienced blackjack player, there are several things to keep in mind when playing. Having a basic strategy can help you get the most out of your game. But the rules of blackjack are set by the casino. If you don’t know them, then you may not win as much as you could. Moreover, you may have to bet more than you should.

Blackjack is played with one deck of 52 cards. The goal is to get a better score than the dealer without exceeding 21. The house edge is very small, however. A player who uses basic strategy will lose less than 1% of his action over the long run. But, this doesn’t mean that you should always use the same strategy. You can always change it if you feel it is necessary. Moreover, you can always add an extra bet if you feel you are getting an edge.

The dealer is also dealt two cards. The hole card is face down. The dealer’s down card has better odds of being a six than a ten. This makes hitting safer. But, if you’re still not happy with the dealer’s hand, then you can always surrender. Surrendering reclaims half of your bet and can help you avoid a bad combination.

The first two cards that the player is dealt must be an ace and ten. These two cards are known as the “natural” or “blackjack.” If you’re lucky enough to get a natural, then you’ll be rewarded with a bet that’s one and a half times your initial wager.

If the dealer’s face up card is an ace, you can choose to buy insurance. Insurance is a side bet, which pays 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack. This bet is placed on a special spot of the table. The insurance is usually up to half of your original bet. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, then the insurance is forfeited. But, if the dealer has blackjack, the insurance is returned to you.

You can also double down, which is when you place another bet on the same hand. Double down is a strategy that can pay off, especially if the player is overconfident. However, double down is only profitable if you’re confident that you can beat the dealer. Moreover, you should avoid double down if you think your hand is bad.

You can also play “mute”. This is a tactic where you can’t speak to the other players on the table. You can do this if you feel the other players are ignoring you. It also helps you blend into the crowd more. However, you’ll lose half your original bet if you don’t speak.

Another tactic is to split pairs. This is a common technique in blackjack, and it is also one of the easiest ways to get a better score than the dealer. However, you should always split pairs if you’re not sure you’re going to get a good hand.