Blackjack is one of the most popular casino table games, and it offers a variety of betting options and strategies. Whether you are new to the game or are looking for ways to increase your winnings, there are several basic blackjack tips and tricks that will help you make the best decisions at the table.
The goal of blackjack is to have a higher total than the dealer without going over 21. To do this, you must hit your cards until they add up to 21 or you go bust. The dealer will then draw another card for their hand. If the dealer has a total of 21, they will stand and win the round. The player who has the highest total will also win, but if both players have the same amount of points, it is a push and neither player wins.
When you should hit is a common question for blackjack players, and there are many situations where hitting is the smart play. Generally, you should hit when your total is below 17, especially when the dealer has a low upcard. If your total is 16 or less and the dealer has a face card, you should also consider hitting.
Splitting 8s and Aces
It is important to always split a pair of eights or aces in blackjack, regardless of what the dealer has showing. This will help you maximize your winning hands in the long run and can even cut your losses if the dealer has a strong hand.
Double Down on 11
A hard 11, which is made up of the first two cards you are dealt, is a good starting hand in blackjack and should be doubled down when possible. This will give you a better chance of getting a high point total and will help you beat the dealer.
Keeping a Running Count
If you want to increase your chances of winning at blackjack, you should learn how to keep a running count. This is a simple way to keep track of the number of cards that have been dealt and will help you understand how the game is progressing. There are a number of different counting systems to choose from, but the Hi-Lo method is a great place to start. Once you master the running count, you can move on to a true count, which takes your running total and divides it by the number of decks in play.
When to Double Down
Usually, you should only double down when your hand is in a position where one more card will significantly improve it. This is most often the case when your two cards make a total of 10 or 11. However, if your hand is already a total of 20 or 21 and you have a weak dealer, this might be a good time to double down.
If you have a Blackjack, you will lose your original bet (unless you have an insurance bet) but will win your side bet 2 to 1. If the dealer has a Blackjack, all of the players who have opted for insurance will lose their original bet.