Learn the Basics of Blackjack


The game of blackjack requires a combination of skill, strategy, and luck. It is a casino table game where the player is trying to get to 21 or as close as possible to it without going bust, while also beating the dealer. The house edge is approximately 5 percent, which means that for every dollar you put into the game, the casino will keep about five cents. There are ways to reduce the house edge and increase your odds of winning, however. The best way to do this is to learn the basic strategy and practice it before playing in a real casino.

When you play blackjack, each player and the dealer receive two cards each. After the cards are dealt, the player can choose whether to ask for another card (hit) or to stay with their current hand (stand). In general, you should hit when you believe that the next card you receive will help you to get closer to 21, or when the dealer has a weak showing, such as an Ace.

Splitting is a great way to improve your chances of getting a good blackjack hand, especially with aces and eights. This is because these starting hands tend to have high probabilities of hitting blackjack and will therefore give you a better chance of reducing your losses or winning more money.

If the dealer has an ace showing, they may offer players a side bet called insurance. This bet pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack, and is usually half of the player’s original wager. Generally, it isn’t advisable to take insurance because the odds are against you.

After all of the players have placed their bets, the dealer will reveal his or her hole card. If they have a ten underneath, the dealer has blackjack and will pay out all of the players’ original bets. Otherwise, the dealer will continue with the game as normal.

The dealer will then ask each player if they want even money. This is another way to sell insurance, and it is a bad idea. The player is likely to be better off not taking the bet, and in fact, the house edge on this bet is higher than on the main game.

To find the right play for your hand, use a blackjack strategy chart. These charts can be found online and in some casinos, and they will show you the right move for each situation. Once you have memorized the chart, it should be easy to consult it at a glance when you are not sure of what to do. It is recommended to print the chart and bring it with you to the casino so that you can refer to it as needed. Remember, don’t deviate from the strategy based on your feelings because doing so will defeat the purpose of using a chart.