Blackjack is a card game that involves the player versus the dealer. The best way to maximise your winning potential is to follow a strategy that is proven to be correct. While luck plays a role, the basic playing strategy can reduce the house edge by about 1-to-2 percent.
Before you play blackjack, familiarize yourself with the game’s rules. Then practice different strategies by playing free games online. Once you have mastered basic strategy, you can move on to more advanced techniques such as card counting and shuffle tracking. However, be aware that these strategies will only give you a small advantage in the long run and should only be used when playing for real money.
The most important thing to remember when playing blackjack is that there are only two hands in play – your hand and the dealer’s hand. Therefore, don’t think about other players at the table or worry about whether the dealers are on a hot streak. The decision to hit or stand is based on the values of your cards and the dealer’s upcard.
A starting hand of a 10 value card and an Ace is called a blackjack and beats all other hands (except another blackjack). If the dealer has a blackjack, the game ends in a push – neither the player nor the bank wins the bet. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, the player may double down or surrender, depending on the rules of the game you’re playing.
Stand on 17+ – The first rule of blackjack is to always stand when your hand has a total of 17 or higher. This is a great way to minimise losses and maximise your winnings, especially when the dealer shows an ace or 10.
Splitting Aces and 8s – The basic blackjack strategy states that it is always worth splitting aces and eights, regardless of the dealer’s upcard. This is because aces and eights have a high chance of beating the dealer, even when they don’t match.
Don’t be a sucker for Insurance – The insurance bet is a side bet that the player makes when the dealer shows an ace. The dealer will then offer even money to the player if they believe they have blackjack. While it may sound like a safe bet, this is one of the worst bets in blackjack. Insurance bets have a house edge of about 14%.
When you’re practicing your blackjack strategy, try not to deviate from the chart provided by the Wizard of Odds. This way, you’ll be able to keep your betting range consistent and avoid second-guessing your decisions. It’s also important to not increase your bet size simply because you’re on a losing streak. This will only drive up your average bet, which ultimately leads to a greater loss in the long run. You should also avoid increasing your bet size just because you feel that you’re due for a win, as the odds of a winning streak don’t change the overall house edge.