How to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game where players compete against the dealer. The goal is to draw cards with a total value as close to 21 as possible, without going over. The player wins by beating the dealer’s hand or if the dealer busts. The dealer is always dealt two cards, one face up and the other face down. If the dealer has a face-up card of 10 or higher, it is considered a “blackjack” and cannot be beat. If the dealer’s cards total 21 or less, the player wins by a push (tie).

A popular misconception among Blackjack players is that all it takes to win is luck. Regardless of what kind of specialized literature or books they might read, the fact is that there are other more important things than luck when playing Blackjack: strategy, knowledge, money management skills and discipline.

Before you start to play, it is important to decide how much you are willing to wager per hand and stick to this decision throughout the game. This will help you avoid making costly mistakes, such as betting more than you can afford to lose. It also helps to set a winning streak and a losing streak probability calculator so that you know when to walk away from the table.

There are many different strategies to learn for blackjack. One of the most common is to double down when you have two cards that add up to 11 and the dealer has a non-face, non-ace card. This move increases your bet by up to two times the original amount and can be very profitable in some situations. Another way to increase your chances of winning is by splitting Aces and 8s. This will result in significant gains for the player, as well as helping you to limit your losses when the dealer has a weak card.

It is also important to understand when you should hit and when you should stand. When your two cards add up to 11, it is very difficult to bust, so hitting is generally a good idea. When the dealer has a low card, such as a 6, it is usually wise to stand, because there is a very high probability that he will bust and you will be in a winning position.

In addition to the basic strategy, you should practice keeping a running count in order to get a better understanding of the game’s odds. This is a simple process of adding up the values of the cards as they are drawn, and it can be done while you play online blackjack games for real money. Once you have mastered this skill, you can begin to apply it in the casino.

The other thing you should do is to avoid taking insurance on any of your hands. This is because the odds of getting a natural 21 valued initial hand decrease linearly as you discard cards, unlike other card games, where the odds of a particular combination decline exponentially as you remove them.