If you want to play blackjack with a fair chance of winning, then it is vital that you stick to the basic rules. This will prevent you from committing some of the most common mistakes at the blackjack table that push the house edge higher and decrease your chances of victory.
A basic strategy chart is an essential tool for all blackjack players. It will help you determine the best move in every situation and maximise your wins and minimise your losses. Whether you are playing online, on your mobile phone or at an actual casino, the chart will help you make the most of each hand.
When deciding how much money to wager per hand, it’s important to stick to your bankroll. If you don’t, then you will be making emotional decisions at the table and possibly putting yourself under financial strain. The optimal approach is to set a budget for each blackjack session and to bet no more than one to two percent of your total bankroll on each hand.
In a game of blackjack, you and the dealer are each dealt two cards. If your first two cards add up to 21 (an Ace and a card worth 10), then you have a Blackjack and win the hand. If your hand is worth less than 21, you must draw more cards until you reach 21 or go bust.
The dealer must also draw new cards if their hand is below 17 and must continue to do so until they have a hand worth at least 17 or go bust. Therefore, if your hand is worth more than the dealer’s, you will win.
Card counting is an effective way to improve your odds of winning at blackjack. By keeping a running total of the cards as they are dealt, you can increase your bets when the deck is full of face cards and tens, and lower them when there are few tens and faces remaining. There are a number of card counting systems, but the most popular is Hi-Lo. You can practice your count by using a single deck and adding up the value of each card as you turn them over.
Splitting aces is a good idea in blackjack because it increases the odds of getting a natural Blackjack (Ace and a card worth 10) or a high payout if you hit a different card to your split Ace. However, you must be aware that splitting aces means that each hand is now played independently.
If the dealer gets a Blackjack, then all players lose the hand, unless they have a blackjack themselves. A push occurs if the player has a blackjack and the dealer does not.
Always remember that blackjack is a two-person game and be wary of becoming distracted by other players at the table. It can be easy to get caught up in the action and forget that you are only playing against the dealer.