How to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game in which the player competes against the dealer. The objective of the game is to have a hand score (combined value of cards held) close to 21 without going over. Each card has a specific value; the numbers 2 through 10 have their face value, while the Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 10. Aces count as either 1 or 11. The player can draw cards to improve their hand score or choose to stand (stop drawing cards) or hit (request more cards) based on a set of rules. If the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, they win and are paid an amount equal to their original wager. Ties result in a push and the dealer’s bet remains on the table.

Before you start playing blackjack, it is important to understand the rules and etiquette of the game. For example, never leave any cash in the betting box on the table. This is considered poor etiquette and can give the dealer an unfavorable impression of you as a player. In addition, you should not double down or surrender unless allowed in the rules of the particular version of blackjack you’re playing.

Once the players have placed their bets, the dealer will deal two cards to each player. Then the player can decide to hit and receive more cards or stand and keep their current hand. The dealer will also play their cards according to predetermined rules. If the dealer has a blackjack, they are paid 6 to 5. Otherwise, they lose and their bet remains on the table.

When to hit in blackjack

The best time to hit in blackjack is when your hand value is 17 or higher. You should also hit if the dealer has a face-up card of 9 or lower. However, you should always split aces and 8s.

When to double down in blackjack

Double down is a common strategy in blackjack and can be very profitable when used correctly. It allows a player to increase their initial bet by as much as 2 times. Typically, the player can only do this when their first two cards are of equal rank. The player can also surrender half of their bet before the dealer checks for a blackjack. This is a great strategy for those who are not confident that their hand will beat the dealer’s.

Avoid side bets in blackjack

Many blackjack games offer side wagers, such as Perfect Pairs or 21+3. These side bets generally have large house edges and should be avoided. Those who do place these bets should make sure that their blackjack wager is equal to or greater than any side bet wager.