Blackjack is a game of chance and skill. While you can’t control what cards are dealt to you, the proper application of basic strategies can significantly increase your chances of winning. However, even a good strategy can’t guarantee that you will win every round. Nevertheless, understanding the game’s rules and knowing when to hit, stand, double down, or surrender can help you avoid losing streaks and make more money.
The game begins when players place their bets in the designated betting spots on the table. The dealer then deals each player two cards and himself (one card face up, one card face down). Players can then decide whether to hit, stand, surrender, or double down. A hand wins when it totals higher than the dealer’s or if it beats 21. A player loses when it busts or when its total is lower than the dealer’s.
Doubling down is a betting option in blackjack that allows you to increase your original bet by as much as two times before receiving another card. This is a great option to consider when you’re confident that one more card will make your hand better than the dealer’s.
Another betting option in blackjack is splitting pairs of cards. This is done when the first two cards that you are dealt are of equal value, such as a pair of 8’s or a pair of 10’s. It’s important to know when to split and when not to, as it can greatly affect your odds of beating the dealer.
When to hit
According to the basic strategy, you should always hit if your two cards add up to 11 or less. This is because it is impossible to bust at this point, so you have nothing to lose by hitting. In addition, you should also hit when the dealer shows a card that you can’t beat with your current hand, such as a seven or higher.
When to stand
Generally, you should stand when your two cards add up to 16 or more. This is because it is unlikely that you will bust when you have a hand with this total, and it will be more likely that your next card will improve your hand than worsen it. You should also stand if the dealer shows a card that you can’t improve with your next card, such as an ace or a 10.
When to surrender
Occasionally, it will be in your best interest to surrender your hand when the dealer has a good chance of having a blackjack. This is especially true if you have a weak hand such as a 15 or 16.
Never increase your bets because you are on a losing streak or because you think you’re due for a win. This can be a costly mistake that will dramatically decrease your odds of winning. The house edge of blackjack doesn’t care if you are on a losing or winning streak; your odds remain the same for each session.