Basic Rules of Blackjack
Blackjack is a game of odds where the player’s decisions directly affect their chances of winning. While strategy can help improve your odds, luck and the house edge still play a significant role. It is therefore essential to focus on the basic rules and proper bankroll management when playing this game.
Blackjack players are essentially competing against the dealer, regardless of how many other players are at the table. The player’s hand is compared to the dealer’s and the winner is the one with a higher point total. This is irrespective of the fact that other players may also have a higher hand or not.
Before the cards are dealt, each player must place their bets on a designated spot on the table. Once the bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to each player and himself. He will then peek to check for a Blackjack, which is a combination of an Ace and a 10. If no Blackjack is found, the dealer will flip his cards over and players will be invited to hit, split, double down or surrender.
If a player is dealt a pair of aces or eights, it is best to split them. This can be done regardless of the dealer’s up card, since a pair of aces is considered to be a strong starting hand. Moreover, splitting pairs allows the player to get more cards to improve their hand. This is why the player should never split 10’s, 5’s or 4’s and only do so when the dealer has a weak up card of 2 to 7.
When you have a strong starting hand, hitting is a good option. The reason is that it will increase your chances of improving your hand to a higher score than the dealer’s. However, you should always be sure not to bust – that is, go over 21. You should also stand when you have a hard 17 or higher, even if the dealer shows an Ace or a 10.
Doubling down is a good idea when you are certain that you will not bust. You will only be allowed to take one more card and this will increase your wager. It is, however, important to remember that doubling down will not increase your odds of winning.
If you are unsure what your next move should be, consult the blackjack cheat sheet. It will give you a solution for each situation. Referring to the chart will help you maximise your winnings and minimise how much you lose. However, it is best to avoid deviating from the strategy and only make changes based on the rules of the game. In addition, don’t learn more than one chart at a time as this could irritate other players at the table. Lastly, it is advisable to practice your strategy before you head to the casino. This will ensure that you’re able to play with confidence and not be distracted by the other players at the table.