How to Play Blackjack


Unlike a game of poker, blackjack is a game where the main objective is to beat the dealer. This is accomplished by having the best hand possible. In blackjack, the best hand is one that has an Ace and either a King, Queen, Jack, or a 10 card. This is called the “natural,” and it is the only hand that will give the player a hand worth 21 points.

Blackjack is played with one to nine decks of cards. The cards are shuffled by the dealer using a continuous shuffling machine. The game can be played either face up or face down. The player makes their wagers at the start of each round. The dealer waits until the end of the round before turning their cards over.

Blackjack is played with a fixed house edge of 5 percent. The game can be played online or in casinos. Players can bet on blackjack as well as other side bets. Side bets can offer larger payouts, but come with more risks. Generally, a player should only bet on blackjack when they are sure that the dealer’s hand is favorable. If the player does not have a favorable hand, then they should play conservatively and try to win.

The goal of blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible. The best way to do this is by doubling down. This means that the player will exchange their original bet for another bet that is equal to the original bet. This can be particularly useful if the first two cards the player receives are low.

If the first two cards the player receives are a pair, then the player can split them into two separate hands. If the first two cards the player receives show an Ace, they may also be split into two separate hands. Typically, a pair of Aces will be split once, but they can be split three times for a total of four hands.

If the player has a pair of aces, the player will also be allowed to take insurance. This bet is placed on an “insurance bar” above the player’s cards. If the dealer shows an ace, the player will be paid 2 to 1 on the insurance. This pays out like a push, a bet that pays if the dealer busts. The insurance is usually half of the player’s original bet.

If the player’s hand does not qualify for blackjack, the player can choose to stand. The player will lose their wager if they have a hand that totals over 21. They can also lose if they bust. A bust occurs when the player’s cards total over five. The player can also lose when the dealer’s cards total over twenty-one. In addition, the dealer is more likely to bust when he or she has a pair of aces.

The best way to play blackjack is to play as conservatively as possible. If you have a soft hand, like a 17 with a single ace, you may want to double down, since a double down can pay off on many hands with two to seven cards.