The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game where players compete with the dealer to get cards that total as close to 21 as possible without going over. The game has gained popularity among casino enthusiasts and has even made its way to the big screen. Ken Uston became a household name when he won a lawsuit against the casino that banned him for his blackjack skills.

The basics of the game are easy to learn and apply, but there is a lot more to the game than meets the eye. The rules of blackjack can vary depending on the variant that you play, and side bets can significantly increase your house edge. It’s important to understand these differences before playing the game.

A good blackjack strategy starts with knowing when to hit. A hit is a good idea when your starting two cards add up to 11 or less, as it’s unlikely that you will bust in this situation. However, you should also know when to stand.

When you have a hand value of 17 or higher, it’s usually best to stand. This is because the dealer will need a very strong draw to beat your hand, which will probably leave them with a blackjack.

Another key aspect of the game is knowing when to double down. This is a risky move, but it can increase your winning chances if done correctly. You should only double down when you have a good chance of making a hand value of 20 or more, such as with a pair of tens or face cards.

Lastly, you should avoid increasing your betting size simply because you are on a losing streak or think that you are due for a win. The odds of a blackjack hand don’t care about the past, so you should always stick with your basic strategy.

Some casino websites offer a variety of blackjack variants, each with its own rules and side bets. These can be a great way to try out different strategies and find the ones that work for you. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these variations before you start playing, as some will have a greater house edge than others and may require a larger bankroll. It’s also a good idea to play shorter blackjack sessions, as this will give you more time to recover from losses. You can also take advantage of bonus offers to boost your bankroll and start winning!