Basic Strategies For Winning at Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of chance, but it can also be a game of skill. If you learn basic strategy, and use it consistently, you will have a better chance of winning at blackjack than the average player. There are several other strategies that can be used to enhance your blackjack play, but learning and practicing basic strategy is the most important.

Keeping a positive attitude is important for blackjack players, especially during losing streaks. A positive attitude will help you make more intelligent decisions, and will contribute to your enjoyment of the game. Maintaining a good mindset will also help you avoid making impulsive decisions that can hurt your chances of winning.

A game of blackjack is played using one or more 52-card decks, with each card having a value, such as the number on the card or a face card (King, Queen, or Jack) or a number between 1 and 11. The goal of the game is to get a hand valued at 21 from your two cards before the dealer does. If you do, you win. If the dealer gets a blackjack, the game is over; however, in most games, if you have a higher hand value than the dealer’s, your bet will push and neither you nor the dealer will lose.

The game of blackjack has some nuances, but the basic rules are easy to understand. You should always stand on a hand of 17 or higher, regardless of the dealer’s showing, and hit a hand of 12-16 if the dealer has a six or lower. You should also split any pair of cards, such as two nines or two eights, when possible, even though it requires an extra bet.

You should also double down when your starting hand has a value of 11, and the dealer’s upcard is anywhere from 2 to 10. This will give you an additional card that could potentially improve your hand, whereas hitting or standing will not. Splitting 8s and Aces is a good idea as well, because they have the same value as a pair of twos and can be improved with an additional card, while eights can be improved by splitting when the dealer shows a three or more.

A basic blackjack chart is an essential tool to have at the table, and should be kept nearby so you can consult it when needed. The chart will show you the best move for each situation based on your hand and the dealer’s upcard. It will also tell you when to double down, split, or surrender. If you’re playing at a casino that offers early or late surrender, be sure to take advantage of it when it’s available; it will save you money in the long run.