## How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game that originated in France. Originally called 21, the goal is to beat the dealer by getting a total value of 21 or as close to it as possible without going over. If the dealer’s hand comes closest to 21 than the player wins. In addition to being a popular game, blackjack can be considered a skill game, with many different strategies and betting options. This article will teach you how to play blackjack. The basic strategy is the mathematically best way to play this game.

## Basic strategy is the mathematically optimal way to play blackjack

You can learn the rules of basic strategy in as little as one hour by memorizing it. If you have the time, you can even learn the more complicated strategy in the same amount of time. The biggest difference between the two strategies is 0.2%. Basic strategy is an essential skill for beating blackjack and other card games. However, it is difficult to master it on your first go. You should practice it intentionally to become a pro at it.

## Players aim to get a total card value of 21

In blackjack, players aim to get as close to 21 as possible, or more, than the dealer. Aces and face cards count as 1 or 11, while all other cards have index values. A blackjack hand of two cards is called a natural, while a blackjack with four or more cards is a hard 21. The value of the cards’ suits is irrelevant in blackjack. Players may split two or more cards when they receive two or more cards of the same rank. They are then free to play the cards for either hand independently.

## Side bets

Blackjack side bets have been around for nearly half a century. They are intended to increase player engagement and boost the casino’s bottom line by generating more long-term profit. They make the game more interesting while carrying a high risk factor. Nevertheless, the potential rewards are often higher than the risks, and a side bet can return many times the amount bet. This article explores the pros and cons of blackjack side bets.

## Insurance is a sucker bet

The insurance bet is one of the most common mistakes players make in blackjack. This side bet pays 2-1 odds and should only be placed if the dealer has an ace or a better hand than yours. The only time it is worth it is if the dealer has blackjack. If you do not have a good hand, insurance is a suckers bet. Instead, you should continue playing the normal hand.

## Rules of splitting

When should you split a hand in blackjack? Depending on the situation, splitting an ace or an eight is recommended. However, a pair of fives or fours should be avoided. These hands can bust you out on a fourteen, and it is difficult to build into something when you have a pair of sevens. Nevertheless, you can split a pair of twos if the dealer has a ten or an Ace.