How to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack
Using a deck of cards ranging from one to nine, the player’s objective is to beat the dealer’s hand. The best hand is a Blackjack, or an Ace and ten-card combination, or an Ace combined with a King, Queen, Jack, or 10 card. These are all considered the “natural” hand and are the best possible hands in blackjack. A blackjack has a house advantage of 5 percent. However, a player can lower the house edge by following a few basic rules.
Blackjack is played using a semi-circular table, with separate circles for each player. Before the cards are dealt, players make wagers. After they have all made their bets, the dealer begins play. The dealer deals a card face up. Then the player puts his or her bet into the betting circle, which is located in front of the space. The dealer then shuffles the cards using a continuous shuffling machine. The dealer takes his or her turn last.
The first two cards that a player receives are called the “natural” hand. This hand totals 21, which is the best possible hand in blackjack. A player can also split two cards of the same value into two separate hands. If the player splits two Aces, however, he or she is not considered to have Blackjack. The player is then entitled to a 3:2 payout for hitting blackjack.
If the dealer’s up card is an ace, players can place an insurance bet. This is a type of sucker bet that protects the player from losing his or her money. The dealer must hit on hands of 17 or less, and stand on any hand over 17. Taking insurance bets is usually recommended, but not always. If the dealer has a blackjack, insurance payouts are two to one.
Players can also double their bets, and the best time to do so is when the dealer’s card is low. Double down is also a good strategy for many hands with a pair of Aces. It pays dividends for many hands with a pair of 5s, and can pay off for a lot of hands with a pair of 8s. When a player doubles down, he or she doubles the bet and receives one more card, and then must decide whether to “Hit” or “Stand”.
Alternatively, a player can stand on any total of twelve or higher. Stand can be an excellent strategy for a player who wants to get closer to 21. This is a good strategy for a player who thinks they have a hand that is going to give them a good chance of winning. However, a player can lose their bet if their hand totals more than 21, which is the worst possible hand in blackjack. A player can also lose their bet when the dealer busts, which is a situation where the dealer’s cards are higher than the player’s cards.
A dealer may also offer an even money bet, which means the player receives a one-to-one payout on his or her original bet. However, the dealer will push on an even money bet if he or she has a blackjack.