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How to Play Smart Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Its appeal is mostly due to its simplicity and the fact that it has a lower house edge than other table games. However, the game is not without its pitfalls, and players should be aware of these to avoid making costly mistakes.

The first step to playing smart blackjack is learning the rules of the game. You can do this by reading books or online, but you should also practice with a friend. After you have a solid understanding of the basic strategy, you can move on to more advanced strategies like card counting. While this technique requires a lot of dedication and time, it can greatly increase your winning chances.

Once you have a good understanding of the rules of blackjack, it’s time to start playing. Once you’re seated at the table, you and the dealer will each receive two cards, with one face up and the other face down. Work out the value of your hand and the dealer’s to determine whether you want to hit, stand, double down, or surrender. It’s a good idea to keep your own blackjack chart so that you can refer to it during the game, but be careful not to disturb the other players at your table. They may get annoyed if you constantly glance at the charts and don’t contribute to the conversation.

A player’s blackjack is a natural if it contains an ace and a card with a value of 10. The dealer will pay out 1 and a half times the player’s bet for a blackjack. If the dealer has a natural, he or she will collect the bets of all players who don’t have a blackjack.

While it’s tempting to double down on any hand that makes you over 21, you should only do so if it will make your total closer to 21 than the dealer’s. Otherwise, you’re wasting your money.

In some situations, it’s a good idea to ask the dealer for another card. This is called hitting and can be beneficial if your current cards are of low value, you’re sure that the next card won’t cause you to bust, or you’re willing to run the risk of the dealer having a better hand than you.

It’s generally a bad idea to split pairs of 8s or aces. In most cases, the dealer will be able to tell that you’re trying to get more points than necessary and will call your hand. In addition, splitting these hands will increase your house edge by a significant amount.

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