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The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino game that is played with one or more decks of cards. The goal is to get as close to 21 points without going over. This can be done by using the cards in the deck, by drawing additional cards, or by utilizing strategy.

The game of blackjack is based on math and strategy, not luck. It is played in casinos worldwide.

Players make bets and the dealer deals two cards to them. The player then decides whether to stand (stop drawing cards), hit, or surrender.

If the player chooses to surrender, they reclaim half their original bet and the dealer retains the other half. This is often done in situations where the dealer’s hand is weak compared to the player’s.

Surrendering also allows a player to stop the play of their hand and return the bet to the casino, in case the dealer’s second card does not result in a Blackjack. The dealer then checks their card to ascertain if they have a Blackjack, and if they do not, the player loses the hand.

Basic Strategy

The best possible hand in blackjack is an ace with a ten-card or a face card, which counts as 21 points and is called “blackjack”. This beats any other hand that does not have this value, but it can be beaten by the dealer’s hand, which is known as a push.

Blackjack is a game that requires a good deal of strategy and knowledge of the rules. If a player uses the correct strategy, they can win more than half of their bets in any given hand.

Blackjack can be played with up to four players at a single table, or with up to eight players at a multi-table. The game can be played with one, three, or four decks of cards.

Aside from the standard betting, there are additional side bets available, including insurance on the dealer’s ace. This costs 50% of the player’s initial bet amount, but pays a fixed 2:1 if the dealer has a Blackjack.

In addition, some casinos offer a single-card double-down option on certain combinations of cards. This is usually only allowed on the first two cards, and it only pays out if the dealer has a Blackjack.

Splitting the Dealer’s Hand

The dealer may ask a player to split their hand into two separate hands by placing the first and second cards face-down on the table. If the player chooses to split, they must make a new wager equal to the original wager on each of the two hands.

If the player’s split hand does not bust, they are still required to make a new wager on each hand, but the original bet is returned. This is done to protect the player from a busted split, and it is common practice for casino dealers to tell players if their split hand has been busted before the end of the round.

Hitting on a Soft 17

A lot of people think that it is a good idea to hit on a soft 17, but this can be a bad decision. A lot of players hit on a soft 17 because they want to draw more cards. This is a mistake because the Ace makes all the difference in this type of hand and the general rule is to stay with the original two cards.

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