Basic Blackjack Strategy


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino card games. It has a simple game play that is easy to learn and has an extremely low house edge, which can be reduced even further with basic playing strategy. However, players must always be aware of the rules and procedures of the game. They must also be careful not to upset other players or the dealer. In addition, they should avoid attempting to gain an unfair advantage over other players or the dealer by a betting strategy.

The game begins with players making their bets and the dealer dealing two cards to each player (one face up, one face down). Each player then decides whether to hit or stand. A player wins if their hand totals higher than the dealer’s or if the dealer busts. The dealer’s turn comes next. The dealer must hit on hands of 16 or less and stand on hands of 17 or more. Players can also double down or surrender, if allowed by the table rules.

When it comes to determining a winning hand, the first thing that players must do is to compare their cards with the dealer’s. If the player’s cards are equal to or greater than 21, they win. If the player’s hand is lower than the dealer’s, they must hit until their hand totals 17 or more. A dealer’s hand must consist of at least an ace and a 10-value card.

Having a high hand value means that you will be more likely to beat the dealer’s, so doubling down is the best option if your initial cards are worth 10 or 11. It is also recommended that you double down when the dealer has a weak card showing, such as a six or an eight. This will increase your chances of beating the dealer’s hand and reducing the house edge.

Another way to improve your odds of winning is by splitting a pair of 8s or aces. Unless the dealer has an ace, it is usually better to split aces than 8s as this will yield a superior hand in most situations. In fact, splitting a pair of aces can be the most profitable decision in the entire game of blackjack.

The basic blackjack strategy chart was developed in the 1950s by four US Army engineers using simple adding machines to find the optimal blackjack playing decisions. It was later refined with the use of computers to simulate millions of blackjack hands. The chart is designed to show the player what plays are most profitable based on the cards in their hand and the dealer’s upcard. It is important to remember that the playing decisions of other players at your blackjack table have no effect on your long-term blackjack odds, regardless of how much you bet or whether you are losing or winning streaks.