How to Play Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino game that uses one or more 52-card decks and requires players to make bets. The goal is to obtain a hand that totals as close to 21 as possible without going over.

A key factor to understanding how to play blackjack is knowing the rules of the game and choosing a strategy that will help you win. For instance, knowing when to split 8s or Aces can significantly increase your odds of winning or cutting your losses.

Before you start playing, decide how much you are willing to spend on your bets. This will help you judge which real money blackjack games to play and set realistic bet limits for yourself.

Once you have your budget in mind, choose a casino with a good reputation. This will also help you find a table that is more favourable for your bankroll.

If you’re a novice, start with a small minimum bet and then add more when you win. This can give you a feel for how hot the table is and when it’s time to move on.

When you’re playing blackjack, it’s important to remember that the game has a house edge. This means that the house is able to make a profit from you by taking a certain percentage of your bets. However, the house edge in blackjack is 2% or less, so it’s not as big of a deal as it might seem at first glance.

The goal of blackjack is to get a hand that’s closer to 21 than the dealer’s. This can be done by drawing cards or allowing the dealer to draw cards, depending on the situation.

Each player is dealt two cards. They can choose to stand (stop drawing cards) or hit (request more cards). The dealer must stand when her hand is 16 or less and hit on 17 through 21.

To hit, a player taps the table in front of her or beckons with her hand. When she wants another card, she moves her hands in the same way.

There are five basic plays in blackjack: hit, stand, double down, split and surrender. You can use each of these moves as a strategy to get the best possible result in any given situation.

Before making a decision, always consider the house edge and your own odds of winning. If you are a beginner, try to find a casino that offers low house edges, and make your bets accordingly.

Practice keeping a running count of the cards in your hand. This can be difficult, especially if you’re not used to doing so, but it is an effective way to calculate your odds of success.

The best blackjack players are comfortable with this method. It helps them keep track of their cards and gives them an advantage over the dealer.

A good way to train yourself to keep a running count is to practice it at home by using a single deck of cards. Turn over the cards and then add up the value of each card. Repeat this process until you can quickly and quietly keep a running tally of your cards.