Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around and although luck plays a big part in your success, it’s important to be aware of how to play the game correctly. This is not only to maximise your winning potential but also to avoid giving back any of your money to the house. This article will give you some helpful tips to improve your blackjack strategy and avoid making any costly mistakes.
First of all, it’s important to remember that when you play blackjack you’re not competing against other players at the table – you’re playing against the dealer. Your goal is to achieve a hand value that’s closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going bust.
Once you’ve placed your bets you and the other players will be dealt two cards each whilst the dealer gets a card face up and one face down (these are known as the hole card and the up card respectively). If your first two cards add up to 21 then that’s called a ‘blackjack’ and the player will win instantly.
Otherwise, you will have to draw cards until you’re satisfied with your total. You can hit (ask for another card) if you want to improve your hand, but be careful not to go over 21 as this is a huge no-no and will result in an instant loss.
It’s also worth knowing that the game has several different variants and some have slightly different rules. It’s best to familiarise yourself with the rules of each one before you start playing so that you’re not caught off guard by anything.
If you’re lucky enough to be on a winning streak, then it’s always a good idea to raise your bet a little. This will allow you to maximize your profits while your winning streak lasts. However, be sure to keep an eye on your bankroll and don’t raise your bet too high as if you lose then your losses will quickly pile up.
You can also choose to split your cards if they are a pair like two nines or two threes, but you should only do this when you’re confident that the additional card won’t cause you to bust or that the dealer will be unlikely to have a better hand than yours. You can also double down if you’re confident that your current hand will beat the dealer’s, but it isn’t as profitable as standing on a hand of 17+.
Lastly, you can also opt to surrender if your hand isn’t as strong as the dealer’s. However, this isn’t a recommended strategy and it’s usually best to walk away from the table once you have doubled your initial stake or reached your set spending limit. It’s also important to cash in once you’ve reached your desired goal or target amount so that you don’t end up giving all of your winnings back to the house!