The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a game that involves betting on cards. The goal is to get closer to 21 than the dealer does. You can win with a two-card hand of 21, a ten-card hand or a pair of aces. If the dealer gets the same cards as you, you lose.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, usually 1 to 9 decks. The value of each card is either a number from 2 to 10 or an ace that counts as 1. The dealer’s face-down card is called the hole card. The card is not revealed until after all players have finished playing their hands.

The starting hand is a ten-valued card and an ace. If your two-card hand is a ten-valued hand and an ace, it is called a natural. If you have a ten-valued hand and a non-ace, it is called a soft hand. A player with a natural is paid 3:2 on the bet.

If the dealer’s first card is an ace, then the dealer must stand. If the dealer’s card is an ace and a 10-valued card, then the dealer has blackjack. The dealer must then draw a new card. If the dealer’s second card is not a blackjack, then the half of the bet is returned to the player.

Depending on the house rules, a player may also choose to buy insurance. This is an option that costs 50% of the original bet. In the event that the dealer has a natural, the insurance pays 2-1.

Despite this, it is often a bad idea for a player to buy insurance. It is only advisable if the dealer’s face-up card is a ten or an ace, or if a significant number of ten-cards remain unplayed.

Regardless of whether you want to play insurance, it is important to have an understanding of the dealer’s cards before you start. The ace and ten count as one or 11, while all other cards count at an index value. You should also keep in mind that the color of cards does not affect the outcome of the game. It is therefore important to determine your own strategy and decide whether to take the insurance or not.

In addition to the insurance option, players can also surrender their bets. This allows a player to withdraw their bet if the dealer’s first card is a ten-valued card or a face card. The bet is forfeited if the dealer busts. Alternatively, players can early surrender. By doing so, a player can avoid a total of 12 when the dealer checks for Blackjack. If the dealer has a Blackjack, the player and dealer are automatically tied, and the player loses his bet.

Some casinos restrict the ranks of the cards that are split. Some of these restrictions include splitting aces. Other combinations are allowed, but may be restricted. For instance, if the dealer has a seven, and the player has an ace, the player must double down or surrender.