The Basics of Blackjack


Blackjack is a casino card game in which players compete against the dealer. A player wins the game by getting a hand of 21 or higher, which beats the dealer’s hand. If a player and the dealer have the same hand, it is a tie, and bets are returned without adjustment. The game was named for the combination of an ace and a ten-value card, called a “blackjack” in blackjack terms, but any two-card total of 21 will win. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced blackjack player, the key to success is knowing when to hit and when to stand.

Basic Strategy is a set of rules that will help you make the best decisions when playing blackjack. It won’t guarantee you a win every time, but it will reduce your house edge significantly and improve your odds of winning. Learn the rules and follow them consistently for the most profitable results.

If the dealer shows an ace, you can choose to place a side bet known as insurance, which pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has a blackjack. This bet is a big money-maker for casinos, and even some solid blackjack players will often make this mistake. It’s important to understand the concept of insurance before making this bet.

Some casinos have changed the payout on blackjacks from 3:2 to 6:5. This raises the house edge and makes card counting less effective. If you’re playing at a casino that offers this rule, stick with basic strategy and avoid placing side bets.

When you have a total of 16 or more in your hand, you can ask for another card (hit). You can also double your bet and receive one additional card, which is known as doubling down. However, this is a risky play, so only do it if you are confident that the dealer will not have a blackjack. Otherwise, you should just stand.

You can also surrender your hand if you have a weak one against the dealer. This is a good option if you have a hand like an 8 and a 5, or a hard 14 against a dealer’s upcard of 10. You can signal this to the dealer by performing the “stand” hand motion.

The career of a blackjack dealer can be very rewarding and exciting, especially if you are knowledgeable about the game and have a strong work ethic. The working hours are flexible, and you don’t need a college degree to get started. Research colleges that offer blackjack dealer courses to find the right program for you. You may be able to enroll in an online or community college program that will provide the training you need for this lucrative and fun career.