Blackjack is a card game that involves betting on your hand against the dealer’s. It is one of the most popular casino games and has a low house edge. However, the strategy that you use can make or break your game.
First, you should know the basic rules of the game. The goal is to have a total hand of 21 or closer without busting, while the dealer must have 21 or less. If you and the dealer both have a total of 21, it’s called a “blackjack” and you win 3:2. You can’t double down, but you can stand when the dealer’s up card is an ace or face card.
You can also play with a single deck or 4-8 decks. Many casinos have different versions of the game, but a few basic rules are the same.
When you’re playing with a single deck, you must remember to count the number of aces and face cards left in the deck. This method, known as card counting, was developed by Edward Thorp in 1962 in his book Beat the Dealer.
This technique is most effective when the deck has not been shuffled in a while, which makes it more likely that there are a lot of aces and face cards remaining in the deck. A ten-rich deck is one in which the number of aces and face cards is significantly higher than expected when the deck has been reshuffled, thus improving your odds of winning.
Once you have a good idea of the number of aces and face cards in the deck, you can use a computer program to determine the percentage of aces and face cards that are going to be dealt. Using this information you can alter your bet amount and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Another effective way to increase your chances of winning is to learn when to stand or hit. This can be done by reading the chart below. The numbers in the top row are your cards, and the numbers in the bottom row are your dealer’s cards.
If you’re not sure which hand to stand on, you can ask the dealer or players around the table for advice. They may be able to tell you if your hand is strong or weak.
In addition to using a good strategy, you can take advantage of the fact that some casinos offer different rules. For example, some allow the dealer to hit on soft 17, while others don’t.
Some casinos also have insurance. This allows the player to place a side bet of up to half the original bet when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. If the dealer does not have blackjack, the player loses their insurance bet and the hand continues with the original bets.
You can also play with resplitting aces, which reduces the house edge by about 0.13%. This method can be dangerous, however, because you’re putting yourself at risk of getting a poor hand when your original wager was smaller.