How to Beat the Dealer at Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino game where you try to beat the dealer. You can do this by having a hand value that goes over 21 or by not going bust when the dealer does. There are several rules, procedures and codes of conduct that players must adhere to during gameplay.

To begin the game, players place their chips in front of them on the blackjack table. The dealer then deals themselves two cards, one face up and the other face down. The player then looks at their cards and decides to hit, stand, split or double. The dealer then reveals their own card, which must be an ace if they are offering insurance. The player can also choose to make a side bet on whether or not the dealer has a blackjack. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player’s first bet loses (unless their hand is a blackjack as well), but their side bet wins at a payout of 3 to 2.

Once all the players have made their decision, play proceeds clockwise around the table. The dealer then acts based on the players’ hands and the dealer’s upcard. The dealer must hit any hand that is 16 or higher, and stand on all 17s (hard and soft). If the dealer has an ace showing, they offer insurance to the players.

The dealer will then ask the player if they want another card, based on the current value of their hand. You should only ask for another card if you are certain that the next card will not cause you to go bust, or if you have the money to risk going bust and losing your entire wager. You can signal to the dealer that you want a hit by making a beckoning motion with your finger or tapping the table behind your cards lightly with your finger.

In addition, you should always double down when you are holding a hard 11, regardless of what the dealer is showing. This will help you maximize your winning hands in the long run. You should also always split a pair of 8s and pairs of aces, even though this costs an extra bet.

Lastly, you should only play against the dealer and ignore the decisions of other players at the table. They don’t know what you have and they certainly aren’t paying your mortgage, so don’t let them ruin your day at the casino.

Before you start playing, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic strategy. This is an optimal way to play the game that will reduce your house edge to less than 1%, depending on the rules of the specific blackjack game. To learn more, check out wikiHow’s Blackjack cheat sheet. Using a blackjack strategy chart will make your game much more efficient and allow you to win more often.