How to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world and it is a great way to have fun while testing your skills. Many amateur players believe that this game is based purely on luck, but there are some solid pieces of mathematics that can be used to turn the tables and make you a winning player. These techniques are not hard to learn and will improve your odds dramatically if you follow them.

Blackjack starts with a deck of cards and the player gets two initial cards. After that they can ask for more (hit) or stay with their current hand (stand). The dealer then draws cards until his or her hand has a value of 17 or higher. Whoever has a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer wins the game. A tie is a push and you get your original bet back.

Before the cards are dealt each player must place a bet, and the minimum and maximum bets are usually posted on the table. Once the bets are placed the dealer deals each player two cards face up. The player can then decide to hit and request more cards or stand based on a predetermined set of rules.

After all the players have taken their turns, the dealer will reveal his or her card and continue drawing cards until the hand has a value of 17 or higher. If the dealer busts, all remaining players win. If the dealer has an equal hand value to the player, a tie is a push and you get your initial bet back. If the dealer has a Blackjack, you lose your first bet (unless you have a Blackjack as well) but you will earn a 2 to 1 payout on the side bet that you made.

Most casinos offer Blackjack tables and the majority of them allow for a maximum of seven players. Whenever you see an empty seat at a blackjack table, assume that it is open and ready for you to sit in (unless chips or a coat are holding the spot for a player who just stepped away for a moment). Some casinos have a No-Midshoe Entry policy and you may only play if the dealer has not yet started dealing cards.