Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is a casino card game in which the goal is to beat the dealer by amassing cards closer to 21 than they do. The game takes place on a semicircular table that seats multiple players (or “spots”). Each player receives two cards; depending on your specific rules of gameplay, hits, stands, double downs or surrenders may occur according to those outlined within your particular version of blackjack. To increase your odds of victory it is vital that you understand its basic strategy.

Goal of this game: reach 21 using only two cards you are dealt. If your hand exceeds that of the dealer’s hand value, you win; otherwise you “push”, receiving back your original bet; but if it falls lower than theirs then you lose.

Double down when there is an excellent chance that the next card you draw can create a strong hand. Ideal times to double are when holding nine or 10 and the dealer displays either an Ace, 10 or 7; otherwise it would not be wise to double. Don’t double with weak hands like 11/12s unless your dealer shows an Ace 10, 7 or other face card as this would only complicate matters further.

Double down means keeping your initial bet unchanged while requesting an extra card from the dealer. It should only be done when adding this extra card will increase the odds of making a strong hand.

Whenever your total is 16 or greater, always consider hitting as it is hard to bust with this hand and the dealer should generally provide you with a decent payout. Hitting is also recommended if the dealer shows 9, 10 or 7 cards or you have an Ace and are dealt hard hands such as 14, 15 or 16.

Responsible gambling is key to long-term success; never bet more than you can afford to lose and establish a budget for each blackjack session. Proper bankroll management is also vital; experts suggest betting no more than 1-2% of your total bankroll per hand and avoiding side bets with high house edges as well as taking insurance policies.