Blackjack is one of the few casino games that require a bit of strategy to win. While many players believe that blackjack is a game of pure chance, the truth is that your knowledge and strategy will have a significant impact on your odds. The first step to playing the game correctly is understanding the basics of blackjack.
When you play blackjack, the dealer and each player receive two cards each. The goal of the player is to beat the dealer by having a higher, unbusted hand. If the player busts, they lose the hand. If the dealer busts, they also lose. If the dealer and the player have a hand with a similar point value, it is called a push, and neither wins the hand.
The basic rules of blackjack are easy to learn, and they should be followed as closely as possible to maximize your chances of winning. In addition to learning the basic strategy, you should practice counting cards. This is a more advanced strategy, but it can greatly increase your edge over the house. In blackjack, the house edge is 0.15%, and counting cards can lower it to 0.1% or less.
While counting cards isn’t possible in all casinos, it is still a great way to reduce the house’s advantage. It is important to keep in mind that counting cards will not make you a winner every time, and it will take a lot of work to master. The key to successful card counting is to keep a running count and only make adjustments when the count is positive.
Another way to decrease the house’s edge is by making smart bets. This includes doubling down when you have a good chance of beating the dealer. However, be careful not to double down when the dealer is showing an ace or a 10. This is one of the worst bets in blackjack, and it will cost you a large percentage of your bankroll.
In addition to doubling down, you should also split your pairs of eights and aces. This will give you more hands and better odds of hitting 21. You should also never split fives or faces.
The final tip to reducing the house edge in blackjack is by knowing when to hit and when to stand. For instance, you should always hit when you have a total of 16 against a dealer’s 3. This will give you a 5% chance of a push, which is a very favorable situation for the player.
If you are unsure of when to hit, consult the table and charts below for guidance. The charts will show you the best decision based on the value of your hand and the dealer’s card. Keeping these tips in mind will help you improve your blackjack odds and have more fun at the tables. Be sure to check out our list of Station Casinos locations and escape the insanity of the Strip for some serious blackjack action!