Blackjack is a card game where players compete against the dealer. To win, the player must accumulate cards with a total value of 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over. The game also allows the player to make side bets, such as insurance and even money. Some players use these bets to enhance their winnings. Others play the game strictly for the thrill of beating the dealer. Whatever the motivation, there are certain things all players should know about blackjack.
First, understand that you are playing against the dealer, not against other players at the table. This is a simple concept, but one that many players forget. They get too caught up in what other players are doing, and that can hurt their chances of success.
The game is played with a single or multiple decks of cards. Cards with numbers 2 through 10 are worth their face value, while aces are valued at either 1 or 11. All other cards have no meaning in the game. Once the deal is made, each player gets two cards. The player may then choose to stand (stop drawing cards) or draw (request more cards) based on a set of rules.
During the course of a hand, the dealer will reveal her hole card, which can give players important information. It is important to pay attention to how long the dealer takes to look at her card and what angle she tries to view it at. These are signs that she has a blackjack, and can help you determine whether or not to buy insurance.
After the dealer checks her card, she will collect all insurance wagers and then continue with the rest of the hand. If she has a blackjack, the players who bought insurance will receive their original wager back. The dealer will then shuffle the cards and start a new round.
Some casinos offer a special payout for blackjacks that include an ace. This is known as the blackjack bonus and it is meant to attract players who are seeking higher odds. However, the casino will still have a better edge over the player.
Whenever possible, always stay with your hand if it is 17 or higher. It is much easier to beat the dealer with a high hand than it is to win with an inferior one. If you decide to hit, the chances of getting a lower hand than the dealer are high, and this can cost you more than your original bet. This is why it is important to know the house edge of the game before you play. Typically, it is listed on the blackjack table in terms of Minimum and Maximum bet per hand. This varies from casino to casino, and also from table to table. If you are unsure of the table’s betting limits, ask the dealer or check a digital sign at the table. This will give you the accurate minimum and maximum bets for that particular table.