Blackjack is a game of skill, strategy and luck. Unlike other games, blackjack has a mathematically correct basic playing strategy that maximises your chances of winning while reducing the house edge.
Blackjack also has a number of side bets that can be utilised. Some of these side bets can increase the house edge so it is important to understand how they work before placing your money on them.
Blackjack is a card game where players try to beat the dealer. The game starts with players making bets.
After betting, the dealer deals two cards to each player and one card to himself. They then take turns playing and make decisions based on their cards.
A blackjack is a hand that contains a 10-value card and an ace, giving a total of 21. It is the best possible hand and wins if it ties the dealer’s hand.
A player’s untied blackjack is paid at 3 to 2. If a dealer has a natural, their untied blackjack is also paid at 3 to 2.
Side bets are a great way to increase the excitement and fun of blackjack games, whilst offering you a greater number of ways to win. However, they can also be risky and not all of them are worth placing.
If you are a beginner to blackjack, it is recommended that you play conservatively and only place bets that are within your means. This will ensure that you don’t end up broke or frustrated.
If you have a winning streak of 3 or more hands in a row, you may want to raise your bet slightly to maximize your profits while the streak lasts. But it is important to remember that continually doubling your bets can quickly deplete your bankroll.
Insurance in blackjack is a bet you make on the dealer’s second card. It’s also a type of side bet that has been around for decades, and it’s one of the most controversial ones in the game.
Insurance is not always worth taking in blackjack, especially if you’re a beginner. But it can be a worthwhile bet if you’re a skilled player and know how to count cards.
Unlike health, auto and property insurance, blackjack insurance isn’t something you can get coverage for – at least not in the short term. That said, you can try to find a plan that covers the services you need, like visits to the doctor and prescriptions.
Dealer’s face-up card
The dealer’s face-up card, which is usually a ten-value card, determines whether the dealer has blackjack. If the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, players can place a side bet called insurance.
To use insurance, players must place a bet equal to half of their original wager. If the dealer’s face-down card is a ten-value card (making it a blackjack), players win their insurance bet and are paid double the amount of their half-bet – a 2 to 1 payoff.
If a player’s hand total is higher than 21, the player must choose to “Hit” or “Stand”. To hit, the player must scratch the felt on the table or wave their hand towards the dealer. If the dealer accepts the hand, they dispense a single card from the shoe and place it next to the original two cards.
Dealer’s face-down card
Once all the players have finished, it’s time for the dealer to play their hand. They will first flip over their “hole card” (the face-down card) and add up their two-card hand. If their two-card hand total is 16 or less, they must take additional cards until their hand total is 17 or more. If they do not have a total of 17, they must stand.
If the dealer has an ace, they may place a side bet called insurance. This bet pays twice the original amount if the dealer has a blackjack. This bet can also be placed when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, but only after the other side bets have been settled. It is best to check the rules of any casino you plan to visit before playing.