Blackjack is a game of cards where players compete against the dealer to accumulate cards that total as close to 21 as possible without going over. A player is given two cards and then can choose to ask for more cards based on a set of rules.
When you are dealt your first two cards, you can decide to hit (ask for an additional card) or stand (avoid taking any additional cards). After evaluating your hand, the dealer will then deal themselves two more cards. The dealer’s goal is to get a higher point total than the players. The best way to beat the dealer is to have a Blackjack, which consists of an ace and either a 10 or a face card.
Some casinos have changed the basic rules of blackjack, which can make the game more difficult for players. For example, some casinos now pay 6 to 5 for Blackjacks, which reduces the payout and increases the house edge. This rule is not universal and it’s important to read the table rules before you play.
The most significant change to the game of blackjack is the proliferation of side bets. In the past, there was only one side bet available on a blackjack table: insurance. But today there are hundreds of different side bets available, some of which can dramatically increase your bankroll if you are lucky enough to win them.
While most players understand the basic rules of blackjack, they may be confused about when to hit and when to stand. The general rule is to hit when your hand value is under 17 and you’re facing a dealer up card of 2 to 6. In addition, you should always split pairs of aces, never split 10s, and only split 8s against a dealer’s up card of 2 to 7.
Once the players have all placed their bets, the dealer will check her hole card for a blackjack. If she has a ten underneath, she will sweep everyone’s original wager and pay everyone else their insurance bets at odds of 2 to 1. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, the game continues as normal.
In the last couple of decades, blackjack side bets have become extremely popular. They can take the form of betting on whether a player will get a pair as their first two cards, betting on whether a dealer’s hand will match the player’s or not, and even betting on whether or not the dealer will bust. Most of these side bets are offered at the same time as a player’s main bet, and most of them require that the player place an additional bet of equal size to their initial wager.