A Beginner’s Guide to Blackjack Strategy


Blackjack is a game of strategy. The objective is to get a better hand than the dealer without going over 21. The game is usually played with one to eight 52-card decks. The cards with numbers count as their face value, jacks as 10, and kings as 11. Aces can be treated as either 1 or 11, at the player’s choice.

A good blackjack strategy begins with a basic understanding of the game. Many free resources exist, including blackjack strategy charts that display whether to hit, stand, or double down for every possible combination of the player’s hand and the dealer’s up card. These are available online or in print form, and are very handy for playing the game on the go. Many casinos also allow players to use these charts at the table.

The most important decision a player makes before any cards are dealt is where to sit at the blackjack table. It is important to find a seat with an empty spot (unless it’s obvious that someone is holding the place with their chips or coat, and even then it may be a No-Midshoe Entry policy), as this will increase your chances of winning. It is also advisable to avoid sitting next to the dealer or anyone else who will make it difficult to concentrate on your own hands.

After taking a seat at the table, each player is dealt two cards. Once you know what your own hand is worth, it’s time to compare it with that of the dealer. If your hand is worth more than the dealer’s, you win. If not, you lose.

When deciding whether to hit or stand, the best strategy is to stick with your strongest hand. Don’t take insurance – this side bet has a house edge of over 7%, so it’s not a good idea to tempt fate with it. In addition, it’s a good idea to stand on any hand of 12-16 against the dealer’s 6 or lower, as the dealer is likely to bust more often than you would.

Experienced blackjack players know the importance of setting a losing and a winning limit before they play. This will help them stay in control of their money and end a gaming session with some winnings. If you do happen to hit your losing limit, it’s important to remember responsible gambling and walk away from the casino.