Blackjack is a card game between player and dealer in which each strives to have the higher, unbroken hand. Each player receives two cards from both themselves and the dealer, from which they may hit or stand, hit requesting additional cards or sticking with what they already have. When drawing cards to reach 17 or above their total total is busted (over 21 is busted); when dealing a blackjack that exceeds 21 either player may win or push and neither wins the hand (known as “push”).
If the dealer displays an ace, she will offer even money on insurance bets placed by other players in an attempt to make the game more exciting; players should decline this offer and instead view her hole card through a small viewing window in the table; if it contains a ten under it she has blackjack and will collect all original wagers; otherwise the game continues as normal.
Remembering that blackjack is a mathematical game is key. Achieve success through proper application of basic strategy can significantly improve your odds. First developed in the 1950s by US Army engineers and later refined through computer analysis of millions of hands played over time.
Optimal playing strategy relies on the principle that for each combination of player and dealer cards, there exists one action (hit, stand, split, double down or surrender) with the highest probability of success. This information is then organized in a chart which displays this decision for every hand played.
When to hit:
Hitting is often beneficial when playing against a dealer with 10 or ace as this hand can be hard to beat; hitting can increase your odds of outwitting them. Doubling down may be advantageous with 11 against 2-3 dealer cards when showing 5-6; this should only occur with two to six dealer cards displayed as it may reduce chances of their holding out against your hand of 11 against their hand of 2.
When to stand: For optimal performance, stand when your hand consists of 15-16 and the dealer displays 2-9 cards. When holding two sevens it may be beneficial to split rather than hit; your odds for making 20 are more favorable with multiple 7’s than with one card alone. Furthermore, always consider surrendering when dealing with an ace dealer and holding 16 hands.