Blackjack is a game that requires discipline, a good strategy and a decent bankroll. If you don’t follow the rules and have a plan, you will most likely lose money. However, if you know the game and how to play it, you can reduce the house edge by up to 0.1%. You can also win by knowing when to walk away from a table.
When you’re playing blackjack, you have the option to take another card (hit) or keep your cards and not take any more (stand). You can also double down if you have a strong hand. The value of a hand is determined by the total of the cards. Face cards are worth 10, numbered cards are worth their printed values and aces can count as either 1 or 11, depending on which value helps the hand more.
A player’s goal is to get a blackjack, which consists of an ace and a card that has a value of 10. This pays 3:2 at most casinos. However, you must remember that the dealer can also get a blackjack, which will cause you to lose your bet.
The dealer will deal two cards to each player and one to himself. After this, he will check to see if he has a blackjack. He will then look at his face-down card and then pay any players who have a winning hand. He will also win his bet if any player busts.
Some people believe that the dealer always wins in blackjack. This is a misconception, and the reason for it is that some players make bad decisions that cost them their money. For example, novice players will stand more often than they should and won’t split when it makes sense to do so. They may also hesitate to hit a 16 against the dealer’s 7, which could give them a big advantage.
There are some other factors that can change the odds in blackjack, too. The rule on splitting pairs can make the game more profitable, as well as whether the dealer has to take an extra card on soft 17. You should also consider the type of blackjack you’re playing. European blackjack has a lower house edge than American blackjack.
In addition to the basic rules, there are several side bets available on most blackjack tables. These bets can include a bet on the dealer having a certain number of blackjacks, a bet on your hand making a poker hand with the dealer’s up-card and many others. Some of these bets can even double your original bet if you win! The most popular side bet is insurance, which is offered if the dealer shows an ace. Insurance bets are paid out at 2 to 1, but they still don’t beat the house edge. This is why some experts recommend avoiding them at all costs.