How to Win at Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game where players compete against the dealer. The objective is to beat the dealer by obtaining a hand value that is higher than the dealer’s without going over 21.

To win at blackjack, you need to know the basic rules of the game and some advanced strategies that can increase your chances of winning. The best way to do this is to read and practice the many different strategy charts that are available at most casinos.

Before playing at a casino, you should set a budget and stick to it. This will allow you to avoid losing too much money and ensure that you have a good chance of winning.

You should also learn to keep a running count. This will allow you to see when it is time to double down, split or surrender your hand.

Keeping a count can be challenging at first, but with some practice it will become second nature. You can practice by using a single deck of cards and adding up the values of each card. As you get better at this, switch to using multiple decks of cards.

The most important thing to remember is that you should always try to get as close to 21 as possible. If your cards total 21 you have won the hand.

If your hand does not have 21 you will bust, which means that you will lose your bet. You can also bust if you draw more cards than your original hand or if the total of your hands exceeds 21.

Your aim should be to get as close to 21 as possible and not bust, especially when you have an Ace. This is because an Ace can be converted into a Blackjack, which will pay out at a higher rate than any other card.

When you have an Ace, you should hit or stand based on the card value of the dealer’s upcard. You should hit if the dealer’s upcard is a four or a five and stand if it’s a two or a six.

If the dealer’s upcard is a six or a seven, you should stand because this will give you an edge over the dealer. If the dealer’s upcard is ten, you should hit as long as your hand is eight or less and stand on anything over 12.

In addition to splitting pairs, you can also “split” Aces. This will allow you to make up to four separate hands. However, you may only re-split a pair of Aces once (it is not possible to split a two-card hand into two separate hands).

You can also double down by placing an additional bet in a new stack on the table. The second hand must equal the original wager.

To double down, simply turn your cards face up and add a second bet to the original stack. The hand signal for this is “split” and the player’s finger should be held up. The player will then play two hands against the dealer.