Blackjack is the game of chance where players compete against the dealer. The dealer’s goal is to beat the player’s hand by getting a total of 21 without busting, while the player’s goal is to get a total higher than the dealer’s. There are several different varieties of blackjack, and each version is unique in terms of rules and pay-outs. In standard casino blackjack, the payouts are generally 3:2; some casinos have begun paying 6:5 on blackjacks in recent years.
Blackjack is a two-card hand where the player’s first two cards count as 21, while the dealer’s hand counts only as 17. The sum of the cards that are played in the hand is also called the “hand value”. Players can keep track of the cards they are playing to determine the best times to stand, hit, or double down. If the player’s first two cards total 21 without busting, the player wins the hand. However, if the dealer’s second card does not result in blackjack, the player loses half his bet.
Aside from the main bet, players may also opt to place an insurance bet. Insurance bets are usually offered on the ace of the dealer’s hand. This bet is not mandatory; it is up to the player to decide whether or not to play it. It costs fifty percent of the original bet, and pays out two to one if the dealer has blackjack.
Another bet that is often offered is the “Dealer Match”. This bet is based on the fact that the player’s cards match the dealer’s up card. All other cards in the hand are valued according to the index number of their card value. For instance, face cards and ten-cards count as ten, while the ace is valued as either one or eleven.
Blackjack is also sometimes known as a “natural” when the player’s first two cards equal 21. When a player has a natural, they automatically win. To win a natural, the player must have the ace and ten-cards.
There are a variety of variations on the basic game, including multi-hand blackjack, German Blackjack, and Chinese Blackjack. These variations can increase the house edge, but they do not change the fundamentals of the game. They do however, add a new element of choice for the players.
Blackjack has many legal strategies to gain an advantage over the house. Some of these methods are gaining information about the dealer’s hole-card, surrendering your cards, and splitting pairs. Others involve obtaining information on the next card. Other tactics include using a card counting system, which can be used to reduce the house edge to 0.5 to 1.5%.
Most blackjack games offer a side bet called insurance. The insurance bet pays out 2 to 1 if the dealer has blackjack. The cost of insurance is fifty percent of the initial bet, but the bet is only placed on the ace of the dealer’s deck. Adding insurance to your initial bet is not recommended, especially for players who are prone to busting.