Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. It is played by players against the dealer and can be played in tournaments with an equal number of chips.
The basic objective of the game is to get a hand value that is closer to 21 than the dealer, without going over. The first two cards of a player’s hand are worth one point each, aces count as either 1 or 11, face cards are worth ten points and all other cards are worth their numerical values.
When a dealer’s up card is an ace, all the players may make a side bet that the dealer will draw a blackjack (a ten-valued card). If all of the players place this bet, the dealer will turn up his hole card and those who have made the insurance bet win double their original wager.
Unlike many other casino games, blackjack is not subject to a house edge. In fact, a knowledgeable player can reduce the house edge to less than one half of one percent using a basic strategy.
The game is played on a semicircular table that can accommodate up to seven players. The dealer stands behind the table and chip rack while players sit on the other side of the table.
Rules for the game vary from casino to casino but generally, the dealer deals two cards to each player. The player can then choose to hit, stand or surrender. The player can also split a pair of cards if the dealer shows an ace or a ten.
Some casinos will allow the player to resplit aces, allowing them to take another card. This variant is not common but can help a player to avoid getting a very weak total of 12 when the dealer has a low card.
Aside from splitting, the other rules in blackjack vary depending on the game. Some casinos have a rule that allows a player to double after splitting, while others have no such rules. Some casinos will also allow a player to resplit aces; this reduces the house edge by about 0.13%.
There are also a few exceptions to the above rules: In some cases, players can double down after splitting and in some casinos a player can take more than one hit on a split ace.
This can be a dangerous move as it can lead to busting. This is because it can be difficult to draw a single card when a player has a weak soft hand.
If a player has a weak soft hand, it is best to stand and wait until the next time the dealer is dealt a hand. Then, if the dealer draws a blackjack and the total of their hands is equal, it is considered a push.
The best way to play a game of blackjack is by following the rules and playing according to basic strategy. The strategy was developed by a computer that played millions of rounds of blackjack, and it is the mathematically optimal way to play each combination of dealer up-card and player hand.