Blackjack is a popular card game that’s available at most casinos and online. The game involves using a deck of 52 cards to try and get as close to 21 without going over.

The game has a house edge, but there are ways to reduce it. You can start by choosing a table with a low house edge and avoiding side bets. You can also use a strategy called basic strategy to determine when to hit, stand, double down and split.

A basic strategy chart will tell you which of these moves is the best one to make for every possible hand combination. These charts will help you determine the odds of winning and minimize the house edge.

Know Your Rules

There are a lot of rules that you should know when playing blackjack. Some of the most important ones are:

*Hit if you have an Ace or 10 and the dealer is showing a 9 or less.

**Hit if you have a King or Queen and the dealer is showing a 10 or less.

***Stand if you have a soft 18. It’s important to know what your hands are worth so you can avoid busting or giving the dealer an advantage.

A hand of 21 (also known as a ‘natural’) is the most favorable hand in blackjack. It consists of an ace and a ten-value card, and is an automatic winner, as it pays 3:2 at most casinos.

It is not uncommon to find casinos that pay only 6:5 on a blackjack, but this has generally been reserved for single-deck games where card counting would be a significant disadvantage.

Another important rule is to not take insurance when the dealer has an ace. This is a bad bet, but it’s a good idea for advanced players who are using a strategy such as blackjack card counting.

Always play a blackjack table that has player-friendly rules and a small number of decks, as this will lower the house edge. Having a low house edge is the best way to win, but it’s not always easy.

The house edge is a percentage of your total bet that the casino takes in each round. It can vary depending on the house rules of each casino.

Besides basic strategy, you can also reduce your house edge by following other tips and techniques. For instance, dealer tells are a way to predict when the dealer’s hole card will be dealt. These tricks are designed to give you an edge over the dealer, as they involve looking for specific signals in the dealer’s face or body language.

If you’re a beginner, it is better to avoid these strategies altogether and stick with the basics of basic strategy. This will help you get a feel for the game and learn when to take the right actions.

You can also increase your chances of winning by learning the proper etiquette when playing blackjack. For example, don’t hand your bet to the dealer, even if they’re happy to help you. It is also important to verbalize your decision if you want to surrender or double down.