Blackjack is a game of strategy and chance, but there are ways to tilt the odds in your favor. By using a basic strategy chart you can maximise your chances of winning, whilst minimising the amount you lose. This is based on mathematical analysis of the dealer’s upcard and your cards to determine the best move. Using this chart, you can make the correct decision whether to hit or stand, split or double down, or surrender.
The goal of blackjack is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going bust. Whenever you have a good hand, you should consider doubling down. This will increase your chances of winning the hand and will make you a bigger winner in the long run. But if you have a bad hand, it’s better to stick with it and hope for the best.
You should always hit when you have a hand of 12 against a dealer’s 2, 3 or 4. There is only a 5% chance of a push here so hitting will improve your chances of beating the dealer. However, if the dealer has an Ace, you should always stand. This is because there is a higher probability that they will go bust than you will, and you will be a big winner if you stick with your original hand.
Generally, you should also split any pairs of two cards with a value of 10 (excluding the Aces). This will give you two more cards to work with. The exception is if the dealer has an Ace as their first card, in which case you should double down instead.
Another tip is to ask for another card when you’re holding a weak hand. This will improve your chances of getting a blackjack. However, you must be sure that the next card won’t cause you to go bust or that the dealer will beat you with a higher hand.
It’s also important to set a bankroll before playing blackjack. This way you will have a clear idea of how much money you want to win, and will be able to control your gambling habits. You should also avoid side bets, as they will add to your house edge.
Aside from the tips mentioned above, it is also important to practice your counting skills. To do this, you can play a single deck of blackjack and count the values of each card as they are dealt. Then, you can calculate a running total of the values and raise your bet when the count is high. You can also use a true count, which takes the running total and divides it by the number of cards in play to get more accuracy. This method is harder to master than counting, but it can greatly improve your chances of winning at blackjack.