Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world, but how does it work, and how can you maximise your chances of beating the dealer?

How does blackjack work?

In blackjack there is only one objective; to beat the dealer. Whether taking part on a casino table or online, you aren’t playing against the other players. All you have to do to win is to beat the dealer’s hand. But, how do you do that?

Your objective is to record a score as close to 21 as possible. You will start with two cards, and then you must decide whether to stand (stick with the cards you have), or hit (ask for another card). If you ‘go bust’ and score over 21, then the dealer wins. If the dealer goes over 21 and you haven’t gone bust, then you win. If neither goes bust then the closest to 21 wins, and if you and the dealer score the same then it is a ‘push’, and no-one wins.

If you are handed a pair on your initial cards, then you have the choice to split the hand, essentially by putting an extra stake in and then continuing with two hands. There are a few more rules to be aware of, but that is the basic concept.

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Where should you play online blackjack?

Online blackjack has exploded in popularity in recent years, and there are a number of places that you can play. Some sites host both virtual and live blackjack tables, giving players a wide range of choice in how they would like to play. Make sure the site that you choose is reputable and, of course, remember to gamble responsibly.

How can you maximise your chances?

Use a strategy: Expert blackjack players regularly use a strategy chart to give themselves the best possible chance, and a plan to stick to. It’s a great idea to do your research and take a look at one, to see how it could best help you.

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Don’t get greedy: It can be tempting to chase a perfect 21 every time, but that is risky. You risk going bust in situations when you don’t really need to, when you could feasibly wait it out and win. If you score between 17 and 21, absolutely opt to stick with what you have. If you have 15 or 16, you could even win in some situations. For instance, if the dealer has less than 17, they have to take another card, so if they are on 15 or 16, it is likely they will go bust as they still have to take that risk. It depends on the situation, but don’t take unnecessary risks if the dealer looks vulnerable.

Be consistent: It might feel like each hand is linked, but mathematically, they aren’t. If you’ve had a couple of bad hands, that doesn’t mean the next one will be better. Don’t bet big just because it feels like you’re due a good hand. If you stay consistent and stick to your plan, you have a decent chance of finding success.