The best way to win at blackjack is to have a ’21’ hand, also known as a ‘natural’. This hand is made up of an Ace and either a Queen, Jack, or 10 card. It gives the player a hand value of 21, which makes it nearly unbeatable. If the dealer also has a blackjack, the game is a tie, or a push.

## Basic strategy is the mathematically optimal way to play blackjack

There are several factors to consider when playing blackjack. Generally, you should try to minimize the house edge and manage your risk. You should know how to calculate your bet size based on these factors. You should also have a bankroll – the total money you can afford to spend during a blackjack session. This money should be separate from your other expenses and should be an amount you can afford to lose.

You should remember that there is a very small difference between the odds of you getting a blackjack and the house edge when playing this way. The odds of getting a blackjack are about 4.8%, or almost five natural blackjacks out of every 100 hands you play. You should also know that the house edge is only 0.04% when using basic strategy, as long as you don’t use exceptions. Furthermore, you should also know that basic strategy assumes that you have a full deck. If you’re not a card counter, this may be irrelevant to your success.

## Hard/soft hands affect the chances of winning

When playing blackjack, it is important to understand how hard/soft hands affect your chances of winning. There are many combinations of cards that can result in a winning hand, and knowing which ones will increase your odds of winning is essential for winning more often. Understanding which hands are better for you will help you minimize the advantage the casino has over you.

If you are unsure of the difference between hard/soft hands, consider this example. If you have A-A, it counts as a soft hand because the value of the Ace can be two or twelve. However, in the case of a soft twelve, splitting a pair of Aces is the correct decision, as you will receive one extra card for each Ace.

## Side bets are a part of beating the game for a card counter

Card counters use a variety of side bets to increase their advantage. These are not usually fair to the players. They involve making predictions about the dealer’s and players’ cards, which increases the house edge. Some side bets are more difficult to beat than others, though.

One of the most popular side bets is the Perfect Pairs bet. This bet is made when the player’s first two cards form a pair. The payout for this bet is ten times higher than the payout for a single pair. The odds of winning depend on the shape of the pairs and the colour of the cards.

## Insurance is a sneaky way for casinos to make extra cash

Blackjack insurance is a side bet you can make on a hand when you believe the dealer has a blackjack. Although it doesn’t improve your chances of winning, it is a sneaky way for casinos to earn extra money. It is generally considered a bad idea to place insurance bets.

The odds of a dealer getting blackjack are low enough that you shouldn’t ever bet on insurance. It’s unlikely to happen less than one-third of the time. Blackjack insurance will cost you money over time if you don’t win.