# How to Win at Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game in which you must have at least two cards equal to 21 to win. Your first two cards should be an ace and ten-card. If you have a natural, you win one-and-a-half of your initial bet. If not, you lose your chips and the dealer collects your bets.

## Basic strategy

Basic blackjack strategy is a strategy that players can use to improve their odds of winning. While the game has been played since the 18th century, this strategy only became popular in the 1950s when Roger Baldwin published his book Playing Blackjack to Win: A New Strategy for the Game of 21. During this time, new computing power was becoming available, so academics were able to simulate millions of hands of blackjack to find the average profit and loss for each combination of the dealer and player’s cards. They also looked at different decisions that players made in the same situations, which led to the creation of this strategy.

## Insurance bets

If you have a good hand, insurance bets on blackjack can be a great option. This side bet is placed on the dealer’s hole card and pays two-to-one if the dealer also has a blackjack. However, if you don’t have the right hand, you could lose your money. Hence, it is important to know the odds before placing an Insurance bet.

## Splitting aces

One of the basic rules of blackjack is that you can split aces as long as you have two hands of ten cards or less. The first card in your hand should be valued at 11 or higher, and when you have an Ace, you are guaranteed to get an advantage by splitting it. This can result in a blackjack or a normal 21. If you get a blackjack, you will receive a 3:2 payout.

## Double down

The decision to double down on blackjack can be a good one for both you and the dealer. Depending on the value of the cards you have in hand, doubling down can be a great way to maximize your returns and reduce your risk. In blackjack, you should only double down when you have two cards with the same value.

## Counting cards

Counting cards in blackjack involves keeping track of the number of certain cards in a deck. This will help you determine the probability that a certain card will come up in the next hand. There are many ways to count cards in blackjack, but one of the most popular is the Hi-Lo strategy. The strategy is simple and involves keeping a mental tally of the number of cards in three groups: high cards, low cards, and middle cards.

## Payouts

Blackjack players may be interested in knowing how to maximize their payouts. Generally, the payouts for blackjack are three to two. This means that the game can be a profitable option, but it’s also not very appealing if you can’t beat the house. Here are some strategies that can help you maximize your blackjack winnings: