How to Play Blackjack With Side Bets

How to Play Blackjack With Side Bets


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. It is a simple game to play and has a high degree of luck involved, but it can also be played with side bets. These bets allow players to maximise their winnings and minimise losses. The best way to do this is to start with low stakes and gradually increase them. This will ensure that you are always in control of your money and can end a gaming session in the black.

To start playing blackjack, place your bets in the betting areas on the table. You and the dealer are then dealt two cards each. If your first two cards add up to 21 (an ace and a card valued 10), you have a blackjack and win one and a half times your bet. This is known as a ‘natural’.

If your hand is worth less than 21, you should stand. However, if you have a total of 17 or higher, it is better to hit than to risk busting. It is also important to understand when to double down, as this can significantly improve your odds of winning. If you have a total of 11 (for example, a pair of sixes) against the dealer’s upcard of 5, then you should double down. However, you should never split aces and eights if the dealer has a picture card or ten.

Aside from basic strategy, there are many different counting systems that can help you increase your chances of winning blackjack. These methods assign point values to the cards and let you know when it is better to hit or stay based on this information. However, it is important to remember that counting cards can be difficult to master and is not guaranteed to work in every situation.

Some casinos offer additional side bets on certain hands, which can make the game more exciting. These are generally more lucrative than the main bets, but they can also be more complicated to learn. Some of these side bets include the “four 20s” game, which allows you to bet on a pair of twenties appearing in your first four hands.

The key to beating blackjack is understanding the dealer’s upcard and how that affects the player’s decisions. It is also important to be aware of the dealer’s hole card and how this can impact the player’s decision to stay or hit.

Lastly, it is important to understand when to buy insurance. This is a very profitable side bet for the dealer and it is often misunderstood by players. In most cases, a player should not purchase insurance and should only do so if they are positive that the dealer has a ten-valued card in their hand. Otherwise, this bet is a waste of money.