Blackjack is a card game that involves the player and dealer. The goal is to build a hand with a value of 21 or higher without going over. The game is played using one or more 52-card decks. Each card has a value of either the number on the card, or face cards (eights and kings), or ten for an ace.

A hand is made up of a combination of hits and stands. A hit is when the player requests another card from the dealer; a stand means that the player wants to keep their current hand.

Players can also split pairs of matching cards into two separate hands. This is known as splitting pairs. This is a great way to improve the chances of getting a Blackjack. Splitting pairs also increases the amount of your bet, so it’s important to know the rules and be ready for the extra risk involved.

Effective bankroll management is vital to long-term success in Blackjack. A good strategy is to set a budget for each session and predetermine how much you’re willing to risk per hand. This will help you avoid making emotional decisions that can lead to financial strain and prevent you from betting more than you can afford to lose. Generally, it’s recommended to wager no more than 1 to 2 percent of your total bankroll per hand.

When playing blackjack, you’ll want to learn the difference between a hard and soft hand. The strategy for playing each is different. A hard hand has a value of 12-16 and requires the dealer to draw another card. A soft hand has a value of 17-22 and cannot bust if the dealer has a 10.

Once all of the players have placed their bets, the dealer will deal each of them two cards. Each player can then choose to hit (request more cards) or stand (keep their current hand) based on predetermined rules. The dealer then takes their turn and must draw until they have a total of 17 or more. If the dealer has a Blackjack, all of the players’ bets lose (except for the insurance wagers). If no one has a Blackjack, the round is a push and everyone gets their original bet back.

There are many different Blackjack variants available, each with its own unique rules and side bets. Some of these may appeal to players who are looking for a more exciting or fast-paced game, but it’s important to understand the rules and make smart choices before you play. Different variations have varying house edges, so it’s important to be aware of which ones are more profitable for you in the long run.

If you’re a beginner, you should practice your strategies before playing for real money. Online casinos offer free blackjack games that can help you get a feel for the game and learn the basic rules. You should also avoid putting too much money on side bets, as these will increase the house edge and reduce your chances of winning.