Blackjack is a card game that has French origins. The object of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand. If you have a hand that totals 21 or more, you’ll win. If you don’t, you’ll lose. Otherwise, you can try to beat the dealer’s hand without going over.

## Insurance bets

Insurance bets on blackjack are not recommended by most players. The reason for this lies in the fact that insuring a wager is not exactly the same as investing. Nevertheless, insurance bets on blackjack can be useful in some situations. Players who know their mathematics well will probably be good candidates for insurance bets.

Insurance bets on blackjack are made in anticipation of the dealer’s blackjack. These wagers are typically made by advantage players who count cards and geek out about statistics. Assuming that the dealer has an ace, an insurance bet will pay out at odds of two to one.

## Hard hands

One of the most popular blackjack strategies is the one based on hard hands. These hands are those in which the player has a total that is higher than the dealer’s. In these cases, the player can hit or stand. A player with a hard hand total of 5-8 must hit, but a player with a hard hand total of 19 or higher must stand. In both cases, a player has a decent chance of winning.

When playing blackjack hard hands, the basic strategy still applies. For example, a player should double down on an eight or less, or hit if the dealer has a ten or ace. A player should also stand on thirteen or higher, or double down on eight or nine.

## Split hands

Generally, you should split hands on blackjack to lower the house edge and boost your chances of hitting a soft 10 or 18 hand. Splitting pairs can also turn your losing hand into a winning one, and can improve your chances of winning a round. However, you should be aware of the fact that splitting hands will cost you more than playing a single hand.

## Doubling-down strategy

Doubling-down blackjack strategy requires players to push an additional stack of chips, equal to or less than the original wager, beside their initial bet. This is an accepted and widely recognized blackjack strategy. The dealer will then recognize the double-down request and deal an additional card, matching the initial wager amount.

The strategy is not recommended on hands with a negative count, as it can lead to disaster. Negative counts are when there are more low cards in the deck. For example, a player may be dealt a 4, 5, or 6 if the dealer’s hand is 11. Successful players double down on a variety of hands when the count is positive. This is because they know there are more tens in the deck, which increases their chances of making 21.