Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and offers players the chance to win big prizes by playing a single hand. However, it is also a game of skill and understanding and there are a number of tips that can help you improve your chances of winning. Basic Blackjack Strategy The best blackjack strategy is to use a conservative approach when betting. This allows you to play without making rash decisions that could end your gaming session in the negative. The goal is to make the maximum amount of money possible by playing conservatively and not risking too much. This is the most important rule to follow and it will allow you to maximize your winnings in every hand. The only exception to this is the Martingale strategy, which is used by people who are trying to recover their losses after a losing streak. It is important to learn how to keep a running count and a true count before you start playing blackjack. This is essential to identifying your cards’ values, so practice it with a deck of cards until you can do it quickly and quietly. You can practice with a single deck of cards and turn them over one at a time, keeping your running count until you reach the end. Once you’re comfortable with your count, try playing with multiple decks at the same time. When deciding whether to hit, stand, or double down, you must consider your cards and the dealer’s up card. If you have a good first hand, such as a pair of 10 value cards, you can choose to double down, which increases your initial wager by a percentage based on the rules of the game. If you have a weaker first hand, such as a pair of 2’s, you should choose to hit. This is because you are more likely to win if you hit with a hand worth over 21. Once you have determined whether to hit, stand, or double down, place your bet and then hold up both of your cards. The dealer will then deal you another card, face up. You can also ask the dealer for a second card by scraping your cards on the table or waving them in front of you, which indicates that you want an additional card. This is the best option if you believe that your total will exceed 21, as it can save you from busting out of the game. A good dealer will be able to communicate with guests and explain the wagers they place. They will also be able to recognize card counters and other players who may try to cheat the system. The best dealers are people-oriented and enjoy interacting with their guests. They can also relate to their customers’ needs and offer them advice if necessary. This helps them deliver the highest quality service and ensures the satisfaction of their customers.