Blackjack is a game of chance where players compete against the dealer. Each player starts the game with an equal amount of chips and is dealt two cards. The objective is to have a hand that is equal to or greater than the sum of the dealer’s cards, but not to exceed 21. In some games, a side bet is available for players to make, such as insurance. This is an extra wager that protects the player against a dealer’s blackjack. A blackjack hand is a pair of cards that totals 21, which is called a “natural”. Blackjacks are paid 3 to 2 and the best hand possible is an Ace with a face card. If a player gets blackjack, he or she wins the entire bet. Blackjack is played using a conventional 52-card deck. Most casinos use multiple decks, ranging from six to eight at a time. These cards are drawn from the shoe and placed on the table. Dealers also have two cards, which they will check at the end of the round. Players can split their cards if they have a pair of eights. This gives them a better chance of winning the hand. Splitting can be done up to three times. Once the second hand is made, players are required to make another wager. Blackjack is played using a special table that allows for side bets. Players can place these bets in a designated area next to the main wager box. It is important to note that these side bets must be made at the same time as the main wager. Usually, a player’s side bet must be at least the same size as his or her main wager. However, in some casinos, the side bet will be the same as the original wager. One of the most popular side bets in blackjack is insurance. This bet pays 2 to 1 if the dealer is holding a blackjack. Insurance is only advisable if the dealer’s face up card is a 10 or an ace. There are other blackjack side bets that are available as well. Some games allow for side bets on a blackjack player’s bust or a blackjack dealer’s bust. Other side bets include “Dealer Match,” which is paid when the player’s cards and the dealer’s up card match. Another side bet is the “Push,” which is when the broker and the player each collect the same amount of money. Lastly, the game of Blackjack can be played in tournament form. One or two players qualify from each table after a predetermined number of deals have been made. During the tournament, the goal is to finish among the top chip holders. Aside from the blackjack, there are many other exciting side bets that are available. Some of them are worth the risk of losing a small amount of money, while others are only for the adventurous. Regardless of what type of bet you make, it is important to choose the best bet to suit your needs.