Basic Blackjack Strategies


Blackjack is a game that involves skill as well as luck. It’s not possible to beat the dealer 100% of the time, but a good understanding of the game and proper application of basic strategy can significantly improve your winning chances. In addition, it’s important to set your bankroll before playing blackjack so you don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.

When you’re ready to play, find a seat at the table and place your chips or money in the betting area. Then, you and the dealer are dealt two cards each. If your first two cards total 21 (an ace and a card valued at 10), you have blackjack! If your cards have a value other than 21, you can choose to draw more cards (hit) or stick with your current hand (stand).

Doubling down is an option that allows you to increase your initial bet by up to 2 times. This is typically done when you are confident that the additional card will give you a stronger hand than the dealer’s. However, this blackjack strategy can be risky and should only be used if you have a large enough bankroll to support your losses.

Splitting is another popular blackjack strategy that can be profitable if you are dealt two of the same cards, such as two aces or two tens. This will create two separate hands that are played independently and treated as normal. Players should never split if the dealer has an ace in the hole, as this will decrease your chances of beating the dealer.

Counting cards is a blackjack strategy that involves keeping track of the number of cards in the deck and using this information to make better betting decisions. This strategy can be complex and requires practice, but it can dramatically improve your odds of winning. To count cards, start by keeping a running total and adding up the values of each card as it’s dealt. When you’re confident that you can keep up with the count, move on to a true count. Casinos are wise to counting, so they often use multiple decks of cards. The true count takes your running total and divides it by the number of decks to give you more accurate information on how many advantages you have in betting.

The most popular side bets in blackjack are insurance and surrender. Both of these bets can significantly change your blackjack odds and payout, so it’s important to understand what they are and how they work before playing the game. In addition, it’s important to remember that blackjack is a fast-paced game and that losing streaks can happen as quickly as winning streaks. Keeping your bet amount consistent will help you minimize your losses and maximize your winnings. A common mistake is to increase your bet size each time you win, but this can get expensive very quickly. Moreover, it can lead to over-extension, which is one of the biggest reasons for blackjack’s high house edge.