5 Ways to Reduce the House Edge in Blackjack

Blackjack is a game where mathematics is key. If you play a hand of blackjack against a dealer, you will win every time except when the dealer has a blackjack. In this case, the hand ties and your bets are returned.

Some casinos offer a side bet called insurance. This bet is up to half your original bet and pays 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack.

Basic strategy

Blackjack is a mathematical game, and players can reduce the house edge by using optimal strategy plays. These play decisions are based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard. A basic strategy chart shows the recommended play based on this information. It is best to print the chart and keep it next to you when playing in a casino.

The house edge in blackjack varies from 0.5% for a liberal game with favorable rules to 2% for a restrictive one. To minimize the house edge, players should use optimal strategy plays and avoid side bets. They should also set betting limits and stop when they reach their goals. Moreover, they should limit the number of rounds played per hour and try to play at tables with fewer players.

Hi-lo system

The hi-lo system of blackjack is one of the most popular card counting systems and was introduced by Harvey Dubner. It is a level one system and considered moderately easy to learn and understand. The system assigns different point values to each card. Cards two through six get plus values while seven, eight and nine get negative values. The hi-lo system also allows players to adjust their bet sizes depending on the count. When the count is high, it’s a good time to increase bet size and when it’s low, it’s better to minimize bets.

While the hi-lo system performs well, it can be difficult to use in a casino because it is relatively easy for floor staff to detect. To combat this, many counters employ the zen or omega II card counting systems which are harder to spot.

Doubling down

Blackjack is a game of strategy, and knowing when to double down can increase your chances of winning. However, this move can be risky and it’s important to understand the intricacies of the strategy.

Doubling down is a bet that involves doubling your initial two cards in exchange for one more card. While this may seem like a risky move, it can significantly increase your payout. It’s important to double down when the situation is favorable, and only if it makes sense.

A good blackjack double down strategy requires balancing boldness with calculated risk. It’s a game of learning and practice, and every hand you play is an opportunity to refine your skills. Practicing double down strategies can help you develop better instincts and improve your overall game.


Surrendering in blackjack is a strategy that allows players to forfeit their hands in certain circumstances. Using this system can reduce the house edge by about 0.07%. It is particularly useful in multiple-deck games. However, it is important to understand the rules of the game before implementing surrender strategy.

The decision to surrender is based on the odds of winning with your hand and the dealer’s up card. The more favorable the dealer’s up card is, the fewer situations it makes sense to surrender.

A simple and effective blackjack surrender hand signal is a slow swipe from left to right behind your chips, which resembles a cut. This hand signal is used in many casinos to indicate that you wish to surrender your cards.

Positive mindset

Mastering blackjack strategies and odds is important, but it’s just as crucial to develop a positive mindset. Emotions can greatly influence blackjack outcomes, and a negative mindset can have unforeseen consequences.

A positive mindset helps you stay focused and makes more rational decisions based on strategy and probabilities. It also allows you to remain calm during losing streaks and avoid making impulsive bets. A positive mindset is a key element of winning gambling games and can improve your chances of achieving a large jackpot.

Studies have found that confidence in knowledge can impact outcome expectations, anxiety levels, and risk taking. In particular, higher levels of unjustified confidence correlated with greater outcome expectations and a decreased willingness to seek out information or consider hints. These effects are a concern because they can lead to overestimating your abilities in situations where your actual skill increases at a slower rate than your confidence.