Blackjack Odds


Blackjack is a game of strategy and chance. Once all the players have placed their bets, the dealer will deal two cards to each player, face up. Then, the player can choose to hit or stand.

It is important to know when to hit, stand, split, or take insurance in blackjack. To do this, you should practice keeping a running count.

Game rules

Blackjack is a card game in which players compete against the dealer. The dealer deals two cards to each player and one to himself (one face up, the other face down). Players may stand, hit, surrender, or split. The goal is to beat the dealer by getting a total closer to 21 than he or she has.

If your initial two cards make a total of 21, you win and are paid even money. If the dealer has a total of 21, the hand is a tie, or push, and you neither win nor lose your bet.

You can double your stake by placing an additional bet equal to your original bet on any two cards. You can also split pairs of cards with the same value, such as a pair of 10s. The rules vary by casino, so check with your dealer to determine the best strategy. Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott, referred to as the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen, developed the first reasonably accurate basic playing strategy for blackjack.


Blackjack odds can be a bit complicated, but there are ways to increase your chances of winning. One way is to learn how to count cards. This activity is frowned upon by casinos, but if you’re careful and play quietly enough, it can give you a slight edge over the dealer. Practice keeping a running total on a single deck, and when you get better at it, you can move on to a true count.

Another way to increase your blackjack odds is to use a betting system that increases your bet size when you’re losing. This technique is called positive or negative progression. It can be expensive, however, so it’s best to only do this when you have a large amount of money on hand. It is also important to avoid insurance bets, as they have a negative expected value in the long run. Also, never make a bet that the casino can win.

Basic strategy

Blackjack basic strategy is a mathematically proven way to play the game that dramatically reduces the house edge. It was developed by pioneers like Edward O Thorp and is constantly improved through computer simulations. When followed correctly, it will cost gamblers less than 1% of their money over the long term. This is far better than the house edge of most casino games.

The basic strategy is based on the value of a player’s starting cards and the dealer’s up card. It consists of a chart that indicates the correct move for each hand based on these factors. In addition, it also specifies whether the player should split pairs and when.

Ideally, players should memorize the chart and consult it while playing. Deviations from the chart will increase the house’s edge. It is best to print a copy and keep it next to the table so that you can quickly refer to it when needed.


Blackjack is a game of skill and the house edge can be reduced with basic playing strategies. It is a popular casino card game and can be found in most land and online casinos. However, many casinos also offer variants of the game with different rules and payouts. These variations usually come with side bets which increase the house edge and should be avoided.

Counting cards is an effective strategy to improve your chances of winning blackjack. The trick is to keep a running count without using the actual value of each card. Practice with a single deck of cards and add the values as you turn them over. This will help you develop a more accurate understanding of the game.

Some blackjack games offer rule variants such as allowing players to resplit aces or hit hands resulting from split aces. These rule changes can significantly impact the game and affect player strategy decisions. Another common variation is allowing dealers to hit on soft 17. This increases the dealer’s edge by about 0.1%.