How to Beat the Dealer at Blackjack

Before the dealer deals the cards, players place a bet. Typically, blackjack tables accommodate up to seven players. Once the bets have been placed, the cards are dealt to the players face up. The player can then choose to hit or stand.

If the dealer has an ace up, a player can make an “insurance” bet of up to half his original bet. The insurance bet pays 2-1 if the dealer has blackjack.

Game rules

Blackjack is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. Players have the option to “hit” (request additional cards) or “stand.” The dealer also has the option to hit or stand. The objective of the game is to create card totals higher than the dealer’s, but not exceeding 21. Players can also double down, which allows them to make a larger bet and earn more money in a single hand. You can signal the dealer that you want to double down by touching an extended pointer finger to the table.

Splitting pairs in blackjack is a good strategy to reduce the house edge. However, this move increases your risk, so you should only use it if the cards are in your favor. The rules of splitting pairs vary by casino, so be sure to ask about the specific rules before playing.


Blackjack is a game of probability, and both winning and losing streaks are part of the experience. Keeping your emotions in check and making sound decisions can help you improve your odds of winning at blackjack. You should also avoid side bets, which have a high house edge, and focus on mastering basic strategy.

Insurance bets are a common feature in blackjack, but they should be avoided because they have a negative expected value over the long run. In addition, they distract players from effective card counting strategies and increase the house edge. Moreover, progressive betting increases can get expensive very quickly. Therefore, it is recommended to play blackjack with a fixed bankroll. A good blackjack strategy should include a starting bet of around 2% of your playing balance.


Insurance is a side bet in blackjack that pays out if the dealer has a blackjack. This bet is available in live casino games and usually costs half of the player’s original wager. It is an attractive option in certain situations, such as when the dealer has an ace and the player has a strong hand. However, it’s not always wise to take this bet.

Generally, taking insurance is a losing bet in the long run. It increases bankroll fluctuations without adding to the overall edge of the game. Unless you are counting cards and know that there are an abundance of ten-value cards in the deck, it’s best to avoid this bet. If you do choose to take it, make sure to practice card counting.

Double down

Doubling down is a high-risk, high-reward strategy that can significantly increase your payout when playing blackjack. It involves doubling your initial wager in exchange for one extra card from the dealer. When applied correctly, this strategy can help you beat the dealer and maximize your winning potential. However, it is important to understand the rules of blackjack double down before implementing this strategy.

Doubling down is a risky move, but it can be profitable if you play your cards right. This strategy can improve your odds of beating the dealer by letting you take an additional card before they draw a weaker one. Some online casinos limit this option to certain hands, such as hard totals of 10 or 11, so be sure to check the rules before playing.

Splitting pairs

Splitting pairs is a common blackjack strategy that can significantly improve your hand’s value against the dealer. However, it’s important to know when it is appropriate to make this move and when it’s not. This way, you can avoid making costly mistakes and maximize your odds of winning.

In general, it’s always a good idea to split pairs of twos, threes, and sevens. These pairs are generally weak hands, and splitting them will allow you to form stronger ones. However, you should never split fours. This is a mistake that many players make and it will cost you money.

You should also pay attention to the dealer’s upcard when deciding whether or not to split. For example, it’s best to split a pair of eights against a dealer’s 2 through 7 but not against an Ace or a 10. This will maximize your expected return on the pair.