How to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. The game pits the player against the dealer, and the higher hand wins the round. However, if the player busts they lose.

Insurance is a poor bet for players because it pays 2:1 while the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are much lower.


Blackjack is a card game played between the dealer and the player. The player’s goal is to form a higher value hand than the dealer, without exceeding 21. The player can decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split, depending on the strength of their hand. Guests may also “switch” their second cards (using a twisting hand motion).

Basic strategy reduces the house edge to less than one percent. However, some players can improve their edge by counting the cards that are left in the deck. Side bets, such as insurance and lucky lady, are also susceptible to card counting, but a specific count must be used for these bets. Other rule variations include early surrender and the ability to resplit Aces. These rules can give the player a significant advantage in some hands.


Blackjack is a game of chance and although there are many different betting systems and strategies that can help players make a profit, it’s important to remember that the odds always favor the dealer. In addition, it is impossible to know how long a winning streak will last so it’s important to set a budget and stop playing when you reach it.

One way to improve your chances of winning is through side bets, which give players the opportunity to increase their wagers when they feel that a victory is imminent. However, this approach is best suited for high rollers and requires a large bankroll. Otherwise, doubling your bet every time you lose will quickly deplete your wallet. Colin is a card counter and founder of the Blackjack Apprenticeship YouTube channel.


Insurance is a side bet in blackjack that pays out if the dealer has a blackjack. However, it is not profitable for players unless they are counting cards and the true count is +3. In most cases, it is a sucker’s bet and will cost you more than your original bet.

The expected value of insurance is negative, meaning that it is a long-term loss for the player. In addition, the house edge is increased by using this option, which makes it a poor choice for players.

Insurance is usually offered when the dealer’s up card is an ace. Taking it is not recommended, as there are better ways to reduce the house edge in blackjack. A better option is to look for a game with Surrender, which is a much more profitable bet.

Hi-Lo system

The Hi-Lo card counting system is a balanced strategy that’s easy to learn. Its moderate level of simplification makes it ideal for beginner blackjack players and those who prefer to play shoe games. However, it’s important to note that this system requires practice away from the tables in order to correctly convert your running count into a true count.

The true count helps you to decide when and how much to bet. It’s best to wait for a high positive true count before betting, as this indicates that many small cards have been dealt and your edge will increase. On the other hand, if the true count is negative it’s a good idea to conserve your bet. This way you can avoid being noticed by casino employees.

Dealer’s face-down card

Before players play their cards, the dealer will reveal one face-up card and a face-down card. The latter is called the hole card. The dealer will then look at this card to determine if they have blackjack. If they do, the player’s bet is returned. The dealer’s hole card is also the basis for an insurance bet, which pays out two to one.

After shuffling the cards, the dealer will deal one card to each player and a second face-up card to himself or herself. The cards are dealt clockwise, starting with the player on the dealer’s left. If the dealer’s first card is an ace, players have the option to make a side bet of up to half their original bet that the dealer will have blackjack.