How to Beat the House Edge in Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of chance, but it also involves skill. Using the right blackjack strategy will maximize your chances of winning and minimize the amount you lose. A basic blackjack playing strategy includes knowing the card values and determining whether to hit, split, double down, or surrender.

Although blackjack once dominated casino tables, competition from games like baccarat has diminished its popularity. But don’t let that discourage you.

Game of chance

The game of blackjack has a high house edge, but it can be beaten using some simple strategies. The objective is to beat the dealer by obtaining card totals higher than his or hers, without exceeding 21. Players are allowed to “hit” (take another card), “stand” (end their turn without taking a card), or “split” (if their two cards have the same value, separate them into two hands).

Each player starts with two cards. A player with an ace and a ten-card, known as a “blackjack,” wins the hand automatically. The dealer also has a hand, and he or she can either stand or hit. The game of blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. In jurisdictions that allow back betting, players place bets in one of five to nine playing positions around a semicircular table. A maximum of three players may be at each betting box. The player whose bet is closest to the dealer controls that position.


Before you play blackjack, it’s important to know the rules and regulations of the game. You are dealt two cards at the start of each hand, and you can choose to ’hit’ to receive more cards or ‘stand’ if you don’t want to draw any more. The aim of the game is to get as close to 21 as possible without going over it. Some versions of blackjack allow you to surrender your bet before playing, and this is an excellent option if you have a weak hand. Some casinos will also let you double down after receiving your initial two cards. This can make your hand stronger, but it can also decrease your chances of winning.

You can also use chips or other score trackers to keep track of your bets.


The payouts in blackjack are a key factor in understanding the game and making wise betting decisions. Using a card counting system, you can track the value of each card as it is dealt. Practice this by playing with a single deck and adding up the cards as you turn them over. This will help you keep a running total and eventually reach zero. You can also practice keeping a true count, which takes your running total and divides it by the number of cards in the deck.

If you want to play blackjack, be sure to set a budget before you begin. This will help you avoid risking more money than you can afford to lose and will ensure that you are able to make the best decisions throughout the game. It is also important to avoid side bets, as they generally come with a high house edge. It’s better to stick to basic strategy and play responsibly.


Blackjack has evolved into many variations to help the game stay fresh. These variations can be found at land-based casinos and online. They may differ in terms of the number of decks used, the dealer’s rules on soft 17 or whether they allow players to double down after splitting aces. They can also include side bets such as the Progressive Jackpot.

One of the most popular blackjack variants is California Blackjack. This version emerged in card rooms in California where traditional blackjack is illegal. This variation allows players to play two hands at once and switch second cards. This can make a strong hand (e.g. a 6 against the dealer’s 8).

Another popular blackjack variant is Double Exposure, which gives players more information about the dealer’s cards by placing them face up. This can be a helpful tool for players who want to gain an edge over the dealer. Blackjack variants that use fewer decks of cards are generally more beneficial to card counters.