How to Win at Blackjack


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The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer by having a hand with a value closer to 21 than theirs. This hand is called a natural or blackjack.

Game rules

Blackjack is a game of skill and luck. However, knowledge of the rules and strategies can significantly improve your chances of winning. It’s important to avoid the temptation to use betting systems that claim to guarantee consistent wins, as they are often based on misconceptions and superstitions.

Players are dealt two cards and can choose to “hit” (receive an additional card) or “stand” if they are satisfied with their current hand value. The dealer also receives two cards but one of them is face up. If a player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, they win.

Some casinos have unique rules. For example, some allow players to resplit aces and redouble their bets on a split ace. This reduces the house edge by about 0.2%.


Blackjack players have several options when it comes to placing bets. They can either bet a fixed amount or choose to increase their bets with each hand. This has a significant impact on the payouts, so it is important to choose the right strategy for your bankroll. It is also a good idea to avoid making side bets, as they will eat into your winnings. When playing blackjack, it is also important to practice responsible gambling. This includes setting a budget and staying sober throughout the session. It is also advisable to keep personal items, like drinks and bags, off the table.

Dealer’s face-down card

Blackjack is a game where players try to beat the dealer by drawing a value of 21 on their first two cards. Some players treat a player total of 21 as a hand value of 10, while others double down or split. In a tie (a push) the bets are returned without any adjustment.

After each player has made their move, the dealer flips their card over and determines winning and losing hands. If you win, you receive a payout based on the type of hand and your original bet. Players may also place a side bet called insurance that pays out twice the amount of your original bet if the dealer has an ace. The dealer’s face-down card is known as the hole card.

Double down

Doubling down is a decision in blackjack that increases the player’s bet by up to 100 per cent. It is only available at one point during the game, directly after the initial two cards are dealt. It is a very profitable move for the player and is factored into basic strategy.

The player should only double down when the dealer shows a weak or low up card. However, players should not go ahead and do so when their cards total more than 11. The chance of going bust is too high at this stage and the gamble will most likely fail.

It is also worth noting that doubling down will affect the payouts in blackjack. It will usually pay out 1:1, but this will be dependent on the casino and its rules.


If you are a card counter, the right time to surrender can be a game-changer. It’s important to know when to use this option and to consider the house edge for each table. This is because the payouts for each hand vary by casino and table.

The best time to surrender is when the dealer has a high up card, such as a 10, and you have a hard number between 5-7 or 12. A hard number means a pair of 6’s, 7’s or 8’s.

The earlier you surrender, the better, as it reduces the house advantage by a significant margin for accurate basic strategy players. However, it’s not always possible to find a table with early surrender, so you should ask the dealer if it is available before sitting down.