How to Win at Blackjack

Blackjack is a mathematical game with a fixed set of rules. By following these rules, you can maximise your chances of winning and minimise the amount you lose. Practice keeping a running count and a true count.

Taking advantage of the right time to surrender will help you cut down your losses and recover half your bet. However, this strategy is not foolproof.

Basic strategy

Blackjack is a game of chance, but there are ways to increase your chances of winning. One way is to use basic strategy, a set of optimal playing decisions that maximizes your expected return on each hand. Basic strategy is based on rigid computations and simulations, making it efficient and foolproof. Ignore it and you’ll lose big in the long run.

Using basic strategy will reduce the house edge by around 2%, but it’s important to note that it’s not enough to overcome the casino’s statistical advantage. In addition, players who deviate from basic strategy will increase the house edge even more.

You can find free blackjack basic strategy charts online and many casinos sell business card-sized versions in their gift shops. The charts show when to hit, stand, or double down for every possible combination of starting player hands and dealer up cards. Those who count cards may modify basic strategy slightly, but this is not necessary for most casual players.

Insurance bets

Insurance is a side bet that allows players to protect their initial wagers against the dealer’s potential for blackjack. This bet pays out 2:1, and is only available if the dealer’s up card is an ace. Although it may seem tempting, this bet is not a good idea. It is not part of the optimal blackjack strategy, and it will lose you money in the long run. Taking insurance can also be bankroll-draining, especially for novices.

The house edge on the insurance bet varies from 5.8% in a single-deck game to over 8.5% when more than one deck is used. Despite the fact that it pays out 2:1, the expected value of this bet is negative, meaning that you will lose more than you win on it over time. In addition, some casinos allow players to purchase partial insurance for less than half of their original wager. This is a common variation, but it is not recommended for experienced players.

Side bets

Blackjack side bets are an excellent way to add more fun and excitement to a table game. These wagers are placed alongside the main bet and play independently, though they can affect the outcome of each round. They usually involve a smaller stake and pay higher returns than the standard bet. However, the house edge of these wagers is often higher than that of blackjack.

Several types of side bets are available at online casinos and land-based casinos. A few of them include a Perfect Pair (two cards of the same rank or value), a Straight, and a Royal Match. Each of these side bets pays out based on the odds it offers, which vary depending on the type of blackjack being played.

Other side bets that may appear on a blackjack table are Insurance, Over/Under 13, and Lucky 7. These bets can offer large payouts if they land. They can also increase the speed of a hand and can make the game more interesting for players who prefer fast-paced games.


Blackjack is a game of chance and luck, but there are a few rules to keep in mind to maximize your chances of winning. In general, the goal of blackjack is to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.

Keeping personal items, such as bags or drinks, away from the table is customary. It helps to maintain an uncluttered playing area and prevents distractions. You should also avoid touching the cards, as this can raise suspicions about tampering or marking.

You should always be aware of the rules of each casino or online platform, as they may vary from one to the next. For example, some games have different rules regarding hitting and standing on soft 17. This can affect your strategy. It is also important to understand that a player’s decisions should be based on their intuition and strategy, not on the results of a bad run of cards. It is also a good idea to avoid offering unsolicited advice to other players.