Improve Your Odds of Winning by Using a Basic Blackjack Strategy


Blackjack is a game of chance, but you can improve your odds by using the right strategy. Avoid secondary bets like buying insurance, and don’t increase your betting level when you’re losing. The odds don’t care about your streaks.

After each player has placed their chips in the betting circle they are dealt two cards. If the player’s first two cards add up to 21 (an ace and a card of value 10), that is a blackjack.

Game rules

Each blackjack game has its own set of rules that differ from one another. These differences can be significant and affect the strategy of a player. They may include the number of decks used, how the dealer deals with a soft 17 or whether players can double down after splitting.

The dealer’s hole card can also change the game’s rules. Some games require the dealer to hit on a soft 17, while others call for them to stand. The rules of the game can make a difference in the value of your hand and how you play it.

Other rules can include the rotation of the first bet, which eliminates the advantage of sitting at the table’s first seat. Some games even allow a secret bet, which can be placed without the dealer knowing. It is important to wait for the current shoe to end and the reshuffle to begin before joining a blackjack game.


Blackjack is a game of skill that allows players to predict to some extent the outcome of their choices and moves. This makes the game a fascinating and exciting one for many people. It is also a game that has attracted the attention of prominent mathematicians and gaming experts such as Julian Braun and John Scarne, who discovered how certain strategies and rules could change the odds of winning or losing in blackjack.

In blackjack, the odds of winning and losing are dependent on the number of decks in play and the specific set of rules that are being used. This is because the distribution of high and low cards differs from game to game, and the effect of card removal can be felt differently.

Some players believe that doubling their bets after losses and halving them after wins will increase their chances of winning, but this is a wrong strategy. This only increases the amount of money they will lose.

Rules of courtesy

Blackjack is a game that requires discipline and focus. Players should avoid making impulsive decisions after a loss and maintain a positive mindset throughout the game. This will improve the quality of their decisions and help them enjoy the game more. It is also important not to interfere with the game of other players. Spectators should sit a reasonable distance away from the table and not offer unwelcome advice or criticism.

If you are playing at a table where the cards are dealt face up, you should not pick them up with both hands or move them around. Doing so could raise suspicion about tampering or marking. Instead, you should keep them in plain sight until the dealer collects them.

Similarly, you should not offer playing advice to other players unless they ask for it. It is also impolite to criticize other players or dealers and complain about their luck. You should also refrain from smoking at the blackjack table if you are not in a designated smoker area.


Blackjack has a house edge, but players who use basic strategy can decrease this to less than 1%. Many online casinos and brick-and-mortar blackjack tables offer strategy charts that indicate when to hit, stand, or double down, based on the cards you have and the dealer’s up card. These charts are free and can be printed out for reference at the table.

Card counting is another strategy that can improve your odds, but it is not available in all blackjack games. It involves keeping a running tally of which cards have been dealt in a shoe, with some systems favoring aces and high cards over others. This type of advantage play requires careful practice and a large bankroll.

Negative progression betting strategies are also popular in blackjack, but can be dangerous if you’re not prepared to lose many hands. They require a huge bankroll to avoid the risk of ruin, especially at lower blackjack stakes.