The Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of strategy. You should double down when one more card can significantly improve your hand. It is also important to know when to hit and stand.

Blackjack odds are not based on streaks. The best betting strategy is to keep your bet value consistent and only increase it when you win.


The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by collecting a hand value of 21 or more on your first two cards, before the dealer does. Side bets are optional and can be based on a variety of themes. Some side bets have a high enough house edge to warrant advantage play, but the player must choose them carefully because they reduce the total amount of money available for winning bets. Card counting is a common technique for improving the player’s odds, but only a count designed for a specific side bet is useful. The game may be played with any number of decks.


There are a number of different blackjack variations that offer players a unique spin on the game. These include Super Fun 21, Double Attack Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack and more. These variations often feature side bets that increase payouts and are great options for more adventurous players. However, it is important to remember that these side bets can add up quickly and can also give casinos a huge edge.

Other rules also vary between blackjack variations. For example, some games allow players to resplit aces while others do not. This variation increases the house edge by 0.13%, while games that do not allow splits have a lower house edge. Players should always familiarize themselves with the rules of any blackjack variation they plan to play before sitting down at a table and betting.


Blackjack is a game that allows players to increase their chances of winning by increasing the amount of money they bet. Side bets offer players the chance to win larger amounts of money, and they are most commonly made during a streak when the player feels they have a good shot at winning.

There are also blackjack betting systems that allow players to recoup their losses through large recoup bets after losing hands. These strategies are known as negative progression blackjack betting systems, and they can be very costly if the player loses multiple hands in a row. These blackjack betting systems are best used only if the player has a deep enough bankroll to cover the cost of these audacious recoup bets. Otherwise, they should be avoided.


While players might assume that insurance is a must-have option when playing blackjack, this is not the case. In fact, insurance is a side bet that actually increases the house edge of the game. The odds of the dealer having a blackjack are less than 1 in 3, and this means that the player will lose more insurance bets than they win.

Unlike other side bets in blackjack, the insurance wager is not tied to the player’s own hand. Instead, it is an independent bet at 2 to 1 odds that the dealer has a blackjack. It is possible to lose the insurance bet and the main blackjack hand, and this will cost you 1.5 betting units. This is another reason that more experienced players almost always decline insurance.


Surrender is not available in all blackjack variations or at all casinos. However, it can be an important option for gamblers who know when to use it. Most experts recommend surrendering when you have a weak hand of 15 or less and the dealer’s face up card is a 10, Jack, or higher.

Using this option can help you recover half of your wager. It can also lower the house edge by a small amount, making it an attractive option for players who are familiar with blackjack strategy. Some land-based casinos have specific rules about how to indicate a surrender. Some require a particular hand gesture while others only allow you to declare your intent verbally. You should always check with the casino if you are not sure about the etiquette.