How to Win at Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of chance, but there are ways to turn the odds in your favor. These include learning about basic strategy, and using mathematics to make informed decisions based on information you collect as you play.

The Rules

In blackjack, the goal is to beat the dealer’s hand by drawing cards that have a total value of 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over. A hand that goes over 21 is called a bust, and the player loses.

The House Edge

Casinos have a statistical advantage over the players in most casino games, and this advantage is built into the game of blackjack. However, if the player uses the most effective strategy (called “basic strategy”), the house edge can be reduced to a small percentage.

Depending on the specific house rules and number of decks used, this strategy can reduce the house edge to less than 1% over the long run. This is much more favorable to the player than the house edge in most other casino games, but deviations from basic strategy can increase the house edge to a high percentage.

The Card Values

The values of the cards in a standard blackjack deck are printed on each card, and they are listed from lowest to highest. These numbers help players determine which card combinations will give them the best chances of winning.

Basic Strategy

The player must use the most effective strategy to win at blackjack. This strategy is derived from millions of hands played over time, and is designed to maximize the probability of winning.

Splitting Pairs

In blackjack, you may split your original hand up to three times, but each new hand must have the same value as the previous one. For example, if you have two Aces and a Ten, you can break them up into four separate hands by splitting them again, but you cannot combine the Aces in any other way.

Wonging/Back Counting

Wonging/back counting is a technique that many players employ to reduce the house edge by only placing bets when there is a favorable count. It can be effective, but it is also a risky strategy.

If you are not sure which card combinations are favourable, talk to a dealer or other player at the table. They should be able to help you decide which combination to play and which to stand on.

The minimum bet at a casino’s blackjack table varies from casino to casino, and from table to table. The minimum bet for each hand is typically listed on a sign in front of the betting area.

Basic Strategy

The most effective strategy to win at blackjack is basic strategy, which consists of determining when it is advantageous to hit or stand and when it is not. The strategy is based on the card total and the dealer’s visible card, and there are slight variations based on the house rules and number of decks in play.