How to Beat the House Edge in Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game that requires a decent bankroll and good strategy. If you have these things, you will be able to beat the dealer. However, if you’re not careful, you could lose big. The house edge in blackjack is not as high as it seems, but you still need to take it seriously. Here are some tips to help you play the game better:

Learn the basic rules. The objective of blackjack is to beat the dealer by making a hand value that goes over 21. Cards 2 through 10 carry their own values, while picture cards (jacks, queens, and kings) have a value of 10. The Ace is special because it can count as either 1 or 11, depending on how you’re counting.

Practice your mental math skills and keep a running total of the cards you’ve seen. Keeping a total will make it easier to know when you should hit or stand. You should also practice keeping a true count, which takes your running total and divides it by the number of decks in play. This will give you more of an idea of how much of an advantage you have in betting. Casinos are wise to card counters, so they sometimes use multiple decks in a single game, which makes it harder to keep track of the cards.

Study the blackjack charts. There are a lot of different charts to choose from, and some of them work better in some casinos than others. Some of them even have illustrations to help you remember the rules. If you want to win, you have to know the rules of each game before you play.

When you get your first two cards, think about the value of the dealer’s up card. If the dealer has a 10, you should ask for another card only if you’re sure that it won’t cause you to go bust or if you have a good reason to risk losing your money. Otherwise, you should just hit.

If you have a hard 16 against the dealer’s up card of 10, you should surrender if you can. This will give you a 5% chance of winning and will save you a large amount of money.

If you have a soft 18 and the dealer has a 6, you should always hit. Choosing to stand will only give you a 2% chance of beating the dealer’s card, and it’s not worth the risk. It’s also a bad idea to take insurance. Insurance pays 2 to 1, but it doesn’t reduce the house edge. This is why it’s important to study the chart before you play. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money.