How to Beat the House Edge at Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. Its appeal lies in its simple rules that have remained unchanged for generations and in the fact that players can bring the house edge down to sub-0.5% levels by following a defined strategy.

The game starts when every player is dealt two cards face up by the dealer. Then, they have the choice to hit, stand, or double down. Double down means to request another card while adding an additional bet equal to the initial wager. When this option is available, it is generally advised to take advantage of the favorable odds that come with a pair of Aces with a card ranging from 2 to 10.

After all the players have taken their turn, the dealer will reveal their upcard and draw until they get a hand of 17 or higher. If the player’s hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, the player wins. If the dealer has a higher hand, it’s called a bust. If the dealer’s and player’s hands are of the same value, it is a tie and you lose your bet.

There are a number of betting strategies in blackjack that can make your bankroll grow and give you a better chance of winning. One such method involves doubling your bet after every loss, a practice known as the Martingale system. This approach works best if you have a large enough bankroll to allow for the potential loss of several hands in a row before you win again.

In order to maximize your chances of winning, you must learn when it is advantageous to hit, and when you should stand. A good time to hit is when you have a total of 11 or less, as this will not put you in danger of busting. It is also advisable to hit when the dealer has a low up-card, such as an Ace or a 6.

When you have a total of 16 or more, you should always stand. This will prevent you from losing to a dealer’s blackjack, which is paid at 1:1. In addition, if the dealer has an ace, you can make an insurance bet by placing a bet equal to half your original stake on the dealer having blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack, you win your insurance bet and push your original bet.

You should also know when to split your cards, particularly 8s and Aces. This is the most effective way to improve your hand and reduce your losses. In addition, splitting eights can make a very strong hand when the dealer has a weak one. Moreover, if the dealer has an Ace and a 6, you should always split your cards because this will provide you with the highest probability of beating the dealer. If the dealer has an Ace and a 7, you should not split your cards, as this will be disadvantageous for you.