How to Beat the House Edge in Blackjack

Blackjack is a table game where the player competes against a dealer in an attempt to beat the dealer’s hand. Despite what many people think, the game is not purely a matter of luck and can be beaten using a combination of strategy and mathematics. In fact, it is possible to get a house edge below 2% by following a well-designed blackjack strategy.

Generally, players can make two different types of blackjack bets. One is called the insurance bet and is made by betting half of your original bet that the dealer has a ten in the hole. If the dealer does have a ten in the hole, the insurance bet pays out at 2 to 1. The other type of blackjack bet is the side bet known as Blackjack Spin, which allows players to press a button that spins a virtual wheel, and they can win various payouts or even a jackpot award!

In the basic version of the game, a player’s goal is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. This can be accomplished by hitting, standing, or splitting cards. When a player has a point total that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, they win and are paid out 1:1. If the dealer has a higher hand total, they sweep the player’s bet and start a new round.

When the dealer has a 10 up card, they will usually offer the players a side bet known as insurance. This bet is made by placing a bet of half the original amount that the dealer has a ten in their pocket. If you take the insurance bet and the dealer does have a ten in their pocket, you will lose your original bet but win your insurance bet at 2 to 1. If you have blackjack and the dealer has an ace, it is a push (you do not receive a payout) and your original bet will be collected.

The game is played with one to eight standard 52-card decks. The suits have no significance, but the numerical value of the cards does: number cards (2-10) equal their face value; the jack, queen and king are each worth 10 points; and the ace can be counted as either 1 or 11.

There are several other actions that you can take in a blackjack hand. Doubling down means doubling your original bet after you see your first two cards and are confident that you have a hand that can beat the dealer’s. You can also choose to surrender if you think that your hand will not be able to beat the dealer’s. Surrendering can be done early or late, and it costs you half of your original bet.

Statistically speaking, it is not advantageous to purchase insurance at the casino. If you follow a good blackjack strategy, you will be better off not taking the insurance bet and winning more money in the long run.