How to Beat the House Edge at Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino game that involves betting and the chance of beating the dealer. In order to win, you must either get a hand of 21 or beat the dealer’s hand. The house edge in this game is small, but the standard deviation can be high enough to result in a losing streak if you’re not careful. By learning about basic blackjack strategy and understanding the odds of winning, you can reduce the risk of losing streaks.

Card Counters

One of the most popular ways to improve your chances of winning is by using a card counting system. This technique involves memorizing patterns of the cards that are dealt, and adjusting your bets accordingly. While this method can be difficult to master, it can help you beat the dealer and increase your winnings.


In a blackjack hand, you can split your first two cards to create two separate hands, each of which will be worth a different amount. This can be an effective strategy when the cards you have are of a low value, but it requires a second equal stake on your second hand. Some casinos only offer this option on certain hands, while others require you to make a full bet with each hand.

Doubling Down

The double down in blackjack is a bet that increases your initial bet by 50%, and also allows you to receive an additional card. This bet is generally only recommended when the initial hand consists of an Ace and a card valued between 2 and 10. When this happens, the dealer has a good chance of getting a blackjack, which pays 3:2 in most casinos. In addition, doubling down can be beneficial if the dealer has a weak card showing, such as a six.

Avoid Side Bets

Many blackjack games feature side bets, such as Perfect Pairs and 21+3. These bets come with a high house edge, and it’s best to avoid them.

Set a Budget

The most important thing to remember when playing blackjack is to stick to your budget. This will prevent you from spending more money than you can afford to lose, and it will keep you from making irrational decisions that can lead to large losses. It’s also a great idea to play shorter sessions, as this will increase your chances of winning and escaping with fewer losses.

While there’s a lot to learn about blackjack, the basic rules are straightforward. After placing your bet, the dealer will deal two cards to each player and then let you decide whether to hit or stand. To hit, you must request an additional card, while standing means keeping your current hand and not asking for any more cards. You can also surrender your hand if it’s extremely likely that you will lose, which lets you recover half of your initial bet. Some casinos offer early surrender while others offer late surrender.