How to Win at Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino game where you play against the dealer. You want to win by having a total card value that is better than the dealer’s, without going over 21.

You play using cards from one or more decks of 52 cards. The values of cards are determined by their index. This index is based on the number on the card, a ten-valued card, a face card, or an ace.

The best hand in blackjack is a combination of an ace and a 10-valued card, which is called a natural or a blackjack. This hand is an automatic winner and pays 3:2 on your bet.

There are many strategies that can be used to win at blackjack. Some of the most common are:

Basic Strategy

A player can use a strategy to determine when to hit, stand, double down or split a hand. This strategy can greatly reduce the house edge in blackjack to a very small percentage over the long term.

Hitting is when a player wants to draw more cards, to try and get closer to 21 than the dealer has. A player can hit until the total value of his hand is higher than 21, or he has “busted”.


When you receive your initial two cards, you have the choice to stand. If you stand, you hold on to your cards and do not take any more cards.

The dealer will then deal you a card face up next to your original cards. You can either scrape your cards onto the table to indicate that you want another card, or you can touch your hand and wave towards yourself to indicate that you want a hit.

You may also ask the dealer to double your bet, if you think that you are likely to win with your current hand. This is a good idea if you believe that your current hand is strong, but you are not sure of the value of your dealer’s cards.


If the dealer’s first card is an ace, you have the option to make an insurance bet. This bet is 50% of your initial wager and pays 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack.

Early Surrender

Some casinos allow a player to surrender half of his bet before the dealer checks for blackjack. This is a useful option for players with weak hands who are unlikely to win, such as a pair of aces or two five-valued cards.

Late Surrender

Some casinos also let a player surrender half of their bet after the dealer has checked for blackjack. This is a very effective way to save money, but it is not always the most advantageous method.

A player can choose to double down if his total is below 21, but only on certain combinations. If a player doubles down, the dealer will not count the original bet as a loss and only pay out the additional bet if the dealer’s second card has a total of 21.