How to Beat the House Edge at Blackjack


Blackjack is a game where skill can overcome luck. While the house edge is built into the game, it can be reduced with a combination of basic strategy and advanced card counting techniques. These tips will help you beat the house and make more money while playing this classic casino game.

The goal of blackjack is to have a hand that has a total greater than the dealer’s. This can be done by either hitting or standing. In addition, players can double down or surrender when they have a good opportunity to do so.

One of the best ways to improve your chances at winning in blackjack is to use the basic strategy chart. This can be found online and is used to determine the optimal play in a given situation. This chart will take into account the rules of the particular table, including whether the dealer hits soft 17 or stands, if doubling after splitting is allowed, and whether the dealer peeks for blackjack (almost universal in the US).

If you have a strong hand, it’s usually best to stand. However, if the dealer shows a weak upcard, it’s often better to hit. For example, if you have a hand of 12 and the dealer is showing a 4, it’s better to hit because there’s a high probability that the dealer will bust.

Another strategy is to split aces and eights if the dealer’s upcard is a two or three. This allows you to create two hands of equal value and play them separately. However, splitting pairs like this will require you to add a second bet of equal value alongside your initial wager. The new hands are then played on their own, so you may win one and lose the other.

Lastly, when you have a strong hand, it’s often worth trying to double down. This will require you to place a second bet of equal value, which will give you an additional card and change your turn. This can be an excellent way to increase your chance of beating the dealer’s hand, but it’s important not to be greedy and go over 21.

Some players have even mastered card counting, which can be a very profitable technique. However, this is not as easy as it might seem, and requires a lot of practice before you can be effective at it. Counting cards takes time and effort to learn, but it can be a great way to boost your bankroll when playing blackjack. There are many different counting systems, and some are more accurate than others. The most common, high-low, isn’t as accurate as some of the more advanced systems, but it can still yield positive EV. However, the most important thing is to have a system in place and stick to it. The more you practice, the easier it will be to apply your knowledge of basic strategy and card counting to any game of blackjack.