How to Beat the House Edge at Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. While luck plays a large role, it is possible to beat the house edge by using skill and proper strategy. Here are some tips that can help you increase your chances of winning at this game.

The object of blackjack is to draw cards with a value that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s. If you go over 21, you bust. Players do not play against each other, but rather against the dealer. Winning a hand can be accomplished in two ways: 1. Having a card total higher than that of the dealer’s and not going over 21. 2. Having a hand valued higher than the dealer’s without going over 21 (this is called a push).

When playing blackjack, the player must always keep their money in perspective. This is why it’s important to set limits for yourself before you sit down at a table. Experienced players also know when to walk away from a table and limit the amount of time they spend at a particular location.

Generally, blackjack is played on a semi-circular table with a space for each player and a betting circle in front of it. When you begin a hand, you place your chips in the betting circle and signal the dealer that you wish to be dealt a card by tapping the table or making a beckoning motion with your hands. If you want another card, you must signal the dealer by tapping the table again or by making a beckoning motion with a finger.

Once all the players have placed their bets, the dealer deals each player two cards face up and themselves two cards face down. Players may then make a decision whether to hit, stand, split or double down on their hand. If you have a hard 11, you should consider doubling it, as this is one of the best starting hands. If you have a pair of 8s or aces, you should always split them.

Most casinos offer a side bet known as insurance. This is a bet that pays 2:1 if the dealer has an Ace showing up as their hole card. While this bet is tempting, it is not advisable to take it because the odds are against you.

In addition to basic strategy, many players practice counting cards and use a system to raise their bets as the count goes up. This is called “wonging” or back counting, and it can be effective at lowering the house edge. However, it is not foolproof and is difficult to master. Moreover, the casinos are well aware of this technique and watch out for players who hang around tables where they are not playing.

If you are serious about beating the dealer, it is highly advisable to study up on the rules and strategies of the game and to test them out in a live environment. You will soon find that you can win a lot of money, but it’s important to remember that this is still a gambling game and you should never bet more than your bankroll can afford to lose.