Blackjack Strategy – How to Increase Your Chances of Winning


Blackjack is a game of strategy and skill, but it’s also one that’s based on luck. By learning and applying optimal blackjack strategies, understanding basic blackjack principles, and managing your bankroll effectively, you can greatly increase your chances of winning in this popular casino card game.

A basic blackjack strategy starts with the fundamentals of the game: cards are dealt, and the player has the option to hit (request an additional card), stand (remain at their current card value) or double down (double their bet and receive just one more card). Players win by accumulating a hand of cards that totals closer to 21 than the dealer’s. If the player exceeds 21, they bust and lose their bet. The dealer pays 1:1 for blackjacks, but other wins and losses are calculated based on specific rules.

The game is played on a semi-circular table with spaces for varying numbers of players. The most common tables accommodate seven players but some can hold up to 12 people. Players sit around the table and the dealer stands behind a raised area for their chips.

Some blackjack players seem to be on a mission to lose their money as fast as possible, while others play like maniacs in an attempt to show off their skills. Both of these styles are fine as long as they don’t affect other players’ gameplay. Berating other players for their choices can drain the fun out of this game and should be avoided at all costs.

In addition to the standard betting options, blackjack has several special wagers that can significantly increase payouts and odds of winning. These are known as secondary bets and include insurance, splits, doubles, and even money. One of the most important secondary bets is insurance, which can be purchased for a side bet of up to half your original bet. Statistically speaking, it is never wise to buy insurance; however, some players are tempted by the high payouts for this bet.

Other secondary bets that can make a big difference in the house edge are splitting and doubles. It is best to always split aces and eights, and never double fives or 10s against the dealer’s upcard. Doubling down when you have a strong hand against the dealer’s will also yield more profits than losing, especially if you play with a good blackjack strategy.

It’s also a good idea to stick with the basic blackjack strategy when playing in a live casino, and not be influenced by other players’ bad habits or desire to impress. If you’re playing in a casino where the dealers are wearing tuxedos, it may be tempting to hit on a weak hand, but it’s usually better to stick with the basics and wait for a stronger one to appear.

One of the biggest mistakes that many blackjack players make is to keep increasing their stakes after every loss, a process called negative progression. This can quickly deplete your bankroll and turn blackjack into a stressful experience. It’s best to return to the starting bet after each loss and only increase your stake when you win.