How to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack


Blackjack is a game where the goal is to beat the dealer. This can be done by drawing a hand value of 21 on your first two cards or getting a blackjack on the first couple of cards you receive (known as a natural). A player who gets a blackjack wins one and a half times their original wager. The game is played with one to eight 52-card decks. All number cards (2-10) score the value indicated on them, face cards (Jack, Queen and King) have a value of 10, and an Ace can be treated as either 1 or 11.

When should you hit? It is generally a good idea to hit whenever your two cards add up to 11 or less. This is because hitting will increase your odds of beating the dealer’s up card and will also allow you to bust a smaller number than if you had stood. However, if the dealer’s up card is a weak card, like a five or six, then it would be more advantageous to stand.

It’s also important to understand that you can only win if you beat the dealer, not your fellow players. While it is tempting to try to out-perform your fellow players, this will ultimately hurt your profits.

The best way to improve your chances of winning is to practice the basic strategy. This has been proven by computer analysis to be the optimal play in most situations. Using the right strategy will not only make you a better player, but it will also help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Another way to improve your blackjack game is by learning how to count cards. While this is not as easy as it sounds, it can greatly improve your results. The key is to keep track of two numbers – the running count and the true count. The running count is the number of high cards dealt minus the number of low cards, while the true count takes into account the number of decks remaining in the shoe.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to split 8s and Aces. This is because splitting these hands will often result in significant gains for the player and, depending on the dealer’s up card, can help you cut your losses or even increase your winnings.

Lastly, it is important to know when to double down in blackjack. This is a risky move, but it can be beneficial in certain situations. For example, if you have a hand that is close to 21 and the dealer has a weak up card, it may be worth doubling down in order to improve your chances of busting the dealer’s up card. However, you should always be careful not to get too greedy and double down when the dealer has a strong up card, such as a seven or higher.