How to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game in which players compete against the dealer for a winning hand. It is played with one or more decks of cards, with each card having a value that ranges from 1 to 10 for face cards and from Ace to King for aces. A starting hand of a ten and an ace is called a blackjack, which beats all other hands except another blackjack. If a player and dealer both have a blackjack, the hand is a push, and neither wins or loses.

During the game, the dealer will deal two cards to each player. The player may choose to stand (stop taking more cards), double down, or surrender, depending on the rules of the particular version of the game being played. Some games also allow the player to make side bets, such as insurance bets against the dealer’s showing of an ace.

A good strategy for blackjack is to learn basic rules, such as when to hit and when to stay. It is also important to practice your card counting skills, though casinos are wise to this and often use multiple decks in their games. Practice keeping a running count by turning over a single deck of cards and adding up their values as you go. A good count can help you win more hands by making more correct decisions than the dealer.

When to hit in blackjack is generally determined by the dealer’s face-up card. Generally, it is best to hit a hand of 17 or higher when the dealer shows an upcard of 6 or below. This will improve your chances of beating the dealer’s hand without going over 21. It is also a good idea to hit when you have a hand that totals 11 or less, as it is unlikely to bust and will give you an advantage over the dealer.

In addition to learning basic rules, blackjack strategy involves studying charts that give you a better understanding of the odds in various situations. These charts can be found online or in books. Whether you are using a standard blackjack chart or one that is customized for the specific casino, you will need to study them carefully to ensure that you are playing correctly.

While it is possible to beat the dealer in blackjack, it takes practice and a lot of patience. Trying to beat the dealer at the first attempt will almost certainly lead to losses. A good way to practice is to play a free online blackjack game such as the one offered by DraftKings.

Before you begin to play blackjack for money, decide how much you are willing to invest and stick to it. This will prevent you from making expensive mistakes while you’re still learning the game. Also, don’t increase your bet size just because you are on a losing streak. Odds don’t change just because you are having a bad run, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one win will balance out your losses.