Basic Tips for Winning at Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of chance and skill. It is important to understand the rules and strategy before playing this popular casino card game. Having a solid understanding of the game will help you to play responsibly and maximize your winning potential.

The Objective of Blackjack

The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer by obtaining a hand value of 21 from your first two cards. This is accomplished by splitting, hitting, or standing depending on the dealer’s upcard. Unlike baccarat, where counting cards is impossible, blackjack has a relatively low house edge and requires some skill on the player’s part to make the best decisions.

Splitting Pairs

When you have a starting pair of cards that are the same value, like a pair of nines or two threes, it is a good idea to split them in blackjack. This will allow you to play each hand independently of the other and, in some cases, can cut your losses or win more money. However, it is important to remember that splitting pairs only works when the dealer shows a weak card. Otherwise, the dealer will have an advantage over you in both of your hands.


It is always a good idea to hit when your cards total 11 or less. This will give you the best chance of beating the dealer’s upcard. However, it is important to remember that you can also bust and will lose the hand if you hit too often.


If you have a pair of 7s against a dealer’s 4, it is a good idea to surrender the hand, even though basic strategy would recommend hitting. This is because the dealer will bust with a 28.1% probability, which is much higher than yours.

Avoid Side Bets

Side bets in blackjack are offered by many different casinos and can dramatically change your odds of winning. The most common side bet is insurance, which offers players the ability to protect half of their original wager in case the dealer has a blackjack. However, these bets are generally considered to be high risk and should be avoided if you want to play responsibly.

Set a Budget

Effective bankroll management is critical to success in blackjack. You should always set a losing and winning limit before the game begins and stick to them. This will help to prevent emotional decisions that can lead to financial strain. It is recommended that you wager no more than one to two percent of your total bankroll on each hand. This will ensure that you never lose more money than you can afford to. It is also a good idea to set a time limit for each session of blackjack. This will help you to keep the amount of time spent playing in check and avoid over-extended sessions.