How to Minimize the House Edge in Blackjack

Blackjack is a game of chance, but there are ways to minimize the house edge. The best way to do this is by learning about the game’s odds.

The game’s odds are based on the probability of pulling out an ace multiplied by the probability of pulling out a ten-value card. This gives players a mathematical advantage over the dealer.

Game rules

Blackjack is a card game where players compete against the dealer. The game is based on mathematics, and the odds of winning are based on how well the player can play. It is important to know the rules of the game before playing.

Depending on the casino, blackjack can be played with different rules and variations. For example, some casinos require the dealer to hit soft 17 while others allow the player to double on certain hands. The doubling of the bet increases the probability of winning, but it also makes the game more difficult for the house.

A good way to improve your chances of winning is to learn the game’s basic strategy chart. This is a simple, wallet-sized sheet of cards that will help you make the best decisions.


Blackjack is a game of skill, and while luck plays an important role, players can increase their chances of winning by following certain strategies and rules. It is also recommended that players avoid betting with money they cannot afford to lose. Responsible gambling includes setting a budget and staying sober throughout the session.

The odds of winning or losing depend on a number of factors, including the rules and number of cards in play. Some players may find it helpful to use a blackjack probability calculator to determine the probability of various lengths of winning and losing streaks.

It is customary to leave the cards on the table after they are dealt, as this allows the dealer to handle them openly and prevents suspicion of tampering or marking. However, players should avoid touching the cards unless they are in the process of placing bets.


Any time you are dealt a pair on the initial deal, you have the option to split them and create two new hands. This costs you an additional bet and improves your odds of beating the dealer. Splitting is not for the faint of heart and is best suited to seasoned blackjack players who know when to make this move.

The rules for splitting vary between casinos, but in general, the cards must rank the same (e.g., 10s) in order to be split. Doubling and re-splitting after splitting are also restricted by some casinos. Regardless of the splitting rule, however, it is important to avoid splitting against the dealer’s up card. This move will result in a loss over the long-term. You should instead stand on your hand against the dealer’s up cards of 8, 10, or 7. This will increase your chances of winning by 10%.


When you are playing blackjack, there are certain situations when it’s better to surrender your hand. This option decreases the built-in house edge and helps stabilize your bankroll. However, you must measure your odds before making this decision.

In some casinos, players must verbally announce that they want to surrender their hand. Others use a hand signal for surrendering. If you’re not sure how to make the signal, ask the dealer for assistance.

The rules of surrender vary depending on the number of decks used in the game. Generally, players should surrender their hands when the dealer has an ace or a 10. It is also possible to surrender a hand of 14-16 or pairs of 3s and 6s against the dealer’s ace. Nevertheless, these decisions should be made only after the dealer peeks for blackjack.


Despite popular perception, insurance is not a good bet for players in blackjack. It is a sucker bet that can easily eat into your winnings unless you are able to count cards and apply basic blackjack strategy perfectly. Although some gambling venues allow you to insure your hand for less than half of the original wager, this will not improve your odds because even a single ten-point card can dramatically increase the dealer’s chances of having a blackjack.

Nonetheless, insurance bets can be profitable for great card counters that keep a close track of the number of ten-point cards remaining in the deck. However, this is only possible in certain circumstances and should be avoided by all players who follow basic strategy. This is because insurance makes the game less attractive to the best players.