How to Win at Blackjack


Blackjack is a card game in which you play against the dealer. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, you win and are paid an amount equal to your original wager. If your hand is equal to the dealer’s, you have a tie, and your original wager is returned to you. If your initial two cards total 21, or an Ace with a 10, Jack, Queen, or King, you have a Blackjack, which pays 3 to 2. Blackjack rules are set by the individual casinos, so read them carefully.

Effective bankroll management is critical to long-term success in blackjack. Establish a blackjack budget for each session and predetermine how much you’re willing to wager per hand. This will help you avoid emotional decisions and potential financial strain. It’s also recommended to make a maximum bet of about one to two percent of your bankroll per hand, which will reduce the risk of losing too much money in a short period of time.

Choosing when to hit is another key to winning at blackjack. It’s important to understand when you should hit and when it’s better to stand. Generally, you should hit when your initial two cards add up to 11 or less, and when the dealer is showing a weak card. It’s also a good idea to hit when the dealer shows an Ace.

You should always stand when you have a hand value of 18 or higher, especially when the dealer is showing a strong card such as a 9, 11, or 7. It’s also a good idea to stand when you have a hand of 16 against a dealer’s 10.

When to double is another critical decision in blackjack. Generally, you should double your bet when the value of your starting hand is 9 or 10 and only when the dealer has an Ace or a face card showing. It’s also a good idea for you to double down when you have a hard 11, which is made up of the first two cards you were dealt.

Many players become too focused on what other players at their table are doing, which can affect their own playing strategy. It’s important to remember that you are only competing against the dealer, and the playing decisions of other players at your table have no impact on your odds of winning. Also, don’t increase your bet size after a loss, which is called the Martingale system. This is a dangerous approach that can drain your bankroll very quickly.