5 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Winning in Blackjack
Blackjack is a game of skill and luck, but it is possible to improve your chances of winning by following optimal strategy and managing your bankroll properly. A basic understanding of the rules, some practice with card counting and smart betting strategies are all you need to increase your odds of winning. But, it is important to remember that blackjack is still a gambling game and your results can fluctuate based on your luck and the table you are playing at.
When you play blackjack, you are not playing against the other players at the table, but rather against the dealer. The objective is to have a hand of cards with a value close to 21 that is better than the dealer’s, but without going over 21. If your hand beats the dealer’s, you win a bet equal to your initial wager. If you have a hand of 21, you automatically win 3:2 – even if the dealer also has a blackjack. If your hand is over 21 after a hit, you lose your bet.
The rules of blackjack are simple and the game is easy to learn. However, many people make a number of common mistakes that can greatly affect their chances of winning. Some of these mistakes include:
Insurance is a side bet placed on the dealer having a blackjack. It pays 2:1 but the actual probability of the dealer having a blackjack is much less than that (around 9:4 depending on the casino and how many decks are being used). It is always unwise to take Insurance because you are essentially betting against yourself.
Doubling down in blackjack is a good way to maximize your chances of getting a strong starting hand. A hard 11, made out of the first two cards you have been dealt, is one of the best hands to double down on. This is because it is nearly impossible for you to bust at this point and you will be able to make the most money on the next rounds.
Splitting 8s and Aces
It is important to split pairs of eights and aces in blackjack because these are very strong hands. It is recommended to hit when the dealer shows a 2, 3, or 4, and to stand when the dealer has a 6 or 7. There is a less than 5% chance of a push with this combination, so hitting here will not significantly decrease your chances of winning.
The biggest mistake that many blackjack players make is to continue playing after they start losing. This is because they are under the impression that they will catch a lucky streak and win more money in the future. While this is possible, it is not a good idea to continue betting more and more after each loss. Instead, it is better to increase your stakes slowly and only when you are confident that you can win.