Blackjack Basics: How to Beat the Dealer

Blackjack is one of the most popular and exciting casino games. It’s a game of skill and strategy, where players compete against the dealer to get a hand closer to 21 without going over. In this article, we will discuss the basics of blackjack and provide you with some tips on how to beat the dealer.

The Objective of Blackjack

The objective of blackjack is simple – beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21. Each player is dealt two cards initially, and they can request additional cards (hits) to improve their hand. The dealer also gets two cards, with one card facing up and the other facing down.

Card Values and Hand Rankings

In blackjack, the card values are as follows:

Numbered cards (2-10): Face value

Face cards (J, Q, K): 10

Ace: 1 or 11 (whichever benefits the player)

The best possible hand is an Ace with a 10-point card, which is known as a “blackjack.” Other strong hands include any hand closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand.

The Moves

Once the initial two cards are dealt, players have several moves to choose from:

Hit: Request an additional card to improve your hand.

Stand: Keep your current hand and end your turn.

Double Down: Double your initial bet, take one more card, and stand.

Split: If your initial hand has two cards of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands and play each hand individually, with an additional bet equal to the original.

Surrender: Some casinos allow surrender, which means giving up your hand and losing half of your bet.

Tips for Beating the Dealer

While blackjack is a game of chance, there are strategies that can help you improve your odds of beating the dealer:

1. Learn Basic Strategy

Basic strategy is a set of rules that guides the player’s decisions based on their hand and the dealer’s upcard. By following basic strategy, you can minimize the house edge and make more informed decisions.

2. Understand Card Counting

Card counting involves keeping track of the ratio of high cards to low cards remaining in the deck. While card counting is not illegal, casinos frown upon it, and you may be asked to leave if caught. However, understanding card counting can give you insight into the probability of getting favorable cards.

3. Manage Your Bankroll

One important aspect of blackjack is managing your bankroll effectively. Set a budget for your gambling session and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses and know when to walk away.

4. Avoid Insurance Bets

Insurance bets can be tempting, especially when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. However, statistically, insurance bets are not profitable in the long run. It’s best to avoid making this side bet.

5. Avoid Common Mistakes

Some common mistakes to avoid in blackjack include splitting 10s, always hitting a 12 against a dealer’s 2 or 3, and not paying attention to the dealer’s upcard. Understanding the basic strategy and avoiding these mistakes can greatly improve your gameplay.


Blackjack is an exhilarating casino game that offers the opportunity to beat the dealer and win big. By learning the basics, understanding the card values, and implementing sound strategies, you can improve your chances of coming out on top. Remember, luck plays a significant role, but skill and strategy can make all the difference in beating the dealer.