How to Increase Your Odds of Winning at Blackjack


Blackjack is a game of skill as much as chance, and there are several strategies you can use to increase your chances of winning. Some of these include doubling down, splitting, and surrendering. While these are not always available in every casino, you can try to find those that offer them to give you the best chance of increasing your pay off.

You should also learn about basic strategy, which is the best way to play the game and maximize your winning hands. It was devised in the 1950s by US Army engineers who used simple adding machines to find the optimal playing strategy for blackjack. This method was then refined with the help of computers, with millions of blackjack hands simulated. The result was the chart that is now used by blackjack players to determine the right decision for each hand.

When you are dealt a pair of 2s or 3s, it is generally best to split them up. This will give you two hands with the same numerical value and a higher probability of getting a strong hand against the dealer. It will also increase your payouts, as you will receive double the amount of your initial wager on each separate hand.

The same applies to aces. You should always split aces unless the dealer shows an Ace, in which case you should stand. Having an ace in your hand will often make your other cards better, and it has the added advantage of being worth 1 or 11 depending on how you use it.

Another way to improve your odds is by counting cards, though this is a difficult skill and casinos are wise to card counters. It involves keeping a running total of the cards as they are dealt, and you can practice by using a single deck and counting each card as it is dealt. You can also learn to keep a true count, which is more complicated but will give you more information about the overall advantage that you have over the dealer.

If you are dealt a pair of 7s, it is usually a good idea to hit. This will increase your chances of getting a stronger hand against the dealer and will give you an edge over the house. However, you should never hit if the dealer is showing an Ace, as this will decrease your odds of winning.

Finally, you should avoid increasing your bets just because you are on a losing streak. This can be very costly, and it is important to remember that blackjack is a game of probability, so the odds don’t care about whether you are on a winning or losing streak. In addition, it is a good idea to play shorter sessions, as this will reduce the likelihood of long losing streaks. This will also give you a better chance of breaking even after a losing session. This is especially important when playing online, where the odds can change dramatically if you continue to bet large amounts after a loss.