# The Best Way to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack

Blackjack is a game that involves a lot of counting cards and knowing the probability of various hands. The best way to beat the dealer is by following a strategy that’s founded on mathematical calculations proven to reduce the house edge significantly.

For example, it’s always a good idea to double down on an 11, made from the player’s first two cards. This will improve your chances of winning by a large margin.

## Gameplay

Blackjack is a card game played between one or more players and the dealer. The objective is to beat the dealer by obtaining a higher hand value than them. The gameplay is quite simple and straightforward but there are some things that you need to take into account in order to play successfully.

Visual skills are extremely important for blackjack as well as good maths abilities in order to be able to count cards effectively and build a strategy accordingly. There are a number of books available on the subject, including Ken Uston’s Million Dollar Blackjack, Rick Blaine’s Blackbelt Blackjack and Stanford Wong’s Professional Blackjack, which discusses some of the more advanced strategies such as team play and hidden counting systems that can be used long term without being detected.

## Rules

Blackjack is a card game played against the dealer. The objective is to beat the dealer by forming a hand value of 21 or higher without going bust. Each player is dealt two cards and can choose to ‘hit’ for additional cards or’stand’ to keep their current hand. Players can increase the size of their bet by hitting or doubling down, but they must always aim to avoid going bust.

There are various rules governing whether the dealer must hit or stand on soft 17. This variation can affect the house edge, so some games may be labelled as ‘H17’ while others will be labelled as ‘S17’.

Blackjack also offers a ‘double down’ option on certain hands. This allows the player to double their bet amount in exchange for one (and only one) additional card.

## Bets

Blackjack betting systems are designed to help players manage their bankroll while playing the game. They can include positive or negative progression systems that change your wager size depending on the outcome of previous hands.

Some examples of positive blackjack betting systems include the Paroli and 1-3-2-6 systems, while others such as the Martingale system use a negative progression to increase your bet after every loss. These betting systems may work in the short term but can deplete your bankroll if you are on a long losing streak.

Another option is to set a losing and winning limit and stick to it. This can help you control your bankroll and avoid chasing losses. Alternatively, you can use a progressive staking plan that increases your bet after each win.

## Strategy

Blackjack incorporates an element of skill, and there are ways to boost your odds of winning. These strategies can lower the house edge, and a player using these techniques will enjoy a significant advantage over a novice player.

One method for lowering the house edge is card counting. This involves keeping a running tally of the cards that have been dealt, and making larger bets when the shoe is heavy with aces and high cards, and smaller bets when it is heavy on low cards. The effectiveness of a blackjack counting system depends on the number of decks in the shoe, and many casinos use continuous shuffle machines to negate card counting.

Another strategy is to use a negative progression betting system, such as the Martingale System. This technique can work, but it requires a large bankroll and a willingness to risk losing money.

## Cheat sheet

A blackjack cheat sheet is a simple chart that suggests the best way to play a hand. It will tell you whether or not to hit, stand, split, double down or surrender. It will also show you the dealer’s upcard. It is a great tool for learning how to play blackjack, and it will help you gradually nudge the odds in your favour.

However, it is important to note that the house still has a small advantage over the player in most casino games. So, unless you can learn how to count cards effectively and apply it to the game, you will likely lose money over time. To count cards, you need a fast mind and a good memory for addition and subtraction. You will also need to be able to make quick decisions.