# The Basics of Blackjack and How to Minimize the House Edge

Gambling Oct 14, 2023

Blackjack is a casino game that requires the player to beat the dealer. The house edge varies from game to game, and the odds of winning can be influenced by the rules applied, how the game is played, and card counting. This article explains the basics of the game, and provides information about how to minimize the house edge.

The objective of blackjack is to get a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. If you go over 21, you bust and lose to the dealer. To do this, you can ask for another card (hit) or stick with your current hand and not ask for more cards (stand).

There are several different types of blackjack games. Some variations have a lower or higher house edge than others, but all of them are designed to make money for the casinos. The house edge is the percentage of your bet that the casino expects to keep over time. This number varies from game to game, but it is always a significant percentage of each bet.

While a game of blackjack cannot be won every single time, the odds of winning can be improved by following a steadfast strategy and keeping track of your bets. By doing this, you can increase your chances of winning and decrease the amount of money that you lose.

Blackjack dealers need competence in math to count and communicate the status of their customers’ hands quickly and accurately. A knowledge of blackjack strategy helps them to avoid making mistakes that can cost the customer money and may even cause a loss for the casino.

The horsemen Baldwin, Cantey, Maisel and McDermott wrote a paper called “Basic Strategy in Blackjack” that is considered the first mathematically correct description of the odds of winning at this table game. They completed their analysis simply by playing the game, recording the results and crunching numbers on an old calculator. Baldwin, Cantey, Maisel, and McDermott’s work is credited with changing the way that players of blackjack play the game.

In some blackjack games, the dealer will offer insurance. The player places an additional wager equal to half of their original bet and then the dealer will check for blackjack. If the dealer has a ten underneath, the player wins and their insurance wager is paid at 2 to 1. Otherwise, the game continues as normal.

While 6 to 5 blackjacks can be very profitable for the casino, it is important to understand that this is a side-bet and not a form of insurance. Players who know when the remaining deck is rich in ten-valued cards can use this information to make an intelligent insurance bet and maximize their profits. However, if you don’t understand when to take insurance, it is very easy to make a mistake that costs you money. The key is to learn as much as you can about the game of blackjack.