Unless you’ve got a crystal ball, there’s no silver bullet when it comes to figuring out how to win at blackjack, but these blackjack tips should help you get more play, and more fun, for your money.

One thing to remember is that like all casino games, blackjack has a built-in house edge, so you shouldn’t expect to win consistently when you play blackjack for real money, certainly not in the long run. But if you learn how to play perfect blackjack, spot the best games, use sensible betting strategies and play with the right mindset, you’ll be in good shape to play the casino world’s most exciting 1-on-1 battle.

Tip #1: Learn the rules

With only 4 possible actions during a normal hand – stand, hit, split or double – blackjack is a simple casino game to play. But each move you make has a huge impact on your chance of winning, so I would recommend all beginners learn how to play blackjack before they put their hand-earned cash on the line.  Depending on where you play, you might come across surrender in blackjack, and you’ll certainly encounter rules like insurance. If you don’t understand the rules, how will you know what the right strategy for insurance in blackjack is?

image of player with hand K-5, dealer speech bubble saying SURRENDER? And player looking startled, both hands in the air as if someone has pointed a gun at them!]

Start by learning the basic rules of blackjack, the value of every card and the order of play. Once you’ve learned what hit, stand, double and split mean, you’ve got the main rules covered. Then you have the skills you need to pick blackjack table with the most player-friendly rules. Standard European blackjack rules are my go-to for both enjoyable gameplay and house edge, but some of this choice comes down to personal taste.

Tip #2: Learn blackjack math

What are the odds of winning at blackjack? It’s a simple question without a simple answer. On any given hand, you’re a 50/50 coinflip to win (excluding pushes), but once the cards are dealt, your chances could have dropped to 25%.

Equally, you could have a strong cards against a weak dealer upcard. In that situation you could be an 80% favourite to win your blackjack hand, but it’s important to realise you will still lose the hand 1 in 5 times. That’s probability and luck at work. Once you accept that nothing’s certain in blackjack, you’ll have the right mentality to play your best every time. Trust in the maths and make luck your friend. You win some, you lose some. Once you accept that you can’t win at blackjack every time you’ve got the best hand, you’ll enjoy yourself more too. 

Tip #3: Use basic blackjack strategy

From playing blackjack for over 25 years, I can tell you that mastering blacjack strategy is easily the best blackjack tip. Anyone can ‘play blackjack’, you just have to tap the buttons. But you’ll get better results in the long run if you know when to stand, when to hit, when to split and when to double down. That knowledge comes through learning something called basic blackjack strategy. Basic strategy is a set of rules which gives you the best possible move in any situation. Got soft 17 in blackjack? That’s a tricky one depending on what you’re up against. Got 9-9 against a dealer’s 7? Standing is the smart play. What about A-7 against a 3? The strategy chart says doubling down gets the best outcomes in the long run.

Blackjack strategy won’t guarantee a winning session when you play blackjack, but it does give you the optimal mathematical move, as determined by millions of computer-simulated hands.

Blackjack strategy is by far the most important skill to have if you want to know how to win at blackjack. If you’re a beginner, here’s a taster of the kind of rules you’ll discover:

  1. Don’t take insurance. With a house edge of over 7%, this side bet is far less enticing than blackjack itself. The same goes for the Even Money rule too.
  2. Always split Aces and Eights, and never split Fives or Tens.
  3. Double on Ten against everything but an Ace. Doubling when your hand is stronger than the dealer’s is one of the best ways to win at blackjack. Make the most of it! 
  4. Stand on 12-16 against a dealer’s 6 or lower. He’ll bust so often that it’s not worth the risk to hit.
  5. Stand on Hard 17 or above. You have a pat hand. Let’s make the dealer beat it! 

Even with these blackjack do’s and don’ts, you won’t win at blackjack every time, but you’ll be playing great blackjack nonetheless. Be proud!  

Tip #4: Learn to count cards

As blackjack tips go, this one is probably the most complicated and least useful – but let’s go there anyway!

Learning the rules and basic strategy will help you play perfect blackjack, but it won’t give you an edge over the house. If you’re wondering ‘what is the best way to win at blackjack?’, card counting is one popular answer. If you’re lucky enough to find a blackjack table with the right combination of rules, card counting could move the needle your way.  

Like basic strategy, card counting in blackjack is easier to learn than to actually use in a real game. The dealer won’t wait for you to do the math in your head, so your success at card counting comes down to lots of practice and a cool head under pressure, so it pays to practice first by playing blackjack online for fun, rather than for real money.

Card counting is in theory one of the best ways to win at blackjack, but there are 3 big problems. First, it will only help you to win at blackjack at tables with very specific rules, and they died out a long time ago. Second, the edge you’ll get is very small and you’re better off working the night shift in McDonalds (nothing wrong with that, of course). And third, if you do manage to turn a profit, a land-based casino will ban you for life. Card counting is a fun challenge, but it’s not the secret to winning at blackjack.

Tip #5: Pick the right table

Blackjack works the same wherever you are in the world, but because of small variations in rules, games can pay out different blackjack payout percentages. For example a single-deck S17 game with NDAS and doubling on any 2 cards has a house edge of just 0.15%. An 8-deck game using the exact same rules has a house edge of 0.79%.  If that sounded like double dutch, best to learn your blackjack terminology too!

learn how to count card while you're playing blackjack

You can find out the Return To Player (the opposite of the house edge) of every online blackjack game at PlayOJO by checking the game rules. Some of the worst offenders are tables that only pay 6 to 5 odds for Blackjack, but you won’t find rules like that at PlayOJO.  

Other things to bear in mind when finding the right conditions for winning blackjack are how the cards are shuffled (continuous shuffling machines will dent your chances in land-based casinos) and suitable betting limits for your bankroll.

Tip #6: Bet smart

Blackjack is part luck, part strategy and part bankroll management. If you want to know how to win at blackjack, the first choice you’ll make after taking your seat – before you’ve seen any cards – is how much to bet.

Gambling history is littered with betting systems that make claims about profits that are impossible to achieve in the long run. Take the most famous system, for example. The Martingale method requires you to increase your bet when you lose, based on the belief that you can’t lose more than a few hands in a row, and you’ll be back in profit soon.

Unfortunately for those who have tried it, it’s perfectly normal to lose 5 or even 10 hands of blackjack in a row, by which point you have reached the table betting limit and it’s game over for your system.  

The best advice when you’re deciding how much to bet is: 

  1. Bet only what you can afford to lose. It’s easier to make the right decisions when you play stress-free. 
  2. Manage your stack. Make your standard bet a small percentage (e.g. 5%) of your total bankroll for that session.
  3. Don’t chase losses. Bet the same on every hand, or do the opposite of Martingale (i.e. bet smaller when you lose, and bigger when you win). 

By following these simple rules of thumb, you should always have the chips available if you find yourself in a situation where basic strategy says you should split a pair, split again, and then double down! By budgeting sensibly for the session, you will play more hands, and ensure no single hand puts you under any stress.

Tip #7: Look for the best deal

Even if you play perfect blackjack, it’s impossible to win consistently, so it’s important to look for other ways you can win. And that means blackjack bonuses and rewards.  When you play online, you’re likely to get blackjack rewards, and you should shop around for the best loyalty programme too. Bonuses are just part of the puzzle however. If you can get money back on every blackjack bet, win or lose, with no strings attached (clue – that’s what you get at PlayOJO), then you’ve found the right place to play.

Tip #8: Play zen

This blackjack tip may not change how much you win at blackjack or how much you lose, but it can make blackjack a lot more fun.

The most successful gamblers (and investors, for that matter) all share one important attribute – a stable mind. The ability to take the rough with the smooth and stay cool under pressure is what sets great gamblers apart.   

Mindfulness might feel ‘woke’, but perfect strategy is useless without it. Some of the world’s most talented card players have crashed and burned because they couldn’t leave emotion at the door. Master your mind and the fun will follow. Namaste!

play zen when you are in a blackjack table

Tip #9: Focus on your own game

Once you’ve learned basic strategy, you’ll start to notice players making the most common blackjack mistakes. Some blackjack players are on a mission to lose their chips as fast as possible. Some are on a mission to show how clever they are. My best advice is to ignore how other people play their hands, and ignore any unsolicited advice that comes your way.

It’s every player’s right to play good, bad or just plain ugly. Let them do as they please, and ignore anyone who tries to criticize your play. Berating or mocking a player for playing differently shows a lack of class, and drains the fun from the table.  

If someone wants to play super conservative, or double down like crazy, let them do their thing. It’s hard enough playing perfect strategy and betting smart without teaching everyone else how to play. Stay focused on your own game.   

Tip #10: Stay disciplined

If you want to give yourself the best chance to win at blackjack, keep a clear mind. Alcohol or any mind-altering pursuits can only hold you back.  I’m not saying don’t enjoy yourself at the blackjack table, but alcohol will impair your ability to think clearly, follow basic strategy and bet sensibly. If you want to party, that’s your call, but don’t expect to bring your A-game. 

image of person playing blackjack on their phone, show DEPOSIT LIMITS + TIME ALERTS + COOLING OFF

Tip #11: Play safe blackjack

It’s very hard to win at blackjack or enjoy yourself if you don’t play responsibly. Safer gambling starts with choosing a trustworthy place to play, but it also means making good decisions about how much you spend and how long you play.  

  • Stick to your budget. As we’ve learned in the betting strategy section, how much money you stake is just as important as how you play your hands. 
  • Set some time limits. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re playing a game like blackjack that has no beginning or end. Playing shorter sessions will also help you to follow all of the advice you’ve learned on this page so far. 
  • Know when you’re done. If negative emotions start to creep in or you’re not having fun, it’s time to leave the table and take a break.


So that’s how you to win at blackjack – or at least how to give yourself the best possible chance at the table – in 11 useful blackjack tips to win as many hands as possible, even if you can’t beat the house in the long run. There are never any guarantees of success when you play blackjack, even if you get 20 against the dealer’s 6 (sadly). But if you take these blackjack tips to heart, you’ll know how to win a hand, how to find good table rules, and how to get the most fun from your play. Good luck!  


What’s the best way to win at blackjack?

Before online blackjack came along, the only way to win at blackjack was to find a table with good rules in a land-based casino and count cards effectively. Nowadays, casinos have neutralised with tighter rules and better security. In online casinos, it is not possible to win at blackjack, whatever blackjack tips and tricks you use. At PlayOJO, our players play blackjack for fun – even though there’s real money at stake – not to make a profit.

Is there a blackjack winning strategy?

There is an optimal strategy for blackjack, though it can only keep the house edge at its advertised rate. You can learn more in our basic strategy guide.

Is 21 the same as blackjack?

Some players refer to blackjack as 21, because 21 is the best hand value you can make. If you’re looking for how to win at 21, all the info in our blackjack guides applies just the same, including our blackjack strategy charts.

How do you win at side bets in blackjack?

Most blackjack tables have a couple of side bets on offer, the most popular being 21+3 Blackjack. Side bets in blackjack are pure luck and you are betting on the values or suits of cards, rather than the outcome of the hand. They usually have a lower RTP than blackjack itself, and although randomness means anyone can get lucky and win blackjack side bets, there are no blackjack side bet tips that’ll overturn that house edge.

Daniel Grant

Daniel Grant

Dan Grant has been writing about gambling for 15 years, and been fascinated by beating the odds for even longer. Now he’s on a mission to help others bet smarter and avoid the mistakes he made. When he’s not obsessing over bankroll strategy or counting cards badly, he’s hosting The OJO Show podcast.