Lesser known rules & tactics blackjack

Children who were bored were taught the basic rules of blackjack to pass the time. Then there are the tourists in Las Vegas who consider blackjack a suitable card game for beginners.

As long as you can count and have a little clear mind, it is possible to compete against a dealer in a session of blackjack. You pass on high hands, take a card on low hands, and then just hope that the dealer goes over 21 (Bust), and repeat until you have built up a large stack or until you are broke.

Rules and Tactics for Blackjack

This is the reality for millions of the recreational blackjack players who test their luck year in and year out on the casino floors. But for a select few players, blackjack is one of the most wonderful casino games of all. This is because of the fact that players actually have an influence on the outcomes.

Unlike slot machines, roulette or craps where the player’s chances all depend on random outcomes. Blackjack is suitable for applying a strategy and using your own skills. When a player knows the probabilities and underlying blackjack mathematics, it is possible to bring the house edge below 0.5%.

Basic blackjack strategy helps you analyze hands and indicate exactly what choices you can make at the table for optimal winning chances. The strategy is based on your own total and the dealer’s revealed card. This is enough information to make optimal choices in all situations.

Because of the elements of strategy involved in blackjack, experienced players consider it their favorite game because they can influence the odds themselves every turn. By applying basic strategy and immediately using the correct game selection, the player can call himself an “advantage gambler. In doing so, it is easy to take advantage of the low house edge of under 0.5%.

But while most avid players consider themselves complete players, there are still some things that are only known among a limited number of players. If you want to know more about these unfamiliar rules and tactics, we encourage you to continue reading below. Look no further, and find a list of three unknown blackjack rules and strategies that most players don’t know.

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1. Surrendering hands makes mathematical sense in some scenarios

In most casinos, a blackjack version is played in which the closest card is automatically scanned and it is checked whether this card has a value of 10 or is an Ace. If the dealer does not reveal whether he has a natural blackjack (value of 21 with two cards).

Then it takes a break before continuing with the hand, to allow players to surrender the hand. Most players know about the surrender rule, but below you’ll find a good example if this is the first time you’ve heard about this unusual action.

In some situations, players have been dealt a very bad hand based on the card that is face up with the dealer. Imagine you have a hand such as a 9 and a 7 (total of 16), against a dealer’s exposed 10, it is quite difficult to decide whether to take a card or not. At least, if you stick to basic strategy, there is always an optimal decision you can make, but even when you make this decision, you lose more often than you win.

To escape these habitual actions, players should verbally indicate in awkward situations like this that they are choosing the surrender option. When you surrender a hand, you give half of your bet to the dealer, and receive half of your bet back.

In the case of a 10 euro bet, the player has to surrender 5 euros, but they keep the 5 they might have normally lost. Many blackjack players avoid this bet because they think the odds of the dealer going over 21 are greater than the perfect card being drawn.

And in most cases, these players are right, too. In all kinds of scenarios, the surrender bet produces a lower expected payout percentage for players. But when these specific cases come up, surrendering hands is a strategy to get more profit out of your game.

We’ll use our example above for a moment; where you have a hard 16 against a dealer’s exposed 10.

Of course, when your hand is a hard 16 consisting of 8-8, you should always split this hand no matter what the dealer’s exposed card is. When in doubt, remember well, “Always split aces and eights”.

You can pass in hopes that the dealer will go over 21, or you can take a card in hopes that you will receive a low card to improve your hand. Or you can surrender the hand and get 50% of your bet back. To see which is the best choice, see the statistics below:

Win and loss percentages for Hard 16 against a dealer’s 10

  • Pass: Your win rate is 22.8% and your loss rate is 77.2%. Your average loss per 100 euros in this case is €54.40.
  • Hitting: Your win rate is 23.4% and your loss rate is 76.6%. Your average loss per 100 euros in this case is €53.20.
  • Surrender: Your win rate is 50% of the bet and your loss rate is 50% of the bet. Your average loss per 100 euros in this case is €50.00.

As the table shows, passing on a hard 16 against a dealer’s 10 is worse than hitting or surrendering. However, surrendering the hand gives you the best winning percentage, namely €50 back. In all scenarios, surrendering is the best choice in a situation like a hard 16 against a dealer’s 9 or 10 or in the case of a hard 15 against a 10.

2. The Lucky Ladies side bet should be avoided

For a long time, the best payout for a blackjack was 3 to 2. However, the payout for this is increasingly 6 to 5 in casinos, and this is detrimental to players. This payout is largely caused by interference from companies, but modern players today can have a chance at an amazing 1000 to 1 payout at blackjack, provided the cards work together.

The 1000 to 1 payout is associated with a fairly new blackjack variant designed by Galaxy Gaming. After a player has wagered money on the “Lucky Ladies” bet, players must hope for 20 different combinations for a higher potential payout.

The highest payout applies to a hand with two hearted females, combined with a natural blackjack for the dealer. This offers a payout of 1000 to 1 or the player can win a progressive jackpot. While this all sounds very attractive, the other total combinations are well thought out in advance, and mainly to the casino’s advantage.

  • Two hearts females plus a blackjack from the dealer always pays 1000 to 1.
  • Two hearts of women pay 125 to 1 or 200 to 1.
  • Getting 20 with 10-10, J-J, Q-Q or K-K pays 19 to 1 or 25 to 1.
  • A value of 20 with cards that have the same symbol (suited) pays 9 to 1 or 10 to 1.
  • A value of 20 with cards without the same symbol always pays 4 to 1.

If you see the above payouts, they are very diverse. This is enough for blackjack beginners to lose more money while playing. By betting €5 on the base game and €5 more on the ‘Lucky Ladies’ bet, you are playing with worse odds.

As the former payouts indicate, you play with a house edge of 24.71%, while the latter payouts carry a bad house edge of 17.64%. To play blackjack the right way you should never go for the Lucky Ladies bet.

3. Single Deck Blackjack isn’t very common anymore but it’s here to stay

In the early days, blackjack was played with a single deck of 52 playing cards. However, today’s modern casinos use multiple decks to thwart card counters. It is common for casinos to offer blackjack with 6 or 8 decks. The slipper makes card counting practically impossible for players.

There are only a few casinos left in Las Vegas where Single Deck Blackjack is possible. If you play at an online casino, you can be sure that this blackjack variant is always present. And if not, look for a website that does have it.


Blackjack and its predecessors have been around for over 400 years. All those years and the evolution of this game has made the game as it is played today. Between the influential casino owners who are considered the reason for corrupting blackjack, and jacking up percentages for their own gain, makes playing blackjack less appealing.

You have just learned the 3 least known rules of blackjack, but never stop learning. When you get into the details of the game, you will find out that there is much more to learn about the famous card game blackjack. Whether you play blackjack at a land-based casino or an online casino, the more you know about the game, the better it is.