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How to Make a Bet when playing Blackjack

The basics of blackjack betting are pretty straightforward. You bet at the beginning of the game, and hope for good cards – if you win, you win back your bet, plus a like amount. That’s essentially it for most folks in regards to Blackjack betting knowledge.

However, Blackjack has a few betting rules many people never think about (or even know.) But unlike some games where you can just bet or raise with freedom, blackjack has a very fixed way towards betting. These fixed bets are referred to as “Doubling down”, “Surrendering”, “Splitting”, and “Taking Insurance”.
  • Doubling down doubles your bet in blackjack and gives you another card. This is done when there’s a high percentage of beating the dealer so you’ll want to double your winnings. To double your bet, put a chip next to your cards and hold a finger up. This has the dual purpose of letting the dealer know you want to double down and that you are “Number one”.
  • Splitting refers to what you can do when you receive two like cards to begin a hand (say two aces). You double your bet, and make two hands. Your question may be, “Why should I split hands when I can just play two rounds?” The answer depends on the cards in your hand. If you have two aces (one possible example) then you should split because there’s more 10 value cards in the deck. There’s a good chance to beat the dealer and hit blackjack! Put down a chip, say “Split” and hold up two fingers. Make it a peace sign if you’re feeling particularly groovy.
  • Think of surrendering as making bets in reverse. Instead of increasing your bets, you’re reducing them. Surrendering is done when you believe you have little chance at beating the dealer. You’re cutting your losses and getting back one half of your bet. The end result is the same as betting one half your wager and losing. To surrender, say “I surrender” while making a chopping motion (like you’re chopping a bet in half).
  • Insurance is a side bet on a dealer’s blackjack. If the dealer is showing an ace, you can take insurance against the dealer having blackjack. With insurance, you bet one half of your original bet with 2 to 1 odds. If the dealer has blackjack you break even since you lose your original bet. Of course if you do have blackjack then you’ll make a nice profit. Usually the dealer will ask if you want insurance.

These four bets make Blackjack a rather interesting game, and one that can be played for a long time (as your bets do not really increase much – unlike, say, Texas Hold ‘Em, you won’t be raised into the poorhouse!) In addition to the four listed, there are many, many “side bets” available in variations of Blackjack.

And remember, you don’t have to win most of the time to make a profit. By betting high (doubling down) when you have a good hand, and backing off when you have a bad hand, you will walk away a winner when the dealing’s done.



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