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When learning how to play blackjack, you may have questions that aren’t covered in the How to Play guide. If you have a question, chances are many others have had the same one. We’ve rounded up the most common questions asked by beginners and included them in our Blackjack FAQ.


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Is card-counting illegal?
Card-counting is not illegal according to state, federal or local legislation. Nevada courts ruled that players are allowed to use any information available to them to improve their chances of winning as long as they aren’t using devices or getting help from another person.

That being said, many casinos reserve the right the deny service to patrons, and often exercise this right when they suspect players of counting cards. One state that has an exception to this right is New Jersey. In 1979, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Atlantic City casinos can’t ban highly-skilled players.

What is the house edge when playing basic strategy?
The house edge for blackjack varies depending on what kind of blackjack you’re playing. Bovada Casino offers single-deck, six-deck and double-deck blackjack.

  • Six-deck blackjack has a house edge of 0.63% when played with basic strategy.
  • Single-deck blackjack has a house edge of 0.08% when played with basic strategy.
  • Double-deck blackjack has a house edge of 0.24% when played with basic strategy.

Should you surrender if you have bad cards?
Surrendering bad cards is sometimes the optimal move, but keep in mind that every time you surrender, you forfeit half your wager, so surrendering too often will lose you money in the long run. Generally, you should only surrender if you have very bad cards and the dealer has very good cards, but learning basic strategy will clarify what hands qualify as very good and very bad.

When should you take insurance?
Basic strategy advises against taking insurance. Only skilled card-counters know when the odds favor taking insurance.


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What’s the secret to beating blackjack?
There’s no shortcut to beating blackjack, and you should be suspicious about programs that claim to teach you how to beat the system for a price. If these programs were real, casinos would stop offering blackjack. The only way to increase your chances of making a substantial profit, is by practice. As you practice, you’ll get a feel for the game and will get better at knowing the optimal action for each hand. As with anything else, you can never expect to develop skills without putting in time and effort.