In addition to its ground rules, blackjack has a set of side rules that can be used when certain criteria are met. Players can use them to their advantage or base their playing strategies on them.  

Insurance is a side bet that can be used when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. In this case, the player can ensure his original bet by placing an equal bet on whether the dealer’s hand is a blackjack or not. In case the dealer has blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2:1. In other words, you lose your initial bet, but recover your loss by winning the insurance bet. 

Surrender is an excellent way of cutting your losses in case of a bad hand. This option is available on the initial two cards. When a player surrenders, he is not allowed to play his hand any further but reclaims half of his original bet.

Splitting is a choice that a player has when he is dealt two cards of the same face value. This option is available on the first cards only. If a player chooses to split, the two cards are separated, and a bet equal to the original one is placed on the second card as well. This allows a player to improve his chances of winning by playing two separate hands.  However, in the case of Aces, players are allowed to split, but they are dealt only one card without the possibility of requesting additional cards.

Double down is another profitable option that blackjack players have. It can be used after the initial two-card are dealt. However, if a player chooses to double down, he is limited to receive only one additional card.  For this reason, doubling down is mostly used when the player is dealt a hand totaling a value of 11. In this scenario, the chances of receiving a card with a value of 10 are very high. Another good scenario for using double down is after a split since with this option the player receives one additional card.