There may not be a fool proof plan to win blackjack; however, our blackjack strategy will definitely maximize your winnings. Gambling away your savings will only make you hate casinos, and we would hate to see you give up your favourite table game. Blackjack is a pleasurable game with a low house edge making it one of the most played casino games in the United States. The more you know and understand about the game, the more fun you will have.
There may be a lot of information to take in; however, once you are familiar with the strategies, they will become second nature to you. We highly recommend you practice the strategy by taking on a couple of free blackjack games before playing at real money tables.
The days of not knowing when to hit, double, split or surrender end today. Our blackjack strategy guide includes important strategy phrases which will thoroughly explain what to do and when to do it. We also look at an advanced blackjack strategy that has casinos up in arms. To illustrate the strategy, we are going to assume that you are a casual blackjack player and not a card counter. Ready? Set. Deal!
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Best Blackjack Strategy Guide
- Blackjack Card Values
- The Basic Strategy to Use when Playing 21
- Blackjack Strategy Chart
- Advanced Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack Card Values
Before we get stuck into all the different strategies, US players need to understand all the card values. With blackjack, only the number is of importance.
- Cards which are worth 10 points: 10, Jack, Queen and King.
- Cards from 2 to 9 all a carry their face value.
- The Ace cards can either value at 1 or 11.
- A + 9 = 10 or 20
- A + Q = 21 Blackjack!
- A + 2 + 9 = 12 or 22, in this case, you would use the A as one rather than an 11 card as that puts you over 21.
The Basic Strategy to Use when Playing 21
The fundamentals of playing blackjack focuses on knowing what move to make to get to 21. Not each move you make is based on the dealers up card but also based on which strategies are liable to benefit you. Important factors that could change the basic blackjack strategy is the number of decks used, player limitations in terms of splitting, surrendering, doubling, dealer peeking and whether or not the dealer stands on a soft 17.
Soft Totals are hands that include an Ace that counts as 11
- A + 9 = Soft 20, stand
- A + 8 = Soft 19, doubles against the dealer 6 or stand
- A + 7 = Soft 18, doubles against the dealer 2-6 or stand
- A + 6 = Soft 17, doubles against the dealer 3-6
- A + 5 = Soft 16, doubles against the dealer 4-6
- A + 4 = Soft 15, doubles against the dealer 4-6
- A + 3 = Soft 14, doubles against the dealer 5 and 6
- A + 2 = Soft 13, doubles against the dealer 5 and 6
Hard hands do not have an Ace, or the Ace only counts as 1
- 17 and up: stand
- 16 against the dealers 2-6, or hit
- 15 against the dealers 2-6, or hit
- 14 against the dealers 2-6, or hit
- 13 against the dealers 2-6, or hit
- 12 against the dealers 4-6, or hit
- Always double 11
- 10 against the dealers 2-9, or hit
- 9 against the dealers 3-6, or hit
Hit or Stand
If you don't need any more cards and your hand is good as it is you should stand.
If you need more cards to reach 21, you will hit.
- Hit hard 11 or less
- Hit soft 17 or less
- Stand on soft 19 or more
- Stand on a hard 12 against the dealers 4-6
- Stand on a hard 13-16 against the dealers 2-6
Some casinos do not allow doubling on certain hands; however, if they allow it, there is a chance of winning the hand. The double down strategy lets you increase your wager and potential winnings, but you can only get dealt one more card.
This option is only available if your initial hand is a pair. This could be two eights or two ten cards.
- Split 8s and Aces
- Splitting tens in not a good idea
- Split a pair of 2s against the dealers 2-7
- Split a pair of 3s against the dealers 2-7
- Split a pair of 4s against the dealers 5 and 6
- Split a pair of 6s against the dealers 2-6
- Split a pair of 7s against the dealers 2-7
- Split a pair of 9s against the dealers 2-9
The strategy advises that one should surrender if the dealer is showing 17 or lower and your first hand is at 15 or 16 points. You will only be able to surrender after you are dealt your initial hand. You will lose half of your bet should you wish to surrender.
Blackjack Strategy Chart
Blackjack strategy charts are like blackjack cheat cards, no you are not cheating; however, the charts tell you which plays to make based on what the dealer is showing. The charts differ depending on the number of decks used.
A Hard Totals chart would look like:
Advanced Blackjack Strategy
"I'll take the insurance, thank you."
The insurance bet does not come highly recommended as you stand to lose on both wagers. How it works is that the insurance wager is to use to protect players should the dealer hit blackjack. If the dealers up card is an ace, players can wager half of their initial bet on whether or not the dealers' hole card is a ten. Players stand to get paid 2 to 1 on their insurance wager should the dealer have blackjack.
"Counting cards? That's easy."
Counting cards is a mental blackjack strategy. There have been speculations on where or not it was illegal, and card counters will be happy to know that it is complexly legal. The card counting strategy only works provided that you can keep an accurate count while the cards were being dealt.
"Wonging sounds like a plan."
Also known as back counting, wonging is an advanced strategy. Players observe the table count without taking part in the game. The player will then jump into the game when it is favourable to them.
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