There may not be a foolproof 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 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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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 with your initial hand. You will lose half of your bet should you wish to surrender.
More on Blackjack Basic Strategy
The basic strategy of Blackjack is based on mathematics. If you are seeking to become a successful player in the game, then you will need to learn the essential fundamental rule of the game. The overall rule of the game of Blackjack is to get to 21 or beat the casino dealer by having a total greater than theirs. Most strategies concerning Blackjack state that the house gains its edge by the fact that the casino player must make a move first in the game. While that is an important rule to remember, the casino player also needs to learn what decisions come after that.
Playing Hard Hands – the definition of a hard hand is two cards where neither card you are dealt is an ace. In these situations, if you have an 8 or less, you should always take a hit. If you have a 9, double if the casino dealer has a 3,4,5 or 6. If the casino dealer has any other number then, hit. If you have a 10, double if the dealer has a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8, or 9, otherwise hit. If you have an 11, double if the dealer has a 2 through 10 and hit if the casino dealer has an ace. If you have a 12, hit if the dealer has a 2 or 3, stand if the dealer has a 4 through 6 or otherwise hit. If you have a 13 to 16, stand if the casino dealer has a 2 through 6, otherwise take a hit. If you have a 17 or higher, always stand.
Playing Soft Hands – a soft hand is one where one of the cards is an ace. In these situations, if you have an ace 2 or ace 3, you should double if the casino dealer has a 5 or a 6, otherwise take a hit. If you have an ace 4 or an ace 5, double if the casino dealer has a 4 through 6, otherwise tell the casino dealer you would like a hit. If you have an ace 6, double if the casino dealer has a 3 through 6, otherwise take a hit. If you have an ace 7, stand if the casino dealer has a 2, a 7 or an 8, double if the casino dealer has a 3,4,5 or 6 or otherwise hit. If you have an an ace and an 8 or a 9, always choose to stand.
Pair playing – if you have a pair of eights or aces, always choose to split. If you have a pair of 2’s or 3’s, choose to split if the casino dealer has a 2, a 3, a 4, a 5, a 6 or a 7. If the casino dealer does not have any of those numbers, then opt to take a hit. If you have a pair of 4’s, choose to split if the casino dealer has a 5 or a 6, or hit otherwise. If you have a pair of 5’s, choose to double only if the casino player has a 2 through 9. If you have a pair of 6’s, choose to split if the casino dealer has a 2 through 6, or ask for a hit. If you have a pair of 7’s, split on 2 through 7, or take a hit. If you have a pair of 9’s, choose to split 2 through 7, or on an 8 or 9. Stand if the casino dealer has a 7, a 10 or an ace. If you have a pair of 10’s, always stand.
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.
7 Strategies For Playing Blackjack Better
Casino players are frequently looking for tips and strategies, especially when playing online games. Blackjack is considered one of the more popular online casino games, other than slots. Since Blackjack is quite popular, it becomes all the more important for casino players to find new tips and tricks, as well as refresh their memories on ones that are tried and tested. The following are some tips that every casino player should know when playing online.
1. Splitting – most casino players tend to split in the game of Blackjack. As such, there are some concepts to remember when doing this including never splitting 10s, and to always split 8s. By splitting 8s, the casino player stands a considerable chance of having a winning hand and in essence, more money. 8s can help the casino player in a great way and this is why most, if not all recommendations are to split them. In addition to this, it is suggested that casino players never split 5s, but rather to double down instead. Of course, every casino player has their own strategy, so it depends upon the hand that has been dealt.
2. House Edge Elimination – one of the key ways to minimize the edge of the hosue is through using soft hands in an effective manner. Since most casino players double down on soft hands, this not only eliminates the edge that the house has. It is suggested to always draw until a soft 17 is reached.
3. Refrain From Betting More – betting more does not provide additional room to win. It is unlikely that the outcome of the game will chance, therefore, casino players should only bet what they have initially and what they feel comfortable with doing.
4. Values – if the casino player happens to be dealt two cards of a similar value, it is suggested that they should be split. This is different from the splitting strategy in that the casino player can have more chances to win and win big in doing this on each and every hand that has similar value cards.
5. Table Minimums – casino players should look for tables, even online, that require no more than 5% of the overall bankroll that the casino player has decided that they will bet. Selecting a table should be considered on the basis of different rules that that casino game has or if the casino player is thinking about playing a Blackjack variation.
6. No insurance – unless the casino player happens to be counting cards, then taking insurance is not a good option. The house typically has a 6% advantage over the casino player. Even if the casino player happens to obtain 21 (Blackjack), they will only win the original bet that they placed.
7. No Myths – there are a variety of gambling myths that tend to float around casino players and these should be discounted as much as possible. If the casino player happens to buy into these myths, this can cause a noticeable dent in their playing possibilities as well as winning chances. It is important to stick with proven strategies than false tips in online gambling.
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