Basic Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack is the perfect game on which to employ a sound strategy, as the rules are pretty standard in most versions of the game. This game is also one that allows the player to influence the end result, and thus strategy and skill can boost your winning chances!
Basic Blackjack strategy is, of course, not a sure fire way to win, but it will improve your success rate dramatically. Just remember to focus on your long term Blackjack returns rather than the results of a single game.
What Is Basic Blackjack Strategy?
Basic Blackjack strategy should be any prospective Blackjack player’s roadmap. By memorising and following basic Blackjack strategy, you will be able to lower the house edge until it is as little as 1%, or even less depending on the rule variations of the game you are playing.
Blackjack strategy is pretty simple to learn and it can be applied to pretty much all versions of Blackjack, be it online or land-based play. If it is a bit intimidating memorising the strategy from text, you will be able to find charts if you do a quick Google search. You can save this chart to your phone or tablet and simply pull it up during your early games until you have mastered the strategy.
What To Look For In A Game
The ideal set of circumstances for the most effective environment to use Blackjack strategy is a game with 4 to 8 decks, the dealer will stand on a soft 17, a double will be allowed after a split and when the dealer has a Blackjack, only your original wager will be lost.
These criteria are by no means set in stone and you can still play effectively with other rules in place, they’re just ideal rules to look out for.
When To Hit Or Stand
Knowing when to Hit and when to Stand is essential in Blackjack, and the basis of any sound strategy:
- If you have a hard 11 or less, always hit.
- If the dealer shows a 4, 5 or 6, stand if you have a hard 12, otherwise hit.
- If the dealer shows you 2,3,4,5 or 6, always stand on a hard 13 to 16 hand. If not, hit.
- A hard 17 should always mean you stand.
- If the dealer shows a 9, 10 or A, you should hit on a soft 18.
- A soft 19 should always equal a stand.
When To Double
- If you have a hard 9, you may double against a dealer showing a 3 to a 6.
- If you are holding a hard 10, only double against a 10 or A from the dealer.
- A soft 13 or 14 should be doubled against a dealer showing you a 5 to 6.
- A soft 15 or 16 should be doubled against a dealer showing you a 4 to a 6.
- A Soft 17 or 18 should be doubled against a dealer showing you a 3 to a 6.
When To Split
- As a rule , always split A’s or two 8’s
- It is best to avoid splitting 5’s and 10’s.
- If the dealer is showing a 4 to a 7, you can split 2’s and 3’s.
- If the dealer shows you a 3 to a 6, then you can split 6’s.
- If the dealer shows you a 2 to a 7, then you can split 7s.
- Split 9s only if you see the dealer showing a 2 to a 6 or an 8 or 9.
When To Surrender
Only surrender if you have a hard 16 and the dealer shows you a 9, 10 or an Ace.
Surrendering is not allowed in all games of Blackjack so be sure to check the rules first.
Avoid taking the insurance bet. It has very long odds and you will be better off just applying basic strategy and appreciating the lowered house edge that comes from it.
Remember to always play based on a set bankroll budget. Never go into a game with no fixed plan of how much you are willing to lose, what your minimum and maximum wager limits are or what your double down limits are.
Rule Variations To Take Note Of
Each version of online Blackjack will have its unique rules depending on which casino you play at, and which developer is responsible for a game. Always make the effort to check the Blackjack game’s rules before you play for real money.
- Dealer hits on 17 – Playing a game where the dealer hits on a soft 17 decreases the house edge by 0.2%
- How many decks are used – The fewer decks a game uses, the lower the house edge. A single deck adds 0.17% to the housed edge, while 8 decks add a 0.65% advantage to the house edge.
- Early surrender – games that allow early surrender are more player friendly.
- No doubling down after a split – if a game does not allow doubling after a split, the house edge increases by 0.12%
Use this Blackjack strategy to boost your winning chances and work your way to a hand of 21!