Improve your chances of winning with our online blackjack strategy guide. We’ll take you through basic blackjack strategies, charts, and tips on playing this popular table game.
If you are ready to play blackjack online and employ blackjack strategy, sign up for a new account at one of our favorite online casinos today!
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack is a game where the player’s objective is to create a hand where they score a value of 21 or as close to 21 as possible without going over. One of the other major rules of blackjack is that the player’s hand must be worth more than the hand of the dealer.
When it comes to blackjack strategy, there are a ton of methods for honing your game! As with any table game, blackjack is one where the player can significantly lower the house edge through the use of a basic strategy. Here are some of the most common tactics used by the professionals:
Avoid Blackjack Insurance
When playing blackjack, it is best not to take the insurance! It is a 2 to 1 payoff and that is less than the odds that the dealer will have a blackjack. Blackjack insurance is commonly referred to as a sucker bet.
In blackjack, hitting is the act of requesting an extra card from the dealer. You want to be careful when it comes to hitting because one of the game’s main objectives is to not go over 21! These are a few of the best in blackjack strategy when it comes to hitting:
- Hit on Ace-7 With Dealer Up Card of 9, 10, or Ace
- Always Hit on Hard 12 With Dealer Up Card of 2 or 3
- Hit with Pairs of 2s or 3s With Dealer Up Card of 2 or 3 (as long as there is no DAS)
Splitting is a strategy where players can take a pair of cards (two 5s or two 7s, for instance) and split them apart. The player can then play each of them as two separate hands instead of one! Be careful what pairs you choose to split because you can easily go over 21.
- Splits Pairs of 8s and Aces
- Avoid Splitting Pairs of 5s or 10s
- Split Pairs of 2s or 3s With Dealer Up Card of 2 or 3 (as long as rules allow DAS)
Standing is the player holding the total in their hand and not taking an extra card. This ends the player’s turn. This is a strategy that is best used if you are close to 21 and do not want to go over.
- Stand on Pair of 9s With Dealer Up Card of 7
- Stand on Hard 16 (multi-card) With Dealer Up Card of 10
Double Down Strategies
Doubling down is the act of doubling your bet before the dealer give you another card. If the player makes another bet that is the exact value of the first bet, they will get only one card from the dealer.
- Double Down on Hard 11
- Always Double Down on 10 With Dealer Up Card of 9 or Less
- Double Down A-2 to A-7 With Dealer Up Card of 5 or 6
- Double Down on 8 With Dealer Up Card of 5 or 6 (Single Deck Game)
Surrendering is kind of like folding in poker, but here players can get back half of their bet by choosing to not play out the rest of their hand.
- Surrender Hard 16 With Dealer Up Card of 9, 10, or Ace
- Surrender Hard 15 With Dealer Up Card of 10
Blackjack Strategy Card
Employing a basic strategy can greatly bring down the house edge and increase your chances of winning against the dealer! Follow the blackjack strategy below and watch your frequency of wins increase over time:
Additional Basic Strategy
- Never take insurance
- Always stand hard 17 or higher
- Always stand A8, A9, A10, and 10-10
- Always play 5-5 as a 10
- Always split Aces
Advanced Blackjack Strategy
Counting cards is a strategy in the game of blackjack where there are positive, negative, and zero value assigned to each card. The idea is that, as more lower value cards are revealed, the “count” of the deck will increase and vice versa.
Depending on the counting system that you are using, there will be a difference with how the value of each card is calculated. One of the most popular counting systems is called the Hi-Lo method. Cards revealed that are 10 to ace knock the count of the deck down by one a piece. Cards revealed that are 2 to 6 add one to the count. 7 to 9 do not affect the count of the deck and are valued at 0.
Major Card Counting Strategies
|Counting Strategy||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10-K||A||Count Level|
|Hi-Lo Option I||0||+1||+1||+1||+1||0||0||0||-1||0||1|
|Hi-Lo Option II||+1||+1||+2||+2||+1||+1||0||0||-2||0||2|
|Red 7||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||0/ +1||0||0||-1||-1||1|
While counting cards is not explicitly illegal in the United States, casinos do everything in their power to make sure their players are not practicing the act. Those whose who are suspected of counting cards can be banned from the casino.
Something to keep in mind about card counting is that it is impossible to do so when playing online blackjack because those games run on random number generators. Card counting is a practice that is done exclusively at land-based casino operations.
Blackjack Betting Systems
There are plenty of blackjack strategies when it comes to actually playing blackjack, but there are also tips and tricks for how to place your bets! Blackjack strategy does not just end with deciding whether to hit, stand, surrender, or not. How you bet and how much you bet matters as well! Below are some of the most common betting strategies to employ when you play blackjack:
One of the most popular forms of blackjack strategy is betting the Martingale way! The technique calls for players to double up their bet after every loss until the player finally wins. In the end, the player will be ahead by one betting unit.
This method is really similar to Martingale but there are a few differences. Here, the bettor will raise one a betting unit when they lose and will lower one when they win.
This method runs off a special mathematical sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and so on. If you know what numbers are in this sequence, you will know how much to bet. You will follow the betting sequence as long as you win, but if you lose, you will have to start back at the beginning.
This is another blackjack strategy when it comes to betting where the player will increase their bet by set increments. In this case, players will follow the sequence of 1-3-2-6. If they lose, they must restart at the first step of the sequence.
Parlay bets in blackjack follow the simple rule of increasing bets after a winning hand and decreasing bets after a loss.
This blackjack strategy for betting involves grinding out a small profit over time. The general rule of thumb here is to repeat a bet when you lose a round and to add one betting unit to the previous bet when you win a round.
Blackjack Terms to Know
These are a few of the blackjack terms and jargon you will encounter if you spend any sort of time on the blackjack tables. When playing blackjack, you will want to have some sort of concept of what the terminologies mean. This way you will know what others are talking about and you will not look like a total fool.
|Blackjack Term||Definition||Blackjack Term||Definition|
|Anchorman||The person that is seated next to the dealer who is the last of the players to act.||Bankroll||The sum of total of money that you have set aside to bet on blackjack.|
|Burn Card||This is the card that is placed face down by the dealer before dealing the first card to the first player.||Bust||This either means that you have run out of money in your bankroll or that you have a blackjack hand that is over 21. Either way, you want to avoid going bust when it comes to blackjack.|
|Card Counting||The act of tracking cards in a deck to figure out the likelihood of the dealer going over 21.||Cold Deck||If a blackjack player is running into a streak of bad cards, they sometimes refer to this misfortune as a cold deck.|
|Color Up||The act of trading in a lot of low-value chips in for higher denominations.||Cut Card||The act of the one blackjack player splitting the deck in half for the dealer to ensure everything is thoroughly shuffled.|
|Deck Penetration||This is important blackjack strategy for card counters. Penetration refers to the percentage of blackjack cards that are in play following the previous shuffle.||Discards||These are all the cards that have been dealt and lie in a pile waiting to be reshuffled and brough back into the deck.|
|Double Down||This is a blackjack strategy where the player can double their bet in a moment when the dealer looks weak. You double your bet but are limited to getting only one more card.||Face Card||Face cards are the jacks, queens, and kings.|
|Flat Bets||This is when a player bets the same amount every round. It makes for a boring betting experience.||Griffin Book||This is a black book of known card counters that has been compiled by security workers at land-based casinos.|
|Hard Hand||Because the ace functions as an 11 or a 1, blackjack hands can take on two values. A hard hand is one that has no ace and is, therefore, worth only one value.||Heads Up||This is where there is only one player at the blackjack table.|
|Hit||Asking the dealer for another card to add to your hand.||House Edge||This is the supposed advantage that the house has in a given casino game. in the case of blackjack, it is slightly over 1%. The house edge can be brought down with the use of a basic blackjack strategy.|
|Multi Deck||Many casinos will utilized over five decks of cards for their blackjack games.||Natural||This is the perfect hand when you play blackjack. It is two cards that are exactly equal to 21.|
|Paint||This is blackjack jargon for face cards: kings, queens, and jacks.||Pit||The area of the casino where you sit to play blackjack.|
|Push||Tying with the dealer. There is no win or loss as a result of the push.||Soft Hand||These are blackjack hands that have one or two aces that can act as either an 11 or a 1.|
|Split||If you have two cards of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands. This matches your initial wager.||Stand||The act of not taking another card from the dealer.|
|Surrender||This is the act of abandoning your hand and getting back half of your bet.||Toke||A tip to the staff of a land-based casino.|
|Up Card||This is the dealer’s one face up card. You can use this information to form your basic strategy.|
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Pros and Cons of Online Blackjack