Winning at blackjack depends on strategy, although some luck is needed too. The most important thing is to learn when to hit and when to stay. All blackjack strategies rely solely on that assessment.
There are two types of blackjack hands: the stiff hand and the pat hand. The hand is stiff when the first two cards’ total is 12 to 16. The dealer’s hand is stiff when the face-up card equals 2 to 6. The hand is pat when your total is 17+. The dealer’s hand is pat when the face-up card is between 7 and an Ace.
Essentially, all blackjack strategies rely on the number of cards. Knowing when to draw more than two cards is the actual trick. If your hand is stiff, you might easily bust if you draw another card. Here are some general tips to help you deal with both blackjack hand types.
Stand when the dealer’s and yours hands are stiff. Hit when you have a stiff hand and the dealer has a pat hand. When you hit, you’ll have to take another card. Nothing too complicated here, as you can see, and fit for just anyone. Usually, this strategy will be enough to boost your odds. Refer to our articles below for more tips and guidelines and best online casino blackjack reviews.
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REMEMBER TO ALWAYS PLAY PERFECT STRATEGY BY USING THE STRATEGY CHART BELOW. IF YOU FOCUS ON PLAYING PERFECT STRATEGY AS YOU PROGRESS THROUGH THE GAME, YOU CAN COMBINE THIS WITH SOME SIMPLE CARD COUNTING AND BET VARIATIONS TO INCREASE YOUR ADVANTAGE AGAINST THE DEALER.
The basic strategy blackjack chart below will help you make the statistically best decisions for when to: Stand, Hit, Double Down, Surrender or Split when playing blackjack.
Did you want to give the dealer an edge? We didn't think so.
Blackjack players may let their emotions get in the way of making the best decision. The following strategy chart gives players the correct basic strategy to follow and by using this basic strategy table, a player has the best mathematical chance of beating the casino without using complicated card counting systems. The house edge can be reduced to a tiny 0.2% when you play perfect strategy and otherwise you could be giving up a whole 1% or more to the dealer! Applying card counting strategies to further improve your play can give a player up to a 1% advantage!
Basic blackjack strategy and the basic strategy blackjack chart are the most important things to know about blackjack. Playing according to a blackjack basic strategy chart is simply the best way to play every possible situation, without any knowledge of the distribution of the rest of the cards in the deck.
You can save or print this blackjack chart and keep it by your side when you play blackjack at online casinos. I am sure you will find that your losing streaks get shorter and your winning streaks get longer. However, you should be aware that the casino still has the edge in blackjack even if you use this (or any) blackjack strategy chart. By playing according to the blackjack chart you minimize the casinos edge and thereby maximize your chances of winning at blackjack by incorporating other strategies that we will look at in detail below. The above table is the basic blackjack strategy chart for 4 of more decks when the dealer stands on soft 17. This is the most common multiple deck game found online where the dealer stands on soft 17. So if you only want to memorize one blackjack strategy chart I would suggest this one. It can be played effectively under any variations of the blackjack rules.
To use the basic strategy, look up your blackjack hand along the left vertical edge and the dealer's up card along the top. In both cases an 'A' stands for Ace. From top to bottom are the blackjack hard totals, soft hands totals, and what blackjack hands you are allowed to split. Note that blackjack rule variations can have an effect on some borderline situations. The most commonly changed blackjack rules are the number of decks used, whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17, and whether a double down is allowed after splitting a hand.
This table demonstrates the probability of the dealer having a certain outcome of a hand, depending on the first card dealt face up to their hand. You will notice as you read the table that if the upcard has a value of 10, then the probability that the dealer busts is lower and the odds of a blackjack are higher.
Many experienced players obtain an edge over the casino by applying card counting strategies. Card Counting strategies can give experienced players an edge of up to 1.5 percent. There are many different systems available to players that would like to learn these strategies, some are very simple and easy to apply, while others are very sophisticated and hard to learn. It seems to be a common subject of debate as to which card counting system works best, we advise that you start off with this simple strategy. Even if a complex card counting system is mathematically better, it's going to be difficult to learn and apply, therefore a simpler system may produce better results for you to start. We suggested that you only apply a card counting system that you understand completely and are comfortable playing with because the whole point of playing blackjack in the first place is to have fun!
How to count cards
If you plan on learning to count cards it is advised that you learn the basics and premise behind card counting before you learn any particular system. A good place to start from is learning how to count through a deck of cards. Unbalanced blackjack card counting systems are the easiest to learn as they omit some cards and focus on a simpler, yet effective strategy. Mathematically speaking, when you unbalance your card count, you can understand the reasoning behind it and easily adjust accordingly during play and obvious situations. Start the count at –4 and go through the entire deck, count –2 for all the cards valued at 10 and count +1 for all the other cards. Your count should be 0 after you have counted the entire deck. It is advised that you can count through the deck quickly without mistakes before you move on to any particular system. It is suggested that you practice your basic skills and bet small or play for free until you feel confident that you can win with the system. If you are just starting to play Blackjack and/or you are only using the basically strategy tables your position on the table is not important. However for players that are applying card counting techniques it is suggested to sit a 3rd base. This is the seat on the table that the dealers plays last in the table rotation, from 3rd base a player has the chance to get a stronger count by counting the other players cards before making a bet.
Easy strategies for bet variation
The following card counting strategy is simple and teaches you an important lesson to always remember, when the odds of the dealer being dealt a blackjack, or twenty point hand are high. This is also an excellent system to explain the premise behind card counting, and it’s mathematically sound for determining when to make an insurance bet. There are numerous other card counting systems available to players and players that invest in learning and practicing a system consistently win more money than average players.
1 Deck bet variation strategy
First off, play according to the basic strategy tables and start your count at -4 before the deal. Then you will count –2 for all the cards valued at 10 and +1 for all of the other cards including aces. Small bets are advised when the count is below -2, and big bets are advised when the count is above –2. When the count is below -2, the probability of the dealer being dealt a 10 point card is higher.
Multiple deck bet variation strategy
The count for multiple decks starts at –4 multiplied by the number of decks being used. For example –4 * 6 decks = -24. Once again, count -2 for all 10’s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings and count +1 for all of the other cards, this includes Aces. The same rules apply here also - Small bets are advised when the count is below -2, and bigger bets are advised when the count is above –2. When the count is positive, this is a good time to make the insurance bet.
The below free blackjack strategy trainer game allows you to play for demo money and practice your skills. We recommend that you use the above blackjack strategy chart and play perfect strategy to gain experience before you play this game or any other variation at an online casino. This specific game is perfect for learning because it's the standard game using six decks. The dealer stands on all 17's and draws cards when the point value is 16 or less. Splitting and doubling are only allowed once, you can buy insurance or take even money if you have a blackjack and the dealers up-card is an Ace.