Rules and Strategy

7 Essential elements of Blackjack basic strategy for winners

blackjack strategy

There is a lot of information related to the rules and the strategy of Blackjack. Since Blackjack is a game of skills, it requires both novice and seasoned players to make a series of decisions that will be beneficial to them in the long run. To help you master the basics of this brilliant casino game, we have prepared a comprehensive Blackjack guide for you. The tips you are about to learn are easy to grasp and apply in real game scenarios.

Our guide will teach you everything you need to know to win easily

Have a look at the essentials of our recommended Blackjack basic strategy you are going to find in our guide:

  • Hitting: When it’s best to hit
  • Standing: When it’s best to stand
  • Double down: When it’s best to double down
  • Slitting: When it’s best to split a pair of cards
  • Surrendering: When it’s best to surrender
  • Insurance: Should I take insurance?
  • Card counting: How it’s done

What is a basic strategy in Blackjack?

Once you have mastered basic strategy Blackjack, you will get a better understanding of how you can use the rules of the game to your advantage. The game is full of unexpected twists and turns and you need to know how to make certain combinations of cards you have in your hand and what actions to take to have the best results in the long run. The game is based on player decisions and it is important to learn Blackjack basics to succeed and enjoy the game.

strategy table download

Just to remind you of the meaning of Blackjack main terminology, we have listed the main player actions for you to go through:

  • Hit: if you choose to hit after the original set of two cards has been dealt to you, you are making a signal that you will take one more card.
  • Stand: standing is the exact opposite of hitting, which means that you are satisfied with the cards you have in your hand and you will not be drawing any additional cards.
  • Double: not all casinos allow this bet because this action will most likely help you conclude the game with a winning hand, but if you do proceed with doubling your initial bet, the dealer will give you one additional card.
  • Split: When you get a pair of cards, for example, two Queens, you may choose to split them. This means that you will receive an additional card and play each hand as a normal hand. The new hand will also require an additional bet that matches the original bet placed on the initial hand with a pair. Say, for example, you have made a bet of $10, you have decided to split the pair of Queens, hence, the new hand will need its own bet of $10.

After you have mastered the rules of the game, it is best to work on a Blackjack basic strategy online and absolutely risk-free. When you look for a new casino, keep an eye on various Blackjack bonus packages you can benefit from if you decide to open an account with the selected casino. By claiming your Blackjack bonuses, you can avoid risking real money and try out different Blackjack gambling combinations and player actions.

Let’s get straight into the essentials of the game of 21 that will show you how to win at Blackjack and have fun.

When should you hit or stand in Blackjack?

FAQ: Should I hit or should I stand when playing Blackjack? Which is the best move?

This is a really important moment which impacts your gameplay immensely. There are numerous scenarios you will encounter, however, your most important rule of thumb is to make your decision based on the value of your hand. Therefore, it's important to know the value of the cards. Here are two main scenarios:

Scenario 1: If the total value of the cards in your hand is 11 or less, it is definitely best to hit. This will help you improve your hand without risking going bust.

Scenario 2: If you hold a hand which is valued at 12 or higher, you will have to evaluate the odds first before deciding whether to hit or to stand. In this case, the risk of going bust and losing your hand is very high. If one of the cards in your hand is an Ace, your decision will also be determined by the type of hand – whether it’s a soft hand or a hard hand.

Here is a basic summary of whether it’s best to hit or to stand carefully compiled by our dedicated team of casino experts.

  • Step 1: First check the dealer’s face-up card to analyze your odds. Your goal is to make the dealer go bust (without going bust yourself). Proceed to step 2.
  • Step 2: Choose your strategy wisely and keep your cool. Follow the guide below.

If the dealer’s face-up card is:

  • ACE = Hit on 17 or less

It is likely that the dealer will get a total score of 17 or higher and you will lose the hand. The odds of the dealer receiving a blackjack against you are 31%. In this case, it is best to HIT.

  • 7 to 10, Jack, Queen, King = Hit on 16 or less

It’s best for you to take a chance since it looks like the dealer is going to improve their score.

  • 4, 5, 6 = Hit on 11 or less

Here you have a great chance to win, so play it safe and stay away from going bust. The odds of the dealer going bust are staggering 42%. If you have 12 or more, be patient and simply stand.

  • 2 or 3 = Hit on 12 or less

If you have 13 or more, it is safer to stand. It is very likely that the dealer will go bust.

Blackjack strategy chart

To continue perfecting your basic strategy and learn which decisions to make to improve your chances of winning and not go bust, use basic Blackjack strategy charts that we have outlined below.

Your (player’s) hand is demonstrated in the first column of the basic Blackjack strategy chart. The first row above the basic strategy blackjack table represents the bank’s hand.

You should, therefore, opt for the decision located at the intersection of the row and the corresponding column. For example, if you hold 15 and the bank only has a 4 you should stand.

Does Blackjack strategy involve taking an insurance bet?

Many players question whether it is wise to take insurance.

Short answer: No, never take insurance as the odds of losing your bet are very high.

An insurance bet can be placed when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. The players will then have a chance to place a separate bet, which is totally optional. This bet means that the player is betting on the fact that the dealer’s hole card will be a ten or a face card. You are allowed to wager one half of the initial bet on this type of bet.

If luck is in your favor and the dealer gets a ten or a face card, your insurance bet will win at the odds of 2 to 1. In other words, you win the same amount as you initially wagered. You lose your insurance bet, if the hole card is not a ten or a face card. The game then resumes.

Keep in mind that insurance bets are simply side bets which may increase your bankroll slightly, however, in the long run, they do not increase your chances of winning.

Bottom line: Focus your energy on other bets and use different card combinations that take you one step closer to getting a Blackjack.

Is Card Counting an effective strategy?

You must have heard of card counting as a common way used by some players to make the house edge work in their favor. Card counting is not illegal as it is simply a mental exercise of tracking which cards have been in play and planning ahead some future combinations which increase the odds of winning. However, if players are spotted counting cards, they will be asked to leave the casino.

Nowadays, single-deck games are not very common anymore due to the fact that a single deck of 52 cards (excluding Jokers) is much easier to keep in mind. Casinos normally deal multiple decks of cards, ranging between 4 and 8 decks, which are dealt from a machine, which is called a shoe.

Card counting requires mental strength and photographic memory. Players mentally put each played card away and work out which cards are left in the deck. Knowing which cards are left in the game helps to decide whether it’s best to hit, stand, double or split as well as whether it’s ideal to bet high or low.

Here is a practical example of card counting:

When only small cards have been played, there is a great chance that higher value cards will be dealt soon. This means that it is the right moment to increase your bets. On the contrary, if only high-value cards have been dealt, it is best to play it safe and bet low. It’s also a suitable moment to hit without risking going bust.

Does Blackjack basic strategy work?

According to the American statistical association, casino experts don’t recommend card counting as it only causes mental exhaustion and triggers further mistakes. Equip yourself with a solid understanding of the rules of the game and the most common strategic player actions. This will help you enjoy combining your Blackjack skills with an element of surprise brought by various combinations of cards every time a new hand is dealt to you.

TIP: When you are faced with numerous combinations of multiple decks of cards, card counting becomes really cumbersome and, therefore, ineffective.

basic blackjack strategy

► Click on the strategy table to download it!◄

If you have been dreaming of going to Las Vegas, opt for live casino games such as Blackjack, Poker and Roulette to experience the thrill of real-life casino entertainment. Keep in mind that you will be asked to place real money bets from the moment you walk through the casino’s door. This is why learning how to play Blackjack beforehand will help you save money in the long run.

Furthermore, best US Online Casinos provide players with a range of free bonuses that can be used in conjunction with your favorite casino games. This means that you can practice playing against the house online from the comfort of your home using your personal computer, smartphone or tablet. If you are a Mac user, opt for Mac-friendly casinos and use no download casino software to start playing hassle-free.

To make your Blackjack practice even more fun, consider organizing a casino night at home. All you would need is a table and a deck of cards. This will give you an opportunity to polish up your Blackjack basic strategy and start thinking on your feet.

Blackjack strategy helps to beat the house edge

This basic strategy has been designed to help you make your first bets at a Blackjack table with confidence. By following the suggestions, we have outlined in the Blackjack strategy charts, you will surely make your gameplay more successful.

Once you have mastered the basics of this fascinating game, learn other versions of Blackjack and improve your gaming tactics by using a more advanced strategy. Remember that there is no use in engaging in card counting and it is much more efficient to simply follow the rules of the game and do your best to reach an exciting Blackjack.

Are you ready to start? Game on!

Best Blackjack Strategy 2019
Need more tips and ideas? Feel free to get in touch with us!
Have you enjoyed reading this article? Go ahead and share it!

To enjoy playing Blackjack online and try other types of Blackjack games, go through our articles from the list below and have fun: