Blackjack Strategy

The best blackjack strategy? In most cases: the basic blackjack strategy. A straightforward strategy that focuses on following the blackjack chart, a table with possible outcomes and actions. Just stick to the blackjack actions recommended and you will minimize the casino advantage. By using this blackjack tactics, blackjack isn't a game of odds anymore, but rather a game of skills. What matters is to make the right choice!

blackjack basic strategy card

Blackjack Strategy: lower the house's advantage

Gambling games, like most casino slots, offer you little to no choices. But by using the basic blackjack strategy, you can actually - sort of - control the game. You can't influence the outcome, but you can structure your moves. Should you hit another card, pass, split or insure? The choices you make decide whether you win or lose. Of course, there's always a certain level of chance, but if you use the basic strategy for blackjack properly, the casino advantage is only 0.6%. Which is incredibly low for casino games!

Blackjack Basic Strategy

The blackjack card displayed on the right, is the optimal strategy for the blackjack game as played in an online casino. The ideal tactic might change when the number of decks that are played, changes. Our blackjack card is ideal for: four decks, doubling after splitting, dealer forfeits at soft-17 and quitting isn’t allowed. It is possible you found another blackjack card online, but these are not the right blackjack strategies for your online version. So use the card on the side.

There have been mathematicians who calculated the best option to play, for each hand of the player and the dealer. All these combinations are listed in a chart, which you can find on the side. It’s good to know that you can always bring this chart to your game, online as well as in a real casino. The reason for this is that even when you use the basic strategy perfectly, the casino will always have a small advantage.

The basic blackjack strategy chart explained

Understanding the basic blackjack strategy chart is not that hard. In the columns on top you find the card held by the dealer. Your own hand is listed in the rows to the left. The upper left cel shows hard. Hard basically means that there are no aces among the cards. An ace is valued either 1 or 11. No ace means the value is already established. Below all the hard hands, you’ll find the soft hands, and, as you can probably figure out, this means there is an ace in your hand. The last section at the bottom shows you your options if you have a pair.

So, once you know your hand and the dealers card, you can read what to do in the chart. For example, if you have an ace and a 4, it’s called a soft-5. The dealer has an 8, which means you’ll see an H, which stands for Hit. In other words; take another card.

Download the Balckjack Basic Strategy card displayed on the right in PDF format here.

Blackjack split

If you look at the chart, you can see that you don’t always have to split if you have a pair! You always split eights and you always pass tens, but other than that, your choice will always differ, depending on the card shown by the dealer. By splitting, and doubling after that, you can often make a nice profit. So it’s very important to play these hands right!

Insuring in blackjack

An insurance is rarely favorable for the player. This will only increase the advantage of the casino.

Counting cards in blackjack

Card counting is a good blackjack strategy to determine the likeliness (or unlikeliness) of a next hand. By simply keeping count of the cards already played, you can lower the advantage of the house (casino). If you want to count cards in blackjack, we’ll explain how to do this properly. But remember: card counting professionally by using a counting device or someone who assists is not allowed by casinos. If they find out, you will be banned. Although it's hard for online casinos to proove a player is card counting in a professional way, they are on the lookout for counters and sometimes ban players on false suspicions. But if you want to try out counting cards, this shouldn't be a problem. At your own risk, of course! If you’re new to blackjack, you should first read the blackjack rules. You can also try blackjack for free on our website!

Blackjack card counting is not easy

You might know the casino game from movies like 21 or Rainman, where blackjack players make a profit by counting the cards. In the past, many players have been banned from casinos, because that’s not allowed. These days it’s virtually impossible, because of all the sanctions that have been put out by casinos to make sure counting doesn’t happen anymore. So casinos play with eight decks at the same time, and dealers place a piece halfway between the cards. This drastically lowers the advantage of the players. Even still, there is a way to gain a small advantage for the players that pay attention. This advantage increases if fewer decks are being used. 

How to count cards at Blackjack

blackjack card counting

Card counting in blackjack goes as follows. Every card a player can see, is a piece of information about the other cards still to come. You can use this information in the moments you can make a choice. You will give each card a value of -1, 0, or 1. The table below shows you which value belongs to each card. The moment you get a high or low value from counting the cards, you'll know that in the remaining part of the deck there will be a lot of cards with a value of 10-11 or with a value of 2-6 respectively. Using this information, you can decide whether to double or insure, for example. We will give you a few possible ways to use this information. And remember; a high negative value means the probability of a low card is high. A high positive value means a high probability for a card with the value 10-11. Keep in mind that the difference between the odds are very small, so don’t be fooled by the fact that there hasn’t come up an image card for a while, and think ‘The next one has to be with an image’.

Possible adjustments by counting the cards

  1. Always double with more high cards left in the deck (high plus-value)
  2. Don’t take a risk, and pass at values of 12-16 if the dealer shows a 2-6 card and there are more high cards left (high plus-value)
  3. Take a little more risk if there are more low cards left (high minus-value) and the dealer shows an 8 or a 9
  4. Use insurance if there’s an extremely high amount of high cards left (very high plus-value).

On to our tips and tricks

So, you have mastered the Blackjack rules and decided on a Blackjack strategy. Last but not least, read our final Blackjack tips and tricks on how to play Blackjack and increase your chances!

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