Are you looking for tips to maximize your winning potentials when playing Blackjack? Search no more. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to choose a basic Blackjack strategy to apply when you play the game.
Generally, playing Blackjack is quite easy. The rules of the game are simple, and thus, applying strategies when playing is also easy.
Top 15 Strategies to Apply
If you’re ready to win more in Blackjack, then you should take the strategies we’re about to share seriously.
Double Down Whenever You Have a Hard 11
The hard 11 is considered the most powerful dealt hand for a player. This is a combination of card hands that add up to eleven, basically the same value as an ace. You’re more likely to win much more if you double down on hard 11 against the dealer’s upcard instead of hitting.
However, it is different in cases where you’re playing a multi-deck Blackjack game. In multi-deck games, the dealer will have to stand on soft 17. In this case, you have more chances of getting a good win when you hit against a dealer’s ace instead of doubling down.
Don’t Split a Pair of 5s or 10s
The first thing that may come to your mind when you have a pair of 5’s is to split. However, that is not the best Blackjack strategy for cases like this. It is better if you go ahead to take one or more cards instead of splitting to play two hands. If the dealer’s exposed card is between 2 to 9, you can double down.
Splitting 10s is usually the action most players take when they have such card hands. However, maintaining them as 20 may provide a better winning chance.
Hit Soft 18 (Ace-7) Whenever the Dealer’s Exposed Card is Ace, 9, or 10
A lot of times, players believe that having totals of 18 guarantees them a win. For this reason, most people stand on soft 18, especially if the dealer has a strong exposed card (Ace, 10, or 9). But the fact is, regardless of whether you hit or stand, the dealer still has more chances of winning.
However, you reduce the dealer’s chances when you hit on a soft 18. If you eventually draw a weaker card such as 3, 2, or Ace, you will have a card hand higher than 18, which means more chances of winning. And even if you draw any of the 10-valued cards, your hand remains good.
In summary, while many would like to take the easy way by standing, the advanced Blackjack strategy is to hit when the dealer has a strong exposed card. Doing this can give you totals between 19 to 21.
There’s an exception to the strategy, though. If you’re playing a single-deck Blackjack game with soft 17, it could be better if you stand on soft 18 if the dealer’s exposed card is an Ace.
Stand when You Have a Pair of 9’s while the Dealer’s Exposed Card is a 7
Many players split a pair of 9’s whenever the dealer has an exposed 9 value card or less. But where the mistake comes in is when the dealer’s upcard is a 7. The perfect Blackjack strategy that gives you more chances is to stand. You get to win a bit more than you’ll get if you split.
There’s a way to keep this strategy in mind. You must always remember that there’s a likelihood that the dealer has a 10 in the hole since the ten-value cards in a deck are four(more than other values). If the dealer’s exposed card is a 7, the total is most likely a pat 17.
Therefore, your 9’s pair, which is a total of 18, gives you an edge over the dealer. It beats the dealer’s potential 17, and this makes standing a better choice in this case than hitting.
If the Dealer’s Exposed Card is 5 or 6, Double Down on 8
This blackjack winning strategy applies better to single-deck games. This is because, in single-deck games, the Blackjack odds shift to make doubling down a better action over hitting. The best cases to apply this include a pair of 4s. But if the rules allow you to double down after splitting, instead of doubling down, split.
Don’t Make an Insurance Bet
Most experienced players will agree that the insurance bet isn’t so good. It sucks, especially when the dealer has an Ace as the exposed card. And even if you have a good card hand like a 20 or 19, still avoid the insurance bet. This is because the payoff for insurance bets is around 2 to 1 and the possibility of the dealer having 21 is quite low.
At most casino sites, you may be offered even money if you get a Blackjack hand while the dealer has an exposed Ace. This is just the same as the insurance bet. Though it might be tempting to get the even money before you see the dealer’s down card, don’t take the offer. In the end, you get to win more if you decline.
Don’t Play a Blackjack Game with a 6 to 5 Payout
Blackjack has always been known to pay at 3 to 2 odds. However, it has not been the same in recent times. A lot of casinos, especially online, now set their Blackjack payout at 6 to 5 odds. So, the first online Blackjack strategy you should always apply is to play only games with 3 to 2 payout odds.
Why are you advised to do this? At 3 to 2 odds, you get more profit when you win. For instance, when you bet £10 and get a Blackjack (untied), you will get £15 as the total payout. But in a 6 to 5 payout game, you will get just £12 for the same bet amount.
When you play a single-deck Blackjack with 6 to 5, the house advantage is increased by 1.45%. It goes higher with the multi-deck game, the casino edge increases over 2%.
Split when You Have a Pair of 8s and Aces
Regardless of what the dealer has as the exposed card, splitting a pair of 8s is always the best decision. In this case, you already have 16, and there’s a 50% chance of surpassing 21 if you hit.
Unfortunately, most players would not split their pair of 8s if the dealer’s exposed card is Ace, 10, or 9. They believe that they don’t need to bet more by splitting since the dealer seems to have the upper hand. However, what they need to understand is that playing with two hands give them a better advantage than hitting with a hard 16. If you split a pair of 8s against the dealer’s 9, 10, or Ace, you lose less than hitting.
For a pair of Aces, you will eventually make more gains if you split. But for 8s, you can either win more or reduce your loss.
Hit on a Hard 12 when the Dealer’s Upcard is 2 or 3
When most players have a hard 12, they tend to stand immediately as they don’t want to burst. But when your dealer’s exposed card is 2 or 3, you’ll eventually lose whether you decide to stand or hit. However, you can reduce your losses by hitting even though you risk busting.
Double Down when You Have 10, and the Dealer’s Upcard is 9 or Less
When you have two cards totalling 10, you stand a better chance of winning if the dealer’s exposed card is 9 or less. So, doubling down is the best blackjack basic strategy to apply here.
Double Down with A-2 through A-7 if the Dealer’s Exposed Card is a 5 or 6.
If you ever get two cards hands of between Soft 13 to Soft 18 and the dealer’s exposed card is 5 or 6, the best decision is doubling down. This gives you more chances of winning.
This Blackjack perfect strategy works for all types of game. However, the range of the dealer’s exposed cards which you can double down against, varies, depending on how many decks are used and the game rules. For instance, when playing double-deck with H17, if you have an A-3, you can also double down if the dealer’s revealed card is 4 and not only 5 or 6. But in most cases, the strategy applies when the revealed card is 5 or 6.
Surrender when You Have a Hard 16 or Hard 15 against the Dealer’s Ace, 10, or 9 Revealed Card
The hard 15 and 16 hands are considered the two worst hands in the game, mostly in cases when your dealer’s revealed card is strong. It keeps you in a position where you’re more likely to lose. The best thing to do in this case is to surrender.
Split when You Have a Pair of 2s or 3s, and the Dealer’s Revealed Card is 2 or 3
This tip applies in cases where doubling down after splitting is allowed. If you split a pair of 2s and get a 9 at the next hit, you will have 11. Or less say you get an 8, you will have 10 as totally. This gives you a favourable condition to increase your bet(double down). If the game does not allow for doubling down after splitting, then hit.
However, when you play a single-deck Blackjack game, always split a pair of 2s if the dealer’s revealed card is 3. Do this even if the game does not allow doubling down after splitting.
If You Have a Multi-Card Hard 16, Stand Against a Dealer’s Revealed 10-Card
Based on the basic Blackjack strategy, players proceed to hit when they have a hard 16 against a dealer’s revealed 10-card. This strategy is good, but you can increase your chances of winning by considering whether the hard 16 is multi-card. That is if it contains more than 2 cards.
For example, if you have 7, 5, and 4. A better decision here is to stand against the dealer’s revealed 10-card.
Know What to Do when the Game Rules State that the Dealer Must Hit Soft 17
Keeping in mind the rules of the game, you stand better chances of winning when you know what to do. Firstly, you should double down on a hard 11 when the dealer’s revealed card is Ace.
When you have a soft 19 (Ace and 8) and the dealer’s exposed card is 6, you can also double down. Lastly, if you have a soft 17 (Ace and 7), double down against the dealer’s 2.
How to Read Blackjack Strategy Chart
There are different charts online these days that summarizes Blackjack strategies. Instead of trying to memorize all the tips available to use on Blackjack, a simple glance at the charts help you remember them. You can make use of charts to gain an advantage when playing the game at an online casino.
So, how do you read these Blackjack charts? It is generally easy to read the charts, and they usually follow the same process. However, since these charts are drawn by different people online, the abbreviations used in them vary slightly. Thus, the major trick to reading a basic Blackjack strategy chart is mastering the abbreviations used in the copy you’re using.
Another thing you must know is that the charts may vary, depending on the type of Blackjack it is designed for. For example, a 6 deck Blackjack strategy chart could be slightly different from an 8 deck blackjack strategy chart. So you must always take note of what you’re using.
The image below is an example of a strategy chart designed for four or more decks, soft 17, and games in which doubling down after splitting is not allowed.
The image above shows the chart and explains the abbreviations used in it.
Why Should I Choose a Blackjack Winning Strategy?
Many people argue that strategies do not work since Blackjack, like other casino card games, are based on luck. While it is true that Blackjack is mainly based on luck, using strategies helps to reduce your chances of losing more money. Many experienced players can attest to the fact that they were able to cut down on losses while playing with strategies. However, there are have also many more players who have hit it big with strategies.
Apart from improving your chances, strategies also help you have more time playing the game. Since you make decisions carefully, you will be able to reduce losses and have more to wager for the next round. Therefore, playing without strategy seems just like playing without a direction. Whether you’re one of the beginners or an expert in the game, it doesn’t hurt to make use of strategies.
Final Thoughts on Blackjack Strategy
By the next time you’re playing Blackjack at a casino, you will notice the improvements when you apply the strategies. Take your time to study them well and choose a good chart.
In addition to the tips you’ve gotten on this page, you should also apply some general casino strategies. For example, you can take advantage of casino welcome bonus no deposit offers online to try out the strategies first. Overall, ensure you choose a good casino where you can enjoy playing the game.