Blackjack is a game where cards are compared between players and a dealer. Then each player compete against the dealer. Players do not compete against each other.
The game is known for its simplicity. There is no foolproof system of techniques that fully guarantee a win, but you can increase your chances significantly if you use proven strategies.
You can start by first knowing the value of the cards.
In Blackjack, you have to decide with every hand you are dealt. And the decision you make determines whether you leave the casino a winner, or not.
Do you hit, stand, double down, or surrender? Making this decision can be tricky at first. We want to help you. Let’s take a look at the list of basic Blackjack strategy operations.
Blackjack Basic Strategy Operations
This means requesting an additional card from the dealer. Do this in hopes of improving your hand.
This is done to freeze the round. Usually, you should do this when you are confident that your score is better than the dealer’s.
This is the choice to double your original bet. To do this, you must accept exactly one more card. Therefore, it cannot be performed on a hand with more than two cards.
This is the decision to forfeit a blackjack hand and have the casino return half of your wager. This can’t be done after any of the other strategies above. You should do this only when you receive an unfortunate hand at the start.
15 Easy Strategies To Play Blackjack
#1: DOUBLE DOWN ON A HARD 11
This strategy has been proven to win you more money. Always double down on a hard 11 against any dealer’s upcard vs. hitting in all games. But, if it is a multi-deck game and the rules specify that the dealer must stand on soft 17, you should hit against a dealer’s Ace instead.
#2: ALWAYS SPLIT A PAIR OF 8s AND ACES
Regardless of what the dealer’s upcard is, you should always split a pair of 8s and Aces. You will win more money or lose less using this strategy, especially when you are up against a 9, 10, or Ace.
#3: NEVER SPLIT A PAIR OF 5s OR TEN
Remember that a pair of 5s is a hard 10. It’s always better if you take a draw to a 10, involving one or more cards. This is much better than splitting the 5s and playing two hands. Also, keeping 10s together as 20 gives you a better chance at winning in the casino. Always.
#4: ALWAYS HIT A HARD 12 AGAINST A DEALER’S 2 OR 3 UPCARD
Don’t stand on your 12 because of fear. The fact is that, whether you hit or stand, you will lose money against a dealer’s 2 or 3 upcards. But, you will lose less if you hit.
#5: ALWAYS HIT ACE-7 (SOFT 18) WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS 9, 10, OR ACE
In this situation, you are the underdog, even if you stand or hit. But, you will be in a better position if you hit A-7 to get to either a soft 19–21 or a hard 17 through 21.
#6: ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN ON 10 WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS 9 OR LESS
This is because holding a two-card 10 against a dealer’s upcard of 9 or less makes you the favorite. Hence, doubling down is the best strategy here.
#7: DO THE FOLLOWING IF THE DEALER MUST HIT SOFT 17:
Double down on:
- hard 11 against the dealer’s Ace,
- soft 19 against the dealer’s 6, and
- A-7 against the dealer’s 2.
#8: ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN A-2 THROUGH A-7 WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS A 5 OR 6
This strategy significantly increases your chances of winning in all games.
#9: ALWAYS STAND WITH A PAIR OF 9s WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS A 7
Here, your best strategy is to stand. This will win you slightly more money than splitting.
#10: SURRENDER HARD 16 AGAINST A DEALER’S 9, 10, OR ACE UPCARD, AND HARD 15 AGAINST DEALER’S 10 UPCARD
The worst hands in blackjack are a hard 15 and 16. They are even worse when the dealer is showing a strong upcard. You can minimize your potential losses by surrendering these hands against the dealer’s upcards.
#11: IN A SINGLE-DECK GAME, ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN ON 8 AGAINST DEALER’S 5 OR 6 UPCARD
Never double down with a two-card 8 in multi-deck games. But, in a single-deck game, doubling down is a better strategy than hitting because the odds of blackjack shift is higher.
#12: WHEN YOU ARE DEALT A PAIR OF 2s OR 3s AGAINST A DEALER’S 2 OR 3 UPCARD, SPLIT IF DAS IS ALLOWED, AND HIT IF IT IS NOT
Splitting is the better strategy with DAS because it allows you to double down, thereby betting more money in a very favorable situation.
#13: NEVER MAKE THE INSURANCE BET
Do not take insurance when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. Even when you are dealt a very good hand (like a 19 or 20). Never make the insurance bet. This is because the payoff for the insurance bet (2 to 1) is lesser than the possibility that the dealer will have a blackjack. In the long run, you will win more money by declining this bet. Thus, it is a sucker bet.
#14: STAND ON HARD 16 AGAINST A DEALER’S 10 UPCARD IF YOUR 16 IS MULTI-CARD
Instead of hitting, you can improve your chances by standing against a dealer’s 10 upcard. Use this strategy if your 16 is a multi-card 16.
#15: NEVER PLAY A 6 TO 5 BLACKJACK GAME
Previously, a blackjack hand was only paid at 3 to 2 odds. That means, if you bet $10, you win $15. Nowadays, many casino pay winners at only 6 to 5 odds. This means that a $10 bet will win you only $12 in a 6 to 5 game. Thus, you should only play games offering a 3 to 2 payoff.