Blackjack Strategy

The most basic of all casino games – the one most players learn how to play first and foremost – is the traditional game of blackjack. Most of use grew up playing blackjack from a very young age with our older sibling, parents or grandparents. But back then, no one bothered to teach us how to incorporate a basic blackjack Strategy.

Now days, as we get older and wiser, we know there are strategies for just about every casino game available, and blackjack is no different. In fact, there are several blackjack strategies one can apply, including Card Counting, which we covered in another article. But for now, it’s best to start with a basic blackjack strategy, especially if you’re just learning how to play blackjack.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

A basic blackjack strategy is very simple to apply, and requires only the memorization of a simple blackjack strategy chart. We certainly don’t expect you to be able to memorize the blackjack strategy chart in a single day, or even a week, but with some diligent practice, it should be too hard to get it down.

The basic blackjack strategy chart will tell you exactly how to react in each and every situation you could possibly come across. You first scroll down the left side and find the hand you’ve been dealt. Then scroll across the right and find the dealer’s face-up card. Put them together and you’re given the best action to take, with the best probable outcome.

What’s So Great about a Basic Blackjack Strategy?

Think about it. The dealer is required to follow strict guidelines that determine exactly how he is to play each and every hand. He is told whether to hit or stand depending on the value of his hand, given no options, no exceptions. Why do you think the dealer is required to follow these rules of hand development? Because it raises the casino’s house edge to have a better chance of winning than the player.

Because you, as the player, are actually able to make decisions with your hand, applying a similar guideline for hand development will effectively lower the casino’s house edge to nearly nothing. Do not deviate from the basic blackjack strategy chart to maintain the best probability of winning throughout your entire game.

Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for – the basic blackjack strategy chart revealed. Please note that this chart has been specifically designed and optimized for the most common blackjack rules; 4+ Deck blackjack games where the dealer is required to Stand on a Soft 17.

Chart Key:

H = Hit

S = Stand

DD = Double Down

Sp = Split

SpH = Split if allowed to Double after Splitting; otherwise Hit

(H) = Surrender if allowed; otherwise Hit
DEALER’S FACE-UP CARD

DEALER’S FACE-UP CARD
Y

O

U

R

H

A

N

D

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
8 H H H H H H H H H H
9 H DD DD DD DD H H H H H
10 DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD H H
11 DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD H
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13 S S S S S H H H H H
14 S S S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H (H) H
16 S S S S S H H (H) (H) (H)
17 S S S S S S S S S S
A-2 H H H DD DD H H H H H
A-3 H H H DD DD H H H H H
A-4 H H DD DD DD H H H H H
A-5 H H DD DD DD H H H H H
A-6 H DD DD DD DD H H H H H
A-7 S DD DD DD DD S S H H H
A-8 S S S S S S S S S S
A-9 S S S S S S S S S S
2-2 SpH SpH Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
3-3 SpH SpH Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
4-4 H H H SpH SpH H H H H H
5-5 DD DD DD DD DD DD DD DD H H
6-6 SpH Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H H
7-7 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp H H H H
8-8 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp
9-9 Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp S Sp Sp S S
10-10 S S S S S S S S S S
A-A Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp Sp

Practicing a Basic Blackjack Strategy

The best way we have found to practice this basic blackjack strategy is to play blackjack online for free. Just about every online casino offers free blackjack games. Test out the chart and see how it works for you. This will also help you to memorize the chart faster. Once you realize just how beneficial the basic Blackjack strategy chart is to your profit potential, you may even want to try playing online blackjack for real money!

We do not recommend taking a basic blackjack strategy chart into a live casino. At the least, you’ll get some funny looks, maybe even suppressed laughter, from the players around you. Wait until you’ve got the basic blackjack strategy chart memorized, and then test out your new skills on the live felt.

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