Blackjack Strategy and where to play online Blackjack for real money! Before we start rattling off how great the game is to play, let's start off by saying, welcome! Blackjack is often slated and venerated by a legion of fans, heck even by Hollywood itself.
What sets blackjack apart from traditional casino games is that players can improve their odds (winning chances) if they understand the game's betting strategy, bankroll management and rules. Above all, it's an entertaining game where the seasoned veteran goes toe to toe against the dealer and what can be more exciting than that!
Blackjack Fast Facts
- If you're wondering about the origins of blackjack it originated in European casinos during the 18th century. Currently it's one of the most played casino games be it online or at land-based venues.
- The game is not only based on luck but on sound strategy too. Players who play smart can reduce the house edge from 5% to 0%! Seasoned players can literally take the casino to the cleaners-talk about 'Busting The House'!
- In itself blackjack is one of the easiest games to master.
- Keep in mind even if you play according to the boo (optimal strategy) you can't judge your progress on the outcome of a single gaming session. To get a comprehensive overview about your progress it's best to review it after 30 game sessions.
In this section we're going to give you a rundown on the game's rules, betting strategy, valuable tips, different variants and...the best 'Casinos' to play at. Exited? We are, right let's get cracking.
''In blackjack you don't have to buy anyone a drink to get lucky.'' read more of the blackjack strategy guide to give you the best chance of winning and understanding of how the game is played.
Blackjack Strategy – Blackjack Charts
Blackjack is often slated and venerated by a legion of fans, even Hollywood produced a movie about it in 2008, called 21. What sets blackjack apart from traditional casino games is that you can improve your odds (winning chances) if you are prepared to study the game’s betting strategy, bankroll management and of course its rules. It is an entertaining game where the novice player and seasoned veteran go up against the dealer.
The question we often ask ourselves is whether basic blackjack strategy knowledge is sufficient to increase the chance at winning. Well, not really; as the simple reason for this is that it cannot beat the house edge (HE), regardless of how lucky you are. With that being said, it’s enough to get you a few wins but if you’re looking for something more consistent; card counting, true count conversions, betting strategy and deviations is required. A smart player can reduce the edge to the house from 5% to 0.5% while your true blackjack professional can “Bust The House”. Luckily blackjack is an easy game to learn and to master.
Blackjack originated in European casinos during the 18th century and it is one of the most played games at online and terrestrial casinos. We are going to give you more information regarding the game’s rules, betting strategy, valuable tips, variants and the best blackjack casinos online. The main aim when playing blackjack is to beat the dealer (gaining 21) without going bust (more than 21). If you can manage this feat a few times then you’ll be good as rain, but we must warn you… it is not easy to do.
For added convenience we draw upon the data resources (charts outlining whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17) of the Wizardofodds.com (https://wizardofodds.com/games/blackjack/strategy/4-decks/), and a few other sites we regard to be authoritative on all things blackjack.
What Are The Rules of Blackjack’s Basic Strategy?
- Avoid Even Money and insurance. Even money means that the odds are even – the player can win or lose the same amount, so whilst playing blackjack, an Even Money bet is a side bet given to a player that has an Ace and a 10-valued card (called a “natural”) when the dealer’s face-up cards is an Ace.
- If you can’t split 5’s and 10’s, your hand should serve as a hard total (10 or 20).
- If the limit on re-splitting does not permit splitting, look up your hand as a hard total.
- Many players play a combination of 6-deck games where the dealer stands on a soft 17 or where he hits on a soft 17. Blackjack experts recommend that it is best to play where the dealer stands on a soft 17. If the wrong strategy is used whether you hit or stand on a soft 17, your chances of losing is 2.3x times higher.
Do The Chip Thing
Before the dealer deals the cards, you must place your bet first. Once you have placed your chips, the dealer deals 2 cards to each player and 2 to him/herself. One of the dealer’s card’s is face up and one card is face down. At this stage you’ll be able to calculate your score, in other words combining the card values to get the best possible total out of 21. Once you’ve done the math then you can decide whether you want to stand, hit, double or split. Your job is to beat the dealer by getting 21 or as near as possible to is without going bust.
- Face cards count 10 points.
- Other cards have their face value.
- An ace counts 11 points or 1 point.
An example is: Jack (10 points) + 9 card + 2 card = 21 (a win for the player). Should the player get 10 + 5 and asks for a hit and receives the 7 card, it totals to 22 which means the player goes bust (a lose).
Whether you’re an expert or just a rookie, ‘Casinowhizz’s Blackjack Only Strategy Cheat Column’ is easy to follow and will improve your odds at winning. Our ‘Basic Strategy’ below is not only mathematically proven but it reduces the edge to the ‘House’ from 5% to 0.5%. However, our ‘cheats’ apply specifically to blackjack played with 6 or 8 decks of cards.
Basic strategy in blackjack appears complicated; is there anything in this life worthwhile that is not, I ask? Surrender is allowed when the dealer hits on a soft 17. If you want to use this strategy we recommend that you start at the top and use the first rule. If you’re serious about beating the dealer, it is imperative that you memorize the charts and of course know the basic strategy. The key in winning is to shoot for a 1% house edge because a 99% game is not going to cut it. Basic strategy has a sequence of events:
Must I surrender? This depends if the online or land casino permits it (known as LS or late surrender); if it is allowed then you can surrender on the first 2 cards. If you’ve taken a hit card surrender is not allowed.
Must I split? You can split your cards if you have a pair of eights or if your cards have a combined value of 10 (J and K for example). If you don’t have a pair or if your cards don’t have a value of 10 then you should not split. When you play with two hands (splitting you hard 16 to a pair of 8’s each) you will win more money over the long run when you split them when you’re up against a 9, 10 or Ace as opposed to just hitting on a hard 16.
Never split a pair of 5’s or 10’s, if you have two 10’s then it is better to keep them since they already total 20.
When must I double? Doubling is advantageous to you because the odds of you winning the hand is good.
Unfortunately, some casinos don’t allow it. You’ll always win if you double down on a hard 11 against the dealer’s upcard. There is an exception though; in a multi-deck game the rules state that the dealer stands on a soft 17, so instead of doubling down rather hit when the dealer has an Ace.
Must I stand or hit? Basic strategy’s odds is reduced when you take another card, however, if you have run out of options with regard to the above, you should hit or stand. When you have a hard 12 hit against the dealer’s 2 or 3 upcard, don’t stand on the hard 12 because you’re afraid of going bust. The reality is you’ll lose against the dealer’s 2 or 3 upcard in the long run if you don’t hit.
Hit a soft 18 (Ace+7) or when the dealer’s upcard is 9, 10 or Ace. A hand that totals 18 is not a guaranteed win which explains why most players stand on a soft 18. If you hold an Ace and a 7 against the dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace then the odds are stacked against you even if you decide to hit or stand. Always hit on your A+7, so when you draw a small card (2, 3 or Ace) it becomes a good hand which improves your chances of winning that hand.
Blackjack Strategy Tips
1. Let The Dealer Hit
If the dealer has 4, 5 or 6 you must be on your toes, then again it could also mean that the dealer is at risk even though he has a soft hand. The dealer will either hit instead of standing… remember just like you, the dealer’s aim is to get 21 or closer to it. Don’t be afraid to double down or to split your cards.
2. Hang Onto Those Cards
If your cards totals 17, stand! Even though your odds of winning are low, it is better not to risk asking for another card because your chances of going bust with a 4th card is pretty good.
3. Split Aces And Eights
If you have and Ace or an Eight, split them, since it improves your odds at winning. If you have 2 Aces and you decide to stand, your score will be 16 which ensures that you’ll end up with the losing hand more often than not. Never split 10s!
4. Don’t Take Insurance!
Certain variants of Blackjack gives you the opportunity to take insurance, don’t! In the event when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace, it can be insured against Blackjack. In layman’s terms it means that if the dealer gets a Blackjack (21), you’ll retain the bet you have made.
Blackjack Basic Strategy Frequently Asked Questions
Can I trust basic strategy?
Blackjack basic strategy is derived from a computer simulation over the course of millions of hands. The computer’s trial and errors calculated the best strategy; i.e. the ones which gives the player the best combination against the dealer’s upcard. Basic strategy fails to beat the edge to the house unless you throw card counting into the mix. The short answer is yes, you can trust it.
On which chart is basic strategy based?
It’s based on the common “H17” game where the dealer hits or stands on a Soft 17 (“S17”). Players who memorize the chart will improve their chances at winning money.
We recommend you watch Michael Shackelford’s video where he explains in Excel how basic strategy works. When you play a 6-deck game, the strategy differs when compared to a single-deck game.
Live Casino Dealer Blackjack
Online casinos now offer ‘Live Dealer Casinos‘ where veteran blackjack players can play against live dealers. There are normally 7 seats available at a live table where players can chat to the dealers and to other players if they like. What makes this format of the game even more interesting is that there is no RNG (random number generator) involved and the game is streamed to your laptop, PC or mobile phone in real-time.
In summary. There are very few casino games that can match Blackjack, its been immortalized in Hollywood films, games, books and by contemporary culture. I remember a friend of mine playing 21’s with his friends as part of their drinking game nights.
The good news is that blackjack variants can now be played at all our top listed online casinos for free or for real cash. They sweeten the pot by offering you a lucrative match bonus that extends your playing time at the casino, it boosts your bankroll by a hefty margin and it improves your odds! When you accept a bonus always read its terms first. See you at the tables and good luck!