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Best Blackjack Strategy

To win when playing Blackjack, the most important thing you should do is learn the basic strategy of the game. Many players learn strategy by looking at a basic strategy chart, which is a chart that shows you what you should be doing based on your first two cards dealt against the dealers.

The house gets its edge because it knows the player has to act first.

blackjack strategies

Basic table

Below is a basic multi-deck table displaying the dealer hand on the top row and a players hand down the left.

Hard totals

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

T

A

8

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

9

H

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

H

10

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

H

11

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

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

17-20

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S = Stand / H = Hit / D = Double

Basically, by using the chart as a guide it can tell you what to do after your two cards have been dealt. Example of this is if you have been dealt a 5 and a 3, this gives you the total of 8 – so the chart tells you to ‘hit’. You get another 3 which makes you total 11 and as you can see the chart tells you to double on 11, but you can only double on your first hand – meaning you must ‘hit’.

Soft Hands

The terms ‘Soft hand’ refers to a starting hand that has an Ace. Here’s are some guides to follow when you have a soft hand:

  • If you’ve been dealt Ace 2 or Ace 3 and the dealer has 5 or 6 – you should always double. If the dealer doesn’t have a 5 or 6 you should ‘hit’.
  • If you have Ace 4 or Ace 5 and the dealer has 4 through 6, you should double. If the dealer doesn’t have this, you should ‘hit’.
  • If you have Ace 6 and the dealer has 3 through 6, you should double. If the dealer doesn’t have 3 through 6, you should ‘hit’.
  • If you were dealt Ace 7 and the dealer has 2, 7 or 8 – you should stand. If the dealer has 3 through 6 you should ‘hit’.
  • If you have Ace 8 or Ace 9 you should always stand.

Hard Hands

The terms ‘hard hand’ refers to two starting cards that don’t contain an Ace. Here are a few tips on what to do if you get dealt a hard hand;

  • Always ‘hit’ if you have been dealt 8 or less
  • If you have been dealt a 9 and the dealer has 3 through 6, you should double. If he doesn’t have 3 through 6, you should ‘hit’.
  • If your cards contain a 10 and the dealer has 2 through 9 you should double. If he doesn’t have 2 through 9 you should ‘hit’.
  • If you have eleven and the dealer has 2 through 10 you should double. Otherwise if the dealer has Ace you should ‘Hit’.
  • If your pack has a twelve and the dealer has 2 or 3 you should ‘hit’. Stand if the dealer has 4 through 6. If the dealer doesn’t have these you should ‘hit’.
  • If your hand contains 13 to 16 and the dealer has 2 through 6, you should stand. If the dealer doesn’t have these you should ‘hit’.
  • If your cards have a 17 to 21 you should always stand.

Playing pairs

Here are a few tips on what you should do when it comes to playing pairs in Blackjack;

  • If your pack contains a pair of Aces or eights you should always split
  • If your pack contains a pair of 2’s or 3’s and the dealer has 2 to 7 you should split. If the dealer doesn’t have these you should ‘hit’.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 4’s and the dealer has 5 r 6 you should split – otherwise ‘hit’.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 5’s and the dealer has 2 through 9 you should split – failing that you should ‘hit’.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 6’s you should split if the dealer has 2 through 6. If the dealer doesn’t have these you should ‘hit’.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 7’s you should split if the dealer has 2 through 7 – otherwise ‘hit’.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 9’s and the dealer 7, 10 or ace you should stand.
  • If your pack contains a pair of 10’s – always stand.