Skip to main content

Basic Blackjack Strategy


There is a number of different blackjack strategies that you can learn to master the game. The house edge of a typical blackjack game is approximately 0.5%but this can change depending on your level of play and understanding of blackjack strategies.

Blackjack is a game based on luck and skills. That is why learning basic blackjack strategies can prove to be very useful to anyone who wants to make money from the game. Below we reveal the best blackjack strategies that will help improve your odds of winning real money more often.

Blackjack Strategy Cards

The first thing you need to be aware of with basic blackjack strategies is the probability of busting. Below are two tables – the first illustrating the probabilities of busting based on your first two cards. The second illustrates the probabilities of the dealer busting by analyses of their face up card.

Player’s Hand Value

21

20

19

18

17

16

15

14

13

12

11 or less

Probability of busting

100%

92%

85%

77%

69%

62%

58%

56%

39%

31%

0%

Dealer’s
Face-up
Card

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Ace

Probability
of
Busting

35%

37%

40%

42%

42%

26%

24%

23%

23%

17%

Based on these charts, the probability of busting on a hand totaling 12 is still quite high, holding a one in three chance of losing. That is why it is important you hit or stand according to a basic strategy of blackjack.

Many think that just because they have a total of 12, 13, or 14, and even up to 16, they can always hit. This is exactly how you end up losing in the long run. To counter this, you must always weigh up your options by taking notice of the dealer’s up card and pitting it against your initial total. The basic strategy in blackjack is essentially a selection of concrete rules that have been derived from the two tables above.

Basic Blackjack Strategy Charts

There are three charts to the basic strategy that you need to memorize. The first is the chart that has to do with soft Blackjack hands, the second a chart dealing with hard Blackjack hands, and the third will give you a clear indication of what you should be doing with your pairs. The basic strategy charts below are meant for games of four or more decks.  

Blackjack Strategy Betting – The Soft Hand

In a soft hand in blackjack, the hand contains an Ace that counts as 11 and not one.  The main strategy with soft hands is to double down when the dealer has a high probability of busting. We have also included the surrender option in the below table, but this will depend on the variation you are playing.

Player’s Total

Dealer’s Up Card

What to Do?

21

Any card

Stand

20

Any card

Stand

19

Any card, except a 6

Stand on all. Double down if a 6 and stand if doubling down is not permitted

18

2, 7, 8, Ace

Stand

18

3, 4, 5, 6

Double down, or stand if doubling down is not permitted

18

9, 10

Hit

17

3, 4, 5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

17

2, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

16

4, 5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

16

2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

15

4, 5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

15

2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

14

5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

14

2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

13

5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

13

2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

Best Blackjack Strategy – Hard hand

A hard hand is when the hand contains either no Aces or when the Ace counts as one.

Player’s Total

Dealer’s Up Card

What to Do?

21 to 17

Any card

Stand

16 to 13

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Stand

16 to 13

7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

12

4, 5, 6

Stand

12

2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

11

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

11

A

Hit

10

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

10

10, A

Hit

9

3, 4, 5, 6

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

9

2, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

8 to 5

Any card

Hit

 

Simple Blackjack Strategy – Splitting Pairs

Player’s Pair

Dealer’s Up Card

What to do?

A, A

Any card

Split

10, 10

Any card

Stand

9, 9

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9

Split

9, 9

7, 10, A

Stand

8, 8

Any card

Split

7, 7

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Split

7, 7

8, 9, 10, A

Hit

6, 6

2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Split

6, 6

7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

5, 5

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Double down, or hit if doubling down is not permitted

5, 5

10, A

Hit

4, 4

5, 6

Split

4, 4

2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, A

Hit

3, 3 & 2, 2

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Split

3, 3 & 2, 2

8, 9, 10, A

Hit

Blackjack Strategy – Comprehensive Summary

Not everyone can learn blackjack strategies using charts. That is why we have put together a summary of all the strategy charts you can find. Once you are able to recite these strategies, you will be ready to hit any blackjack table.

Surrendering

  • Player 16 surrenders against a dealer’s 9 through Ace; otherwise don’t surrender and revert back to hard totals.
  • Player 15 surrenders against a dealer’s 10; otherwise don’t surrender and revert back to hard totals.

Splitting

  • Always split aces.
  • Never split tens.
  • Split a pair of 9’s against dealer 2 through 9, except for 7, otherwise stand.
  • Always split 8’s
  • Split a pair of 7’s against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • Split a pair of 6’s against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Double a pair of 5’s against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
  • Split a pair of 4’s against dealer 5 and 6 , otherwise hit.
  • Split a pair of 3’s against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • Split a pair of 2’s against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.

Soft totals 

A soft total is any hand that has an Ace, which counts as 11 to start.

  • Soft hand of 20 always stands
  • Soft hand of 19 doubles against dealer 6, otherwise stand.
  • Soft hand of 18 doubles against dealer 2 through 6, and hits against 9 through Ace, otherwise stand.
  • Soft hand of 13 through 17 doubles against dealer 3 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft hand of 15 and 16 doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft hand of 14 doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.

Also See:

Our Score
Our Reader Score
[Total: 0 Average: 0]