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Mastering Blackjack Strategy

Mastering Blackjack Strategy is all about becoming an expert at the game of live blackjack by learning and using the best techniques to increase your chances of winning. It involves understanding the game’s rules, making wise decisions on when to hit, stand, or double down, and managing your bets effectively. You can enhance your enjoyment and success at the Blackjack table by honing your skills in this popular card game.

blackjack strategy

Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games worldwide, also called “21.” card games worldwide. The game’s main objective is to have a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without exceeding it. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how the game works:

Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

Card Values

  • Number cards (2-10) are worth face value.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are each 10 points.
  • Aces are either 1 or 11 points. Which value is more favorable for the hand. For example, a pointer containing an Ace and a six can be either 7 or 17.

The Deal

  • The game begins with each player (including the dealer) receiving two cards.
  • Players’ cards are typically dealt face-up, whileDealer receives one face-up and one face-down card. (hole card).

Player’s Turn

The player to the dealer’s left goes first and has several options:

  • Hit: The player can request additional cards from the dealer to improve their hand’s total. The player can hit until they decide to stand or until their hand exceeds 21 (bust).
  • Stand: The player can keep their current writing without receiving more cards.
  • Double Down: Some casinos allow players to double their original bet after receiving the first two cards, but they must stand after receiving one more card.
  • Split: If the first two cards are of the same rank, the player can divide them into two hands with a particular bet.

Dealer’s Turn

  • After all, players have completed their turns; it’s the dealer’s turn to play.
  • The dealer reveals the face-down card (hole card).
  • Dealers must obey tight rules: usually, they must hit until their hand total is 17 or higher, and they must stand if their hand is 17 or higher.

Winning and Losing

  • If a player’s hand totals more than 21 and the dealers don’t without going over 21, they win and receive a payout at odds of 1:1. (even money).
  • If the player’s hand exceeds 21, they bust and lose their bet.
  • The player wins only if the dealer busts.
  • If the player and dealer have the exact hand total, it’s a push, and the player gets their bet back.


  • If a player is dealt an Ace and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King) in their initial two-card hand, they have a “Blackjack” or a “natural.”
  • A Blackjack typically pays out at 3:2 odds, meaning the player wins 1.5 times their original bet.

Blackjack Basic Strategy 

Using only Basic Strategy as the main blackjack strategy can be viable for many blackjack players, since this helps them make the correct plays when they’re dealt a specific hand. This system is based on mathematical probabilities and aims to make the most optimal decisions in various situations. Here are some essential Blackjack strategy tips:

Basic Blackjack Strategy
  • Know the Rules: Understand the specific rules of the Blackjack variant you’re playing. Regulations may vary between casinos, so be aware of things like the number of decks used, regardless of whether the dealer chooses to hit or stand on a soft 17, and if there are any unique betting options like doubling down or splitting.
  • Hit or Stand: The most fundamental decision in Blackjack is whether to hit (take another card) or stand (keep your current hand). The general rule is to hit until you have a hand of 17 or higher and to stand when you have a hand of 17 or more. However, if the dealer’s upcard is a 2 through 6, you should stand on 12 or higher to avoid busting.
  • Double Down: When you have a strong starting hand (like 9, 10, or 11) and the dealer has a weak upcard (2 through 6), it’s often a good idea to double down. It means you double your original bet and receive one more card.
  • Split Pairs: If two cards match rank (e.g., two 8s or two 7s), you can split them into two hands. Generally, it’s a good idea to split Aces and 8s but avoid splitting 10s or face cards since you already have a strong hand.
  • Insurance: Avoid taking insurance. The dealer’s side bet is insurance. Upcard is an Ace. It is generally not a profitable bet in the long run, so it’s better to decline it.
  • Avoid “Hunches”: Stick to the basic strategy and prevent impulsive decisions and superstitions.
  • Practice: Familiarize yourself with basic strategy charts that show the recommended findings for different player hands against various dealer upcards. You can find these charts online and practice using them until you become comfortable.

Blackjack players can reference the Basic Strategy chart below to know how they should play the cards dealt to them in certain situations.

 Dealer Upcard
Player Hand 2345678910Ace
Hard Totals17StandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStand
16 – 13StandStandStandStandStandHitHitHitHitHit
11Double or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or Hit
10Double or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitHitHit
9HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitHitHitHitHitHit
Soft TotalsSoft 20StandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStandStand
Soft 19StandStandStandStandDouble or StandStandStandStandStandStand
Soft 18Double or StandDouble or StandDouble or StandDouble or StandDouble or StandStandStandHitHitHit
Soft 17HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitHitHitHitHitHit
Soft 16 Soft 15HitHitDouble or HitDouble or HitDouble or HitHitHitHitHitHit
Soft 14 Soft 13HitHitHitDouble or HitDouble or HitHitHitHitHitHit
10sDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
9sSplitSplitSplitSplitSplitDon’t SplitSplitSplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
7sSplitSplitSplitSplitSplitSplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
6sSplit if DAS is allowedSplitSplitSplitSplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
5sDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
4sDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitSplit if DAS is allowedSplit if DAS is allowedDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split
3s, 2sSplit if DAS is allowedSplitSplitSplitSplitSplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t SplitDon’t Split

Some easy-to-memorize and understand phrases that players can use to practice basic strategy are the following:

  • Always stand on Hard 17 and above
  • Always double down on 11
  • Always split Aces and 8s
  • Never split 10s
  • Always hit on Soft 18 when the dealer has 9, 10, or Ace
  • Always stand on 12 when the dealer has 4, 5, or 6
  • Always stand on 13 to 16 when the dealer has 2 to 6
  • Never take insurance

Advanced Blackjack Strategies to Consider

Advanced Blackjack strategies go beyond the basic guidelines and involve more intricate techniques that can further reduce the house edge. Remember that these strategies require a deeper understanding of the game and are best suited for experienced players. Here are some advanced Blackjack strategies to consider:

Advanced Blackjack Strategies to Consider
  • Card Counting: Card counting is used to keep track of the high-to-low card ratio (10s and Aces). (2 through 6) remaining in the deck. It allows players to adjust their bets and playing decisions based on the likelihood of getting favorable hands. High counts indicate a higher proportion of high cards, which is beneficial to the player, while low counts favor the dealer. Card counting is allowed, but casinos may order you to stop suspected card counters from leaving.
  • Shuffle Tracking: Shuffle tracking involves following groups of cards during the shuffle to predict their placement in the newly shuffled shoe. It can be particularly effective in games with poor shuffling procedures. It is a more complex technique and needs practice and a sharp eye to master.
  • Wonging: Winning is a technique named after Stanford Wong in which players watch a game of Blackjack without taking part until the count is in their favor. When the count gets to a certain point, the person joins the game and starts to bet. This way, players can avoid betting when the count is not in their favor.
  • Ace Side Count: Some advanced card counters use an “Ace side count” in addition to their regular count. Since Aces significantly impact the game, keeping track of them can provide a more accurate assessment of the player’s advantage.
  • Camouflage: When employing advanced strategies like card counting, it’s essential to avoid drawing attention to yourself from casino staff. Camouflage techniques involve acting like an average player, varying bet sizes, and not consistently raising or lowering bets based on the count.
  • Team Play: Involves a group of players working together to exploit the advantages gained from card counting. Team members take on different roles, such as spotter (counting cards and signaling the big player), the big player (betting big when the count is favorable), and back spotter (providing additional cover for the team).


Mastering the Blackjack strategy is crucial because it significantly improves your odds of winning and minimizes potential losses. Instead of relying solely on luck, a strategic plan helps you decide to take calculated risks during the game.

You can learn the Blackjack strategy through various means, such as studying basic strategy charts, reading books or online resources, watching tutorials, and practicing using free games or apps. Continuous practice and understanding of the underlying principles are vital to becoming proficient in the strategy.

There is no guaranteed way to win at Blackjack, as it is a game of chance. However, mastering the Blackjack strategy allows you to improve your odds and make more profitable decisions.

Absolutely! The same Blackjack strategies apply to both land-based and online casinos. Just ensure you play at reputable online casinos that use fair and random algorithms for their Blackjack games.

Yes, Blackjack strategy charts are legal to use in casinos. Many casinos allow players to consult strategy charts at the Blackjack table. However, it’s essential to be discreet and not disrupt the game flow while using them.


Mastering the Blackjack strategy is the key to success in this thrilling card game. By understanding the rules and applying strategic thinking, players can improve their odds of winning. For an enhanced gambling experience, 42Bet offers a fantastic platform where players can put their newfound skills to the test. So, embrace the challenge, refine your tactics, and try your luck at 42Bet to elevate your Blackjack prowess and potentially win big!

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