Gambling Games

BEST BLACKJACK STRATEGIES

Table of Contents

If you want to win more at blackjack, I recommend the following Best Blackjack Strategy I have to share with your.

The strategies below can be used in any game, unless otherwise stated. These strategies assume that you are a recreational player and not a card-counter.

STRATEGY 1: DOUBLE DOWN ON A HARD 11.

Double down on hard 11 against any dealer upcard. This will always give you more money. You are better off hitting against an Ace than double down if you’re playing multi-deck games where the rules require that the dealer stand on soft 17.

STRATEGY #2 – ALWAYS SPLIT A SET OF 8s OR ACES

No matter what the dealer’s upcard, you should always split a pair with 8s or Aces. Many players will not split with a pair 8s if the dealer’s upcard has a 9, 10, or Ace. Splitting is a better option than splitting because they are the underdog in this situation. They don’t realize that playing two hands (each starting with an eight) is less risky than playing one hand (16 and hitting). Split 8s against an Ace, 9, 10 or Ace will result in a lower loss over the long-term than hitting hard 16 hands. The bottom line is that always splitting 8s against Aces will result in significant wins for the player. For Aces, this can lead to significant gains; for 8s, it will allow you to reduce your losses or win more money based on your dealer’s upcard.

Note: If surrender is being offered, and you are participating in a multi-deck, double-deck, game with h27 or NDAS, the best strategy is to surrender your pair of 8s vs. dealer’s Ace, rather than splitting them.

STRATEGY #3 – NEVER SPLIT A PAIR 5s OR TENS

A pair of 5s can also be a hard 10, so it is better to take a one-or more-card draw to a 10, than split the 5s and play two hands each with a 5. Splitting 10s is a winning play more often than not, but keeping them together as 20 is a better winning play in every situation.

STRATEGY #4 – ALWAYS HIT A 12 AGAINST ADEALER’S 2 or 3 UPCARDS

Most players will choose to stand and hold their 12 in this situation, fearing they might bust. The bottom line is that you lose money against the dealer’s 2 or 3-upcard. However, hitting will result in less money (even if you do bust occasionally).

STRATEGY #5 – ALWAYS HIT Ace-7 (SOFT 18), WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS 9, 10 OR ACE

A hand that is 18 or more is an assured win. This is why players often stand on soft 18 (A-7), particularly when the dealer has a strong upcard (e.g. 9, 10, or Ace). These are the facts. If you have an A-7 against the dealer’s 9, 10, Ace or Ace, you are the underdog. However, if you hit A-7, you will be less of an underdog. Because if you draw small cards (e.g. Ace, 2, or 3), you will have a hand that is higher than 18. This will increase your chances of winning blackjack. You don’t have to lose the hand if you draw one of the four ten-valued card. The bottom line: Always hit A-7 when the dealer has a 9, 10, Ace. This will allow you to reach either a soft 19-21, or a hard 17 through 21, which is your best strategy.

Note: The above strategy is not applicable to all situations. If you’re playing a single-deck S17 game, it is better to stand on A-7 if the dealer’s upcard shows an Ace.

STRATEGY #6 – ALWAYS DOUBLE DEEPEN ON 10 WHEN THE UPCARD OF THE DEALER IS 9 OR LESS

If you have a two-card 10, you are the favorite against any dealer’s 9 or less upcard. This is why doubling down is your best option. This is a simple rule: Always double down on 10 if the dealer has an upcard of 9 or less.

STRATEGY #7 – If THE RULES REQUIRE THAT A DEALER HIT SOFT 17 YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DO THIS:

Double down on dealer’s hard 11 against dealer’s ace, soft 18 (A-8) against dealer’s 6, and A-7 for dealer’s 2.

The following are three strategies to double your chances of winning an h27-based game.

STRATEGY #8 – ALWAYS DOUBLE DEEPEN A-2 THROUGH a-7 WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS a 5 OR 6.

You will win more in all games if you double down A-2 through A-7 (i.e. soft 13 through 18), when the dealer’s upcard has a 5 or 6. This is the best strategy.

Note: The number of dealer’s upcards you should double down with soft 13-18 depends on the decks used and the rules. If you are dealt an A-3 in a double-deck game using h27, don’t just double down if the dealer’s upcard was 5 or 6, but also against a 4. If the dealer’s upcard has a 5 or 6 you should double down with A-2 through 7 in every case.

STRATEGY #9 – ALWAYS STAND WITH A SET OF 9S IF THE DEALER’S UPPCARD IS A 7.

Splitting a pair of 9s is a common strategy for most players. They fumble the ball when the dealer shows 7. If this happens, the best strategy is to stay put. You’ll make slightly more than splitting. This is the best strategy to remember: Because there are four times more ten-value cards than any other rank, the dealer is likely to have a ten in her hole. If the dealer’s upcard has a 7 she will often have a pat 17. Your pair of 9s would defeat her potential 17, making it a better play than hitting.

STRATEGY #10 – ALWAYS SURRENDER 16 AGAINST ADEALER’S 9, 10, ORACE UPCARD AND HARD 15 AGAINST THE DEALER’S 10 UPCARD

Hard 15 and 16 are the worst hands in blackjack. This is especially true if the dealer has a strong upcard, such as 9, 10, or Ace. Although you are the underdog, surrendering the hands above to the dealer’s upcards can reduce your losses. Surrender is the best strategy because it will save you money over time.

(Note: It depends on how many decks of cards are being used and what the rules of blackjack are, there may be other hands in which surrender is the best strategy.

STRATEGY #11: IN A SINGLE DECK GAME ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN OFF 8 AGAINST DEALER’S 5 OR 6.

You should never double down on a multi-deck or double-deck game with an 8-card pair. However, in a single deck game, blackjack is more likely to be favored than hitting.

Note: This best strategy can be used with a pair 4s. There is one exception. Split a pair 4s if the rules allow you to double down.

STRATEGY NO. 12: IF YOU DEAL A PAIR OF 2S OR 3S AGAINST A DEALER 2 OR 3 UPCARDS, SPLIT IF THE ROLES ALLOW DAS, HIT IF NOT

Splitting is a better strategy than DAS because you can bet more money by doubling down on a pair of 2s.

(Note: One exception to the above rule is that if you are playing single-deck games, you must always split a pair of 2s when the dealer has a 3 upcard. This applies even if the game was NDAS.

STRATEGY #13: NEVER MAKE THE INSURED BET

Insurance is a scam bet. This is why it is best to avoid taking insurance if the dealer’s upcard shows an Ace. Even if you have a winning hand, such as a 19 or 20, don’t place an insurance bet. This is because the payout for an insurance bet (2-1) is lower than the chances that the dealer will have blackjacks, making it a scam bet.

Note: If you have a blackjack hand, and she has an Ace upcard (which is similar to making an insurance wager), the dealer will offer you “even” money. It’s tempting to ask for even more when you’re playing blackjack. However, you’ll end up winning more money if you decline the even money payout.

STRATEGY #14 – STAND ON HARD 16 AGAINST DEALER’S UPCARD 10 IF YOUR 16 IS MULTICARD

Traditional blackjack basic strategy only takes into consideration the total of the hand and the upcard of the dealer. The strategy says to hit if you have a 16 against the dealer’s 10-upcard. This strategy is accurate, but you can improve your accuracy when considering whether your 16 card is a multi-card 16. If this is the case, (e.g. 7-5-4), you can improve your playing accuracy by taking into account whether your 16 is a multi-card 16.

STRATEGY #15 – NEVER PLAY A 6 to 5 BLACKJACK GAME

Blackjack hands have been traditionally paid at three to two odds. If you wager $10 and have a (untied blackjack), you will receive $15 in winnings. Many casinos now pay blackjack winners at 6 to 5 odds. A $10 wager would earn you $12 in a 6-to-5 game. In a single-deck, 6 to 5-deck game, the house edge is about 1.45%. However, 6 to 5, in a double-deck or multi-deck game, will increase to more than 2%. The best strategy is to only play blackjack games with a payoff of 3 to 2.

BLACKJACK STRATEGY CHART

Below is a strategy chart that shows the best blackjack strategies. The dealer’s upcard is in the upper row. Your hand is down the first column. You can use the chart by finding your hand (or total count) in the first column, and then moving across to the column that represents the dealer’s card. The best strategy to play that hand is at the intersection.

Let’s say you get a pair 6s, and the dealer has a 4 upcard. Find the row for 6-6 and cross to the dealer’s four upcard. At that intersection, you will see a P. This means that splitting the 6s is the best strategy. As an example, let’s say you get dealt a 10-5 (15). The dealer’s upcard for the hand is a 6. You can stand (S) according to the above chart.

The number of playing rules and how many decks you have will determine the best strategy. The playing strategy may be affected if one of these factors is changed. You could still use the strategy in the table below for any game, but I recommend that you use the strategy for the specific game you are playing.

HOW TO MEMORIZE A STATEGY CHART

These are the four best ways to remember the best strategy for playing.

Make flashcards with index cards. On one side write the hand of the player and on the opposite the best strategy. For example, write “A-6” on one hand and “Double down at 3-6 on the other.”

Use pencil and paper to create a strategy chart. Then, you can fill it out from memory. To save time, if a play repeats itself across a row (e.g., your play for holding strong 17), simply write the letter one more time and then use an arrow to the right.

Use a deck to practice making the right playing decision. You will be dealt two cards, which represent your hand. Then you’ll need to turn over the upcard of the dealer. Determine how you would play the hand and then consult a strategy chart to help you determine your answer.

You can use commercially-available blackjack software to practice your best decision making on your smartphone or computer. Online practice sites also exist that allow you to make basic mistakes and show you how to correct them.

Notable:  Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Guide contains additional information about the above strategies.

FAQ

Can I bring with me a cheat sheet that contains the best strategy for blackjack?

A. Yes, you can. You can, however, use a commercially-available strategy card such as Don Schlesinger’s Ultimate Blackjack Strategy Cards. They are laminated and sturdy, color-coded, and simple to use. You should not place the strategy card or any strategy sheet on the blackjack table. Instead, you should hold it in your hands.

How long does it take to remember the strategy shown on the charts?

A. It shouldn’t take you more than two hours to practice any one of the four methods mentioned above. You can also bring a strategy sheet with you to help you make the right play.

I enjoy having fun at a casino. It seems too difficult to remember a strategy chart.

You can lower the house edge to less that 1% if you take the time to study the best strategy. You could reduce the house edge to half of a percent depending on the rules. This will increase your chances of winning or losing more money while playing blackjack. It also increases your playing time. It will end up costing you more long-term if you decide how to play each hand by the seat of your pants, or worse, guess. I can guarantee that your blackjack experience will be much more enjoyable if you take the time to learn the best strategy.

Can I use the best strategy to play blackjack online?

Yes. You can and should use a strategy deck when playing online, provided that the rules of play are the same as those discussed above.

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