Blackjack Basic Strategy

Learn Online Six Hand Blackjack at PlayBlackjack.com Learn Online Double Exposure Blackjack at PlayBlackjack.com Learn Online Single Deck Blackjack at PlayBlackjack.com Learn Online Switch Blackjack at PlayBlackjack.com

Just like anything, getting better at blackjack can take practice. And the best way to cut your teeth at the game is to play free online blackjack. Players can work on strategy, standard blackjack tips and rules, as well as sharpen their card counting techniques.

Playing free online blackjack is especially a smart move for those who are new to the game and want to familiarize themselves with the rules before playing for actual money. Often times, online casinos will offer free games to pull in new customers and offer bonuses and incentives to make a deposit and sign up for cash pots.

Each blackjack game has a basic strategy, which is playing a hand of any total value against any dealer's up-card, which loses the least money to the house in the long term.

An example of basic blackjack strategy is shown in the table below, and includes the following parameters:

  • - Four to eight decks
  • - The dealer stands on a soft 17
  • - A double is allowed after a split
  • - Only original bets are lost on dealer blackjack

The bulk of basic strategy is common to all blackjack games, with most rule variations calling for changes in only a few situations. For example, if the above game used the hit on soft 17 rule, common in Las Vegas Strip casinos, only 6 cells of the table would need to be changed: double on 11 vs. A, surrender 15 or 17 vs. A, double on A,7 vs. 2, double on A,8 vs. 6, surrender(if not allowed, then hit) on 8,8 vs. A. Also when playing basic strategy never take insurance or "even money."

Estimates of the house edge for blackjack games quoted by casinos and gaming regulators are generally based on the assumption that the players follow basic strategy and do not systematically change their bet size. Most blackjack games have a house edge of between 0.5% and 1%, placing blackjack among the cheapest casino table games. Casino promotions such as complimentary matchplay vouchers or 2:1 blackjack payouts allow the player to acquire an advantage without deviating from basic strategy.



   
Hard Totals (excluding pairs)
Player Hand Dealer's face-up card
  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
17-20 S S S S S S S S S S
16 S S S S S H H SU SU SU
15 S S S S S H H H SU H
13-14 S S S S S H H H H H
12 H H S S S H H H H H
11 Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh H
10 Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh H H
9 H Dh Dh Dh Dh H H H H H
5-8 H H H H H H H H H H
Pairs
Player Hand Dealer's face-up card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A,A SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
10,10 S S S S S S S S S S
9,9 SP SP SP SP SP S SP SP S S
8,8 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
7,7 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
6,6 SP SP SP SP SP H H H H H
5,5 Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh Dh H H
4,4 H H H SP SP H H H H H
2,2-3,3 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
   
Soft Totals
Player Hand Dealer's face-up card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A,8-A,9 S S S S S S S S S S
A,7 S Ds Ds Ds Ds S S H H H
A,6 H Dh Dh Dh Dh H H H H H
A,4-A,5 H H Dh Dh Dh H H H H H
A,2-A,3 H H H Dh Dh H H H H H
Chart Key
 
  S = Stand
  H = Hit
  Dh = Double (if not allowed, then hit)
  Ds = Double (if not allowed, then stand)
  SU = Surrender (if not allowed, then hit)
     

Video How to Play with Basic Blackjack Strategy

Basic Blackjack strategy is easy to understand and use on the table, however, the strategy changes depending on which hand or combination of cards you have. By learning what combinations are good to hit, stand, double or split and know how to recognize when it's a good time to take advantage of a dealer bust and cut the casino edge. Learn how to play here with PlayBlackjack.com