Blackjack Rules & Strategy


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Blackjack is a table game, one of the most exciting in any casino (physical or online). It is a staple game of the modern gaming experience considering its strategic approach, speedy play rate and simple rules. You probably have an idea of how to play the game, but do you know how to play well? Do you want to win spectacular rewards by playing blackjack using the blackjack strategy?

Player of any level can try their hand by learning about blackjack strategy charts and blackjack rules. These strategies and rules help you to determine the right play to make to get the most out of your hand. The best blackjack strategy is designed using computer simulations and probability theory. Below is a guide to creating a strong foundation for playing blackjack, including blackjack rules and strategies to win.

Blackjack: What is it?

BlackjackIn this card game, players aim at getting a hand close and not more than 21. Players do not compete against each other (all players compete against the dealer). In every round, the ultimate goal is to get a hand higher than the dealer without exceeding 21. Each card is equal to its face value. King, Queen and Jack are equal to 10 points, while Ace can be 1 or 11 depending on your hand. A blackjack occurs when you have an Ace and a Jack, King, Queen or a 10, which is equal to 21 points.

Blackjack Rules

Blackjack rules are simple learn and follow. For example, if you have an Ace, 6 and 10 or King, you would want the Ace to be 1 to have a 17 point. Counting an Ace as 11 will result in a busting with 27 points. On the other hand, an Ace and an 8 can be 19 if the Ace is counted as 11.

The hand starts with two upward-facing cards for players and one for the dealer. The dealer’s hole card is revealed at the end of the turn for every player. To improve your hand, you can request an additional card. This is where the blackjack strategy comes in.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is a game of chance, but you can increase your winning odds by following simple blackjack strategies. The simplest blackjack strategies are:

  • The dealer with 2 to 6 cards cannot win the game because with a face card or 10, they have below 17 and this will need another card draw.

  • The dealer is in a winning position if the first card is 7 and the next a face card or 10.

Following simple strategies and lots of practice can help you anticipate the dealer’s options and determine the best move to enhance your winning chances. The strategy chart can help you know when to stop, draw two equal cards or double your bet.

What Can You Learn From the Blackjack Strategy Chart?

The blackjack strategy chart will help you know exactly when to:

  • Split Pairs

  • Hit or Stand

  • Surrender

  • Double Down

Before reading and memorising any blackjack strategy chart, you need to understand the following.

Different Charts for Different Stages of the Game

The strategy chart you start the game with is not the same as the one you will end with. You should learn how to use different strategy charts and blackjack rules. Additionally, understand rules deviations that apply to certain games and relate to specific rules of the game you are playing. Start by learning the basic blackjack strategy to make it easier to understand and transition to rule-specific charts.

When Should I Split?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. You will consider whether to split or not to split when the first two cards are two-ten valued or when they are a pair, like two Kings or a Queen and a Jack. If the answer is “No”, you shouldn’t split. Always check the strategy chart for clear directions. “S” is for split and ”N” for not split.

Hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2,2 N N S S S S N N N N
3,3 N N S S S S N N N N
4,4 N N N N N N N N N N
5,5 N N N N N N N N N N
6,6 S S S S S N N N N N
7,7 S S S S S S N N N N
8,8 S S S S S S S S N N
9,9 S S S S S S S S N N
10,10 N N N N N N N N N N


When Should I Hit, Stand or Double Down?

At some point, you may think of whether or not to take another card. If you can’t surrender, double or split your hand, then you should consider either hitting or standing. When you reach a point where doubling is required, it is a good sign of winning the hand. Check out the casino before choosing one, since some online casinos restrict doubling on certain hands.

When Should I Surrender?

Not all casinos all surrender also referred to as LS (Late Surrender). You can only surrender after getting the first two cards. You can't surrender after taking a hit card. This is the first thing you need to think about the moment you are dealt the first two cards.

Basic Strategy is Not Everything

Although most people download blackjack charts, take them or use them in an online casino and win some money, it doesn’t mean that the chart is all you need. The game can go the other way, even with the right charts. Remember, the house edge is always high and basic strategy cannot overcome it, even when you are lucky. You will need things like true count conversions, counting, deviations and betting strategies to easily win a blackjack game

Hard Hands in Blackjack

This is a hand that contains no Aces or has an Ace that can be translated to 1 point. A good example is a hand with a 7 and 10 (also known as a hard 17) or a 10, 6 and an Ace.

Hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
2 8 12+ 12+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+
9 D D D D D 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+
10 D D D D D D D D 16+ 16+
11 D D D D D D D D 16+ 16+
12 12+ 12+ S S S 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+
13 16 S S S S S 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+
17 21 S S S S S S S S S S


Legends Used:

  • 11+: draw cards up to a total greater than 11
  • 12+: draw cards up to a total greater than 12
  • 16+: draw cards up to a total greater than 16
  • D: double the bet (which gives the right to only one additional card)
  • S: stand


Soft Hands Strategy

A hand that has an Ace (at least one Ace) that can be 1 or 11 points. The total value of the cards should not exceed 21. For example, a soft 15 (a 4 and an Ace). The Ace in this case is given a value of 11 points.

Hand 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
A,2 A,6 12+ 12+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+ 16+
A,7 S S S S S S S 16+ 16+ 16+
A,8 A,9 S S S S S S S S S S


In a Nutshell

Blackjack strategy and rules tell you what to do and at what time based on the visible card. Because of that, you can reduce house advantage to less than 5% if you use and follow the strategies correctly and seriously.


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