Blackjack Strategy Guide

Blackjack Strategy

The Best Blackjack Strategy Guide: Learn to Play like a Pro and Win Every Time

Blackjack is a classic casino game that almost every gambler has tried at least once in their lifetime. Many prefer this game over other casino games for a good reason. 

Blackjack is a table game of strategy and skill that can give you the edge over the house. Chances are you have given blackjack a shot, and now you think you know how to play it. But here’s the real deal: do you know how to play blackjack like a pro? How do you develop a winning blackjack strategy? 

You know the main objective is to beat the dealer, but how? We’re here to answer those questions and help you level up your game. We’ll start with a simple strategy for beginners, then Mister Betting will give you some tips to remember when you play.

So grab a seat at the table and get ready to learn the secrets of successful blackjack players!

Basic Blackjack Rules

Before we continue with the strategies, it’s essential to understand the basic rules of the game. 

The goal of the blackjack game is simple – beat the dealer.

In blackjack, the goal is to have a hand closer to 21 than the dealer’s without going over 21. Each card is worth its face value, except for face cards (Jack, Queen, and King), which are worth 10. Aces can be worth either 1 or 11, depending on which value would be more beneficial for the hand.

Players can take another card (hit) to try and improve their hand, or they can choose to keep their current hand (stand). If a player’s hand exceeds 21, they lose automatically, regardless of the dealer’s hand. The dealer must keep hitting until their cards total 17 or higher.

These simple rules are good to remember, as they can help you make your experience better even when you play online casinos.

Blackjack Terms You Should Know

The Blackjack game that comes with its own set of unique terms that you need to know to understand how to play the game.

Here are some of the most common blackjack terms:

Blackjack: This term refers to a hand that consists of an ace and a ten-value card (10, jack, queen, or king). It’s the best possible hand in the game, and it pays out 3 to 2.

Bust: This happens when a player’s hand exceeds 21. It’s an automatic loss, regardless of what the dealer has.

Hit: This term refers to the action of taking one more card. Players can keep hitting until they’re satisfied with their blackjack hand, or they bust.

Stand: This term refers to the action of keeping your current hand and not taking any additional cards.

Double Down: This is an option where players can double their original bet and receive one additional card. This option is usually only available when a player has a strong hand in blackjack. If the dealer’s upcard is a 5 or 6 in a game of blackjack, it’s a good strategy to double down on a soft hand of 13-18.

Split: This option is available when a player has a pair of cards with the same value. You can split your first two cards into separate hands and play each hand separately.

Surrender: This is an option where a player can forfeit their hand and receive half of their original bet back. There’s also the option to play a “late surrender”, which basically means hit and surrender. This option is not available at all casinos.

Dealer: This is the person who deals the cards and manages the game.

Shoe: This is a device that holds multiple-decks of cards and allows the dealer to deal the cards quickly and efficiently.

Insurance: This is a side bet that players can make if the dealer has an ace as their face-up card. The player is essentially betting that the dealer has a blackjack, and the payout is 2 to 1.

Blackjack Basic Strategies

Basic strategy is the foundation for all successful blackjack players. In our opinion, this is the best way to play blackjack.

The blackjack strategy might not be a foolproof way to ensure yourself a win, but it sure can increase your odds of winning. The strategy is also easy to learn. But what exactly is a blackjack strategy?

Blackjack strategy is mathematically proven and designed to give players the best possible chance of winning. Basic strategy involves using a chart or table to determine the optimal play in any given situation.

For example, if a player is dealt a 10 and a 6, and the dealer is showing a 4, basic strategy would dictate that the player should “stand” because the dealer’s hand is weak.

But, if the player’s hand was a 10 and a 2, and the dealer was showing a 5, basic strategy would dictate that the player should “hit” because the chances of improving their hand are higher.

What is a Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart?

A blackjack basic strategy chart is a tool used by players to guide them on the best possible decision to make for each hand they are dealt. The chart is designed based on the game’s rules, the number of decks used, and the dealer’s up card. 

The chart shows players the optimal move to make, whether it is to hit, stand, double down, or split.

The use of basic strategy charts helps players make informed decisions that can reduce the house edge and increase their chances of winning. 

The charts are designed to give players the best chance of winning in the long run.

Player’s HandDealer’s Up CardAction
Hard 8 or lessAnyHit
Hard 93-6Double Down, otherwise Hit
Hard 102-9Double Down, otherwise Hit
Hard 112-10Double Down, otherwise Hit
Hard 124-6Stand, otherwise Hit
Hard 13-162-6Stand, otherwise Hit
Hard 17 or higherAnyStand
Player’s HandDealer’s Up CardAction
Soft 13-15AnyHit
Soft 16-184-6Double Down, otherwise Hit
Soft 19 or higherAnyStand
Player’s HandDealer’s Up CardAction
Pair of AcesAnySplit
Pair of 8sAnySplit
Pair of 2s or 3s2-7Split, otherwise Hit
Pair of 4s5-6Split, otherwise Hit
Pair of 5sAnyDouble Down
Pair of 6s2-6Split, otherwise Hit
Pair of 7s2-7Split, otherwise Hit
Pair of 9s7-10 or AceStand, otherwise Split
Pair of 10sAnyStand

Remember, this is a basic strategy and may not always result in winning every hand. Use it as a guide to help make the best statistical decisions during your game of blackjack.

How to Read a Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart

Reading a Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart can seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple. 

First, you need to find your hand total in the left-hand column.
 
Next, find the dealer’s up-card in the top row of the chart.

Then, look for the intersecting cell where your hand total and the dealer’s up-card meet. This cell will tell you the recommended move to make, whether it’s to hit, stand, double down, or split.

With a little practice, reading a blackjack strategy chart will become second nature.

The different abbreviations on the chart include:

H: Hit
S: Stand
D: Double down
P: Split
H/P: Split if double after split is allowed; otherwise, hit
H/R: Surrender if allowed; otherwise, hit.

Where to Find Blackjack Strategy Charts

You can find blackjack basic strategy charts online or in books on blackjack. It is essential to use charts designed for the specific game you are playing and the number of decks used. It’s important to pick the right blackjack strategy chart for your game.

Tips for Using Blackjack Basic Strategy Charts

Here are some tips to help you use blackjack basic strategy charts effectively:

Familiarize yourself with the chart: Practice using the chart until you can make quick and accurate decisions.

Use the chart consistently: Consistently using the chart helps reduce the house edge and improve your odds of winning.

Adjust your strategy based on the rules: Different rules can affect the optimal strategy. Our advice is to adjust your strategy to the rules of the game you’re playing.

Don’t rely on the chart: While the chart provides a guide on the best moves to make, it doesn’t guarantee a win. Other factors, like your bankroll, also have an influence on the game. 

Take breaks: Taking breaks can help you make better decisions and avoid making costly mistakes.

Advanced Strategies for Blackjack

The basic blackjack strategy is an effective way to increase your chances of winning, but what if you want to win more? 

There are several advanced strategies that can you can use to increase your winnings. If you’re more advanced in blackjack, you should definitely give them a try. 

These strategies are perfect for more experienced blackjack players, as they require a higher level of skill and experience.

Card Counting Strategy in Blackjack

Card counting is one of the most popular techniques used by players. When you decide to use it, you must keep track of the cards that have been played to determine the likelihood of certain cards being dealt in the future. 

Card counting is based on the principle that certain cards are more beneficial to the player than to the dealer.

For example, when there are more high cards (10s, face cards, and aces) remaining in the deck, the player has a higher chance of getting a blackjack, which pays out at 3:2 odds. When there are more low cards remaining in the deck, the player is less likely to get a blackjack and is more likely to bust.

There are various approaches to counting cards, but the most used is the Hi-Lo system.

The Hi-Lo system assigns a point value of +1 to cards 2-6, a point value of 0 to cards 7-9, and a point value of -1 to cards 10-Ace. As cards are dealt, the player keeps a running count of the point values.

Once the count reaches a certain point, you can adjust your bets accordingly. 

When the count reaches a high positive value, such as +5 or higher, the player should increase their bet because the odds are in their favour. When the count is negative, the player should decrease their bet because the odds are in the dealer’s favour.

Now you may ask, isn’t card counting illegal? Well, it’s not illegal, but it is frowned upon by casinos. Casinos may ask suspected card counters to leave the premises, and some may even ban players from the casino altogether.

Card counting requires a significant amount of practice and skill, and it is not recommended for beginner players. But if you’re a more experienced player, then give it a try. Card counting can be a highly effective strategy for winning at blackjack.

Shuffle Tracking

Shuffle tracking is a technique used by advanced players in blackjack to gain an advantage over the casino. 

It involves keeping track of groups of cards as they are shuffled and predicting when these groups will be dealt. By doing so, a player can increase their chances of hitting a winning hand.

Shuffle tracking requires a lot of practice and skill, as it involves memorizing the order of cards during the shuffle and following them through the deck. 

This technique is especially effective in games where the dealer uses a hand shuffle rather than an automatic shuffler. 

In hand-shuffled games, the dealer can be more easily influenced by the player’s bets and behaviour, making it easier to predict when certain cards will be dealt.

While shuffle tracking can be a very effective strategy, it is also very difficult to master. As with card counting, many casinos consider shuffle tracking to be a form of cheating and may ban players who are caught using this technique.

Hole Carding

Hole carding is a technique that involves trying to catch a glimpse of the dealer’s hole card, which is the face-down card that the dealer receives at the beginning of the hand. By knowing the dealer’s hole card, a player can gain a significant advantage over the casino.

Hole carding is a very difficult technique to pull off. You must have a very keen eye and be able to spot subtle movements of the dealer’s hand. 

Casinos are very aware of this technique and take steps to prevent players from using it, such as using a “peeking device” or covering the hole card with a special device.

Despite the difficulty of hole carding, it can be a very effective strategy if done correctly. In games where the dealer’s hole card is dealt face-down, such as in many variations of blackjack, knowing the dealer’s hole card can give the player an edge of up to 13%. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When using a blackjack basic strategy chart, it is essential to avoid common mistakes that can affect your gameplay. Some of these mistakes include:

Failing to use the chart

Using the chart is essential to reduce the house edge and increase your chances of winning. Failing to use the chart means you are relying on guesswork, which can be detrimental to your gameplay.

Using the wrong chart 

Different charts are designed based on the game’s rules and the number of decks used. Using the wrong chart can lead to poor decision-making and increased losses.

Not considering the dealer’s up card

The dealer’s up card plays a significant role in determining the best move to make. Failing to consider the dealer’s up card can result in poor decision-making and increased losses.

Not splitting a pair 

Splitting a pair can increase your chances of winning. If you fail to split a pair, you’re at risk of higher loses.

Tips for Winning at Blackjack

There’s always something to do to level up your game. these tips can help you improve your chances of winning:

Manage Your Bankroll

It’s important to manage your bankroll and only bet what you can afford to lose. This will help you avoid going broke and keep you in the game longer.

Avoid Taking Insurance

As mentioned earlier, insurance bets increase the house edge. It’s best to avoid them and focus on making good decisions based on basic strategy.

Don’t Chase Losses

If you’re on a losing streak, just take a break and come back another day. Chasing losses can lead to even bigger losses and can be very detrimental to your bankroll.

Don’t Drink and Play

Drinking and playing can lead to poor decision-making and can negatively impact your bankroll. It’s best to avoid drinking while you’re playing blackjack.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice makes perfect. There are countless online games that can help you practice as much as you can before playing for real money.


Conclusion

Blackjack is a game of strategy and skill that can provide you with an edge over the house. If you ask us, blackjack is the game with the best odds of winning.

You can start with a simple betting strategy for beginners and gradually move on to more advanced techniques. Card counting and shuffle tracking are one of the best blackjack strategies for advanced players. 

Basic blackjack charts are also useful tools for making informed decisions. By managing your bankroll, avoiding insurance bets, not chasing losses, and practicing as much as possible, you can increase your chances of winning at Blackjack in 2023 and beyond. So, grab a seat at the blackjack table and give these strategies a try.

FAQ’s

What is a basic strategy?

Basic blackjack strategy is mathematically proven and designed to give players the best possible chance of winning. It involves using a chart or table to determine the optimal play in any given situation.

Is using a blackjack basic strategy chart legal?

Yes, using a blackjack basic strategy chart is legal.

How do I know which chart to use?

The chart you use should be designed based on the specific game you are playing and the number of decks used.

What is card counting?

Card counting is a technique used by players to keep track of the cards that have been played to determine the likelihood of certain cards being dealt in the future.

Is card counting illegal?

Card counting is not illegal, but it is frowned upon by casinos. They may ask suspected card counters to leave the premises, and some may even ban players from the casino altogether.

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