Blackjack strategies

Blackjack appears to be a simplistic game at first glace but after playing the game a few times, you'll start to notice that it gets far more complex. There are many different blackjack strategies and techniques to employ that will improve your odds significantly.  The most important thing to remember is to always keep your cool and never let your frustrations affect your gameplay.

Read on to discover what these blackjack systems are and how to use them. If you follow this guide you will be well on your way to winning at blackjack both in the casino and online. Also make sure to check out our other resources on card counting and advanced blackjack strategies. Enjoy our online blackjack strategy guide!

Basic blackjack strategy consists of optimizing your odds when you have not seen any cards since the last time the deck was shuffled.  See the hand chart to see when to hit and when to stick. The principal of basic blackjack strategy determines what to do when you have a hand between 12 and 16. 
Splitting The player can "split" if they have a pair, meaning they get to create two hands from their original one.  This is done by adding another bet next to your hand.  Then the dealer will split up the pair and add one more card to each to create two seperate hands. 

Insurance If the dealer's up-card is showing an Ace, the player can make a side bet known as "insurance" to guard against a dealer's blackjack.  If the dealer does have a blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2:1.

Surrendering Another option in blackjack strategy that can be used is called the "surrender" after the player receives their hand.  He or she can take back half their bet and sit out the rest of the hand.  This is a good tactic for when the dealer is showing something promising and the player is not. 

Doubling down The player can "double down" after receiving a hand, which doubles their bet before receiving one last card.  This is particularly useful when your initial hand adds up to 11 because there is a high probability that your next card will have a value of 10, adding up to 21.  In some casinos it is possible to have your doubling down bet be less than your original bet to minimize your losses.  However, it is only advised to double down in situations when you're pretty sure you'll win.

If you would like to know more, please visit our page on more blackjack tips.

Strategies to avoid

The "never bust" strategy

Some players employ the "never bust" strategy which is encouraged or discouraged depending on who you talk to.  In standard strategy it is said that if your starting hand is between 12 and 16, you should hit if the dealer is showing a 17 or more. "Never bust players" claim that you should never hit on anything above a 12 because you can bust. If you never bust then you will have more opportunities to see the dealer bust. However, statistically, the standard blackjack strategy has higher returns.

The "mimic the dealer" strategy

The "mimic the dealer" strategy means you play with the same rules as the dealer: sticking at 17 or more and never splitting or doubling down.  The odds for this strategy are worse than the never bust strategy.

The "assume 10 in the hole" strategy

The "assume 10 in the hole" strategy is the worst one odds-wise.  If the dealer is showing an Ace then he will peak at the hidden card to see if it's a 10.  If he hasn't announced a blackjack then he doesn't have a 10, therefore you would be wrong to assume it is.

Don't let the house trick you

Many people say taking insurance is a bad idea because if you win the hand but lose the insurance money, you're only diminishing your returns. Also, some games have skewed odds that you should look out for. Most blackjack games pay out 3:2 when you get a blackjack. Look out for ones that are doing 6:5 or 7:6 because they won't be as lucrative.

If you pay attention to these blackjack systems, you will greatly increase your chances of both winning some money and of having a good time at the table!