Blackjack Strategy

Basic Strategy Blackjack Cards and Poker Chips

When learning to play online, it helps to know your blackjack strategy going in. It’s one casino game where the player can turn the odds to their favor. The only goal is to get a higher total than the dealer without going over 21.

This page helps you learn basic blackjack strategies to gain an edge and win more hands. We’ll give you a critical blackjack cheat sheet and dive into more advanced card counting techniques.

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Why Basic Blackjack Strategy Works

At the basic level, blackjack is a game of math and statistics. That is, a running formula could determine the best play at the table every turn.

By not using the basic blackjack strategy on this page, the casino could take an extra 1% – 3% from your bankroll in the long run.

Tips and Tricks to Win Blackjack at Online Casinos

The goal is to make the most profitable plays with the least costly decisions. Watch this short video for some online blackjack tips and tricks to get started.

Blackjack Chart

Before you practice your first hand, print, or screenshot our free blackjack chart. It helps you make correct decisions.

Reading a Blackjack Strategy Card

This blackjack hit and stand chart has your starting hand in the left column and the dealer’s first card in the top row. The best play is where the two cross on the chart.

  • hitHit means to take a single additional card.
  • doubleDouble means to double down. This move doubles your wager.
  • standStand means take no more cards.
  • splitSplitting creates two hands from a pair. This move also doubles your wager.
  • hard handThe H stands for a hard hand. So, H5 is a three and a two.
  • soft handThe S is a soft hand where an ace is 11. When the ace is a one, you have a hard hand.
Blackjack Strategy Card a Chart for When to Hit and Stand

Blackjack Cheat Sheet Example

You have a six and a seven, and the dealer shows a seven. What do you do?

  1. 6 + 7 = 13, so you go down the chart’s left side and look for H13 (This hand is “hard” since there is no ace valued at 11).

  2. Move across the row to where the dealer has a 7, and you see the correct play is to Hit. Notice that if the dealer had a 6 instead of a 7, the right choice is to stand.

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Blackjack Strategy by The Hand

Here are all the best blackjack strategies based on the statistics. If you follow these rules, you’ll reduce the house edge and have a better chance to win at online casinos.

Below are the hands you’ll see most often. Use this guide to determine when to hit, stand, split, and double.

The Correct Time to Split Pairs

Pair of 2’s, 3’s, or 7’s

Split against a dealer 7 or lower, and Hit against an 8 or higher.

Pair of 4’s

Split against a dealer 5 or 6, and Hit against anything else.

Pair of 5’s

Don’t Split. Instead, double against a 2-9, and Hit against a 10 or Ace.

Pair of 6’s

Split against a dealer 6 or lower, and Hit against a 7 or higher.

Pair of 8’s

Split against a dealer 9 or lower, and Hit against a 10 or Ace.

Pair of 9’s

Stand against a dealer 7, 10, or Ace, and Split against all other cards.

Pair of 10’s

Always stand with these hands regardless of the dealer’s cards.

Pair of Aces

Always split these hands regardless of the dealer’s cards.

Hard Hand Decisions

Hard 5, 6, 7, or 8

Always hit these hands regardless of the dealer’s cards.

Hard 9

Double Down if the dealer has a 3, 4, 5, or 6. Otherwise, you Hit.

Hard 10

Double Down unless the dealer shows a 10 or Ace, then you Hit.

Hard 11

Double Down unless the dealer has an Ace up, then you Hit.

Hard 12

Stand against a dealer’s 4, 5, or 6, and Hit against all other cards.

Hard 13, 14, 15, or 16

Stand against a dealer 2 through 6 and Hit against a 7 or higher.

Hard 17+

Always stand with these hands regardless of the dealer’s cards.

Soft Hand Best Practices

Soft 13 or 14

Double against a dealer 5 or 6 and Hit against all other cards.

Soft 15 or 16

Double against a dealer 4, 5, or 6, and Hit against all other cards.

Soft 17

Double against a dealer 3 through 6 and Hit against all other cards.

Soft 18

Stand against a 2, 7, or 8, Double against a 3-6, and Hit against a 9, 10, or Ace.

Soft 19 or 20

Always stand with these hands regardless of the dealer’s cards.
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Additional Choices Dependent on Table Rules

Remember, the rules may vary from one blackjack table to another. Here are some different decisions you may need to make.

Hand Surrender Strategy

If your game allows you to surrender a hand, here are the best choices.

  • If the dealer has a 10, surrender any hard 15 hands.
  • Likewise, if the dealer has a 10, surrender a hard 16.
  • If the dealer has an Ace or a 9, surrender hard 16s.

If You Can’t Double After Splitting

If you can’t double down after splitting pairs, follow these additional suggestions.

  • When the dealer has a 2 or 3, hit a pair of 2’s or 3’s.
  • If the dealer has a 6 or 5, hit on a pair of 4’s.
  • If the dealer has a 2, you’re best off hitting a pair of 6’s.

Never Take The Blackjack Insurance Bet!

Blackjack Insurance Bet Security Icon

The strategy for blackjack hand insurance is simple, never take it!

An insurance bet is an extra wager on whether the dealer has a hidden 10-valued card. It might seem like a safe bet once in a while, but the math doesn’t support it.

Increase Your Blackjack Odds

Blackjack Strategy Charts Banner

Blackjack has one of the best odds of all casino games. With the right table rules and proper gameplay, you can reduce the house edge to below 1%.

The house edge is a percentage of what players will lose over time. Tables with smaller decks and 3:2 blackjack payouts have a better player advantage.

Look for Tables With Fewer Decks in the Shoe

You could ask blackjack hall of fame inductee Arnold Snyder, but the math is straightforward. You have the best odds when you play with fewer decks in the shoe. The table below shows the effect deck size has on the house edge.

The more decks used, the less profitable the game becomes, not only for card counters but also for basic strategy players.

Arnold Snyder

Number of DecksPlayer Advantage
1+0.02%
2-0.31%
3-0.43%
4-0.48%
5-0.52%
6-0.54%

Free Blackjack Strategy Trainer

Learning the perfect online blackjack strategy doesn’t happen overnight. Eventually, you’ll memorize the chart and all plays, but it takes some practice. Start training with this free game before playing for real money at top casino sites.

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Start Using Online Blackjack Strategy to Win Real Money

After some practice, you’re going to want to put your blackjack strategy to work and win some hands. We suggest you play at a table with lower betting limits at first to manage your bankroll. Follow these steps to play for real money online.

  1. Have the Strategy Chart Available

    Print out the blackjack strategy chart listed on this page or take a screenshot and have it nearby.

  2. Visit an Online Casino

    Sign up for a free account at a legit online casino. Review the games and promotions before signing up.

  3. Pick a Blackjack Table

    Once you’re logged in, head to the blackjack games and choose from the available options.

  4. Deposit and Claim a Bonus

    Choose a deposit method on the cashier page. Claim any applicable blackjack bonuses at this time.

  5. Play for Real Money with Confidence

    Once you have funds in your account, you can play blackjack and win real money from your home’s comfort.

Card Counting and Advanced Strategy

Advanced Blackjack Strategy Card Counting Banner

Card counting assigns a value to each card in an attempt to predict the next card in line. We have an entire page dedicated to counting cards in blackjack.

Remember, without a basic blackjack strategy, counting cards is useless.

Tracking Aces

Advanced Blackjack Strategy Ace Tracking Banner

At most gambling sites, blackjack pays 3 to 2. You stand to win more without losing a larger wager.

If you start tracking the number of Aces played versus the number of cards left, you have a better idea of when one is coming up.

Most casino software shuffles after each hand, making card counting impossible.
These tactics should be reserved as live dealer blackjack strategies online.

Use Online Blackjack Strategy to Play With Confidence

Now you have everything you need to set up your online blackjack strategy and win big. The chart might feel clunky at first, but there is no shame in playing your best game. You can even use one at tables in Las Vegas.

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Blackjack Strategy FAQ

Below are some of the questions players ask us about online blackjack strategy.

What is the best strategy for blackjack online?

The best strategy for online blackjack is to follow the chart strictly. It tells you the best times to hit, stand, and double down, based on the game’s statistics.

Can you really win more online by using a basic blackjack strategy?

Yes, you can win more online using a basic black strategy. Remember, the percentage balances out over a long time and many hands. Manage your bankroll to give yourself the best shot.

Can I always win at blackjack?

In short, there is no way to always win a hand of blackjack. Even with card counting and perfect plays, there is a chance the wrong card will show up next.

About the Author
Neil White

Neil White - Editor in Chief

His drive and passion for casinos and the most popular games keep him in touch with the latest news and interests to provide the best for his readers.