While blackjack is always a game of odds, you can increase your chances of winning by employing certain strategies and following your instincts. By looking at what card the dealer has face-up and what cards are currently in your hand, you can decide whether to hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender.
If your new to the game of blackjack perhaps you should read our blackjack rules page to get a better understanding of the game.
A hard hand is a hand that does not have an ace. If you have an ace that you want to be worth 11 and you go over 21, you can instead have that ace be worth 1, effectively lowering your score 10 points. If you do not have an ace, no such tricks can be used, so you have to strategize differently. Use this chart for hard hand strategizing.
|Your hand is worth:||The dealer’s card is:||Your move:|
|8 or less||Anything||Hit|
|9||3 through 6||Double down|
|2 or 7+||Hit|
|10||2 through 9||Double down|
|Ace or 10||Hit|
|11||2 through 10||Double down|
|12||2, 3, or 7+||Hit|
|4 through 6||Stand|
|2 through 6||Stand|
This is a fairly conservative strategy, particularly when you get to a point value of 17 or 18. However, by following these limits, you can increase your chances of beating the house odds and winning the hand.
If you are trying to figure out when to split, use these guidelines:
- If you have two 2s, 3s, 6s, 7s, or 9s, split if the dealer’s visible card is between 2 and 6. If the dealer’s card is 7 or higher, do not split.
- If you have two 8s or 2 aces, always split, regardless of what is shown in the dealer’s hand.
- If you have two 4s, two 5s, or two 10s, never split, regardless of what the dealer’s hand shows.
If you have an ace in your starting hand, you have a little bit more flexibility in how you play, since an ace can count as one or 11. Use this chart to help you decide when to stand, hit, or double down.
|Your hand is:||The dealer’s hand shows:||Your move is:|
|Ace, ace||Anything||Split your aces|
|Ace, 2 or ace, 3||5 or 6||Hit|
|Other cards||Double down|
|Ace, 4 or ace, 5||4, 5, or 6||Double down|
|Ace, 6||3 through 6||Double down|
|Ace, 7||3 through 6||Double down|
|2, 7, or 8||Stand|
|9, 10, or ace||Hit|
|Ace, 8 or ace, 9||Anything||Stand|
Most blackjack strategists do not recommend taking insurance in any circumstance, as it does not end up benefiting most players. You will note that there are many double down moves in the above charts. Some casinos do not allow doubling down or they only allow it in certain circumstances. If your strategy tells you to double down but it is not allowed, hit instead. The one exception to this is if you have a soft 18. If you have a soft 18 and doubling down is not allowed, then stand.
Blackjack can use anywhere from one to eight decks of cards, and most games do use more than one deck of cards. However, while playing at home or playing in certain casinos, you may have the chance to play in a single-deck game. General strategy is the same in these games, but there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.
If you draw:
- 11: double down against any dealer cards.
- 9: if the dealer shows a 2, double down.
- 8: double down if the dealer shows a 5 or 6
- Ace, 8: double down against 6; stand in all other situations.
- Ace, 7: stand if the dealer’s card is an ace.
- Ace, 6: double down against 2 through 6.
- Ace, 3 or ace, 2: double down against 4 through 6.
- 2, 2: split against 3 through 7.
These blackjack tips hold true when your playing live blackjack or bitcoin blackjack since those offer guaranteed random cards. If your playing against a regular online casino that uses an random number generator, I wouldn’t expect too much. My feeling is these softwares are programmed to never lose. I have played big money over the years and I just see too many trends that happen every time I get a big score and the software knows I have my nose open.