BlackJack Strategy

First off, there is a chart called Basic Strategy, which is a computerized breakdown of which moves are best in each situation. These charts are based on results of millions of simulated hands and suggest the best move you should make in every situation. The explanation of this information is obvious. It is BASIC, meaning that it offers logical moves and it is STRATEGY: intelligent decisions you should make. Hence the term BASIC STRATEGY.

Overview of Basic Blackjack Strategy
Thousands of books have been written on Blackjack Strategy and there's no substitute for picking up the odd tome to improve your game. Much of it boils down to a few key decisions you have to make on:

when to hit and when to stand

  • when to double down
  • when to split
  • whether to insure against a dealer's blackjack

And most of these will depend on what cards you hold and what face card you can see for the dealer. The following table is a summary of the recommended strategies for playing basic blackjack strategy. If you're looking for a basic how to play guide, see our game instructions page.

Pairs

 

Dealer's Upcard

Player

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

T

A

(A,A)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

(T,T)

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

(9,9)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

N

N

(8,8)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

(7,7)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

(6,6)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

N

(5,5)

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

(4,4)

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

N

(3,3)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

(2,2)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

N

 

Y = Split, N = Don't split

Soft Totals

 

Dealer's Upcard

Player

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

T

A

(A,9)

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

(A,8)

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

(A,7)

S

D

D

D

D

S

S

H

H

H

(A,6)

H

D

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

(A,5)

H

H

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

(A,4)

H

H

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

(A,3)

H

H

H

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

(A,2)

H

H

H

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

 

H = Hit, S = Stand, D = Double

Hard Totals

 

Dealer's Upcard

Player

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

T

A

17

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

16

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

15

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

14

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

13

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

12

H

H

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

11

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

10

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

9

H

D

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

8

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

 

H = Hit, S = Stand, D = Double

Note that strategies vary slightly, depending on Blackjack rules and some books will recommend variations on the above.

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