Blackjack is a card game played between the player and the dealer. It’s a casino game that can be beat, but only by understanding the odds and applying sound strategy. Using math to improve your chances of winning will put you on the road to blackjack success. Our blackjack strategy guide will help you make smart decisions and maximize your bankroll.
Basic blackjack strategy involves weighing the value of your own hand against that of the dealer and deciding whether to hit or stand on this basis. It doesn’t take into account what other players are doing at the table or what cards are in their hands. It only deals with the current value of your hand and that of the dealer’s face up card.
When you have a pair of starting cards, like two nines or two threes, split them. This will give you two separate hands of equal value, which means that you can potentially double your winnings if the dealer has a weak card. Likewise, you should always split eights, even against the dealer’s strong upcard of a seven or an ace.
You should also stand when you have a hand of 17 or higher in the majority of cases, regardless of what the dealer’s upcard is. This is because standing on a hard hand is mathematically the best play, and you are more likely to win when you do so.
Hitting is the opposite of standing and is generally advised when you have a hand that is not worth staying on. You can try to improve it by hitting, but there is a risk of busting and losing money. Therefore, only hit when you feel confident that you can do so without risking any more of your money.
Some players prefer to go into more aggressive territory and try to win big. However, this is only a safe strategy if you have a deep enough bankroll. This is because you will have to double your bet each time you lose, and if you have a long streak of losses it could be very expensive very quickly.
Other strategies that you can use to increase your odds of winning include doubling down and surrendering. However, we recommend that you only implement these if they are supported by the version of blackjack you are playing. It is essential to stick to the basic strategy provided by our strategy table, as deviating from it will only defeat the purpose of following a proven system. You should also avoid side bets like insurance and double down when the dealer is showing an ace, as they are generally not profitable.