A blackjack strategy chart is a helpful tool for beginners and more experienced blackjack players alike. It helps to take the “guesswork” out of how to play certain hands dealt in blackjack, telling you exactly what to do based on the odds of the game:
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About Blackjack, The Most Popular Table Game
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games due to its relatively easy rules, low house edge, and its ready availability. Evolved from an old French card game called “vingt-et-un”, which means 21, casino blackjack is enjoyed by millions of people.
Players simply try to beat the dealer by adding the face value of their cards to attain a total as close to 21 without going over. Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth ten points, aces can be either one or 11 points, and all other cards count as their face value.
See our full guide to playing online blackjack in Michigan, including how to play, where to play, and the different versions you can enjoy.
How Does The Blackjack Strategy Chart Work?
The blackjack strategy card can be used at either online casinos or in-person at brick and mortar casinos. The blackjack strategy card is ideal for four to eight-deck blackjack, which means single-deck blackjack games would require a different blackjack strategy chart.
Another assumption is that the rules of the blackjack table require the dealer to hit on a “soft” 17, meaning they have an ace in their hand and the total could be either seven or 17. The dealer plays as if they have seven. An ace and six is a soft 17.
This chart also gives advice on when to “surrender” (quit the hand before making a decision, losing half of the initial bet regardless of outcome). It is important to know the specific rules at each blackjack table, whether online or live.
There are also a few scenarios where the strategy chart suggests splitting cards if there is an option to double down after a split. Again, knowing the rules at each table is paramount.
Is The Blackjack Strategy Chart Effective?
The blackjack strategy card is mathematically formulated to give players the best chance of winning at blackjack under most normal game rules with four- to eight-deck “shoes” (cardholder). Obviously, players will not win every time they “follow the chart” nor will they lose every time they don’t follow the chart.
But over time, adhering to the advice and suggested plays of the blackjack strategy chart will give players the best chance of winning. It’s all about the math.
Easy Blackjack Strategies To Try Today
Since there are more cards in the deck with the value of 10 (four tens, four Jacks, four Queens, and four Kings) it is best to assume that the dealer’s hole card is a ten. By looking at their own hand and the dealer’s card, the player has to make a decision on what to do with their hand.
The blackjack strategy chart shows every single possible hand a player can have as well as what the dealer has shown. By looking at the player’s hand total and the dealer’s up card, the player is advised whether to stand, hit, double down, split, or surrender.
There are a total of three charts, including the soft hands (hands with an ace) and splittable hands (two similar cards in one hand).
Two easy-to-remember strategies include:
- Staying on hands over 13 when the dealer is showing a two or three
- Staying on hands over 12 when the dealer is showing a four, five, or six.
The premise of the strategy is to allow the dealer to deal themselves with a high card that will make them “bust” (go over 21) while leaving the player with a winning hand.
Another easy strategy to glean from the blackjack strategy chart is to always double down on 11, regardless of what the dealer is showing.
Advanced Blackjack Strategies For Intermediate Players
The blackjack strategy card suggests surrendering a hand of 15 against a dealer’s ten or ace. It suggests surrendering a hand of 16 against a dealer’s card of nine, ten, or ace. If surrender is not available, players are instructed to hit.
The chart also suggests players surrender a hand of 17 against an ace, but advises to stand on that 17, which is always good advice.
The chart also advises players on which soft hands to double down against certain dealer cards.
There is also advice on what to do with two similar cards. It should be noted and understood that tens should never be split. Conversely, aces should always be split.
One situation calls for a surrender of two eights–if the dealer shows an ace, it’s best to surrender that 16, instead of trying to make two viable hands.