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Blackjack Basic Strategy

Play free Blackjack NOW! The idea of a strategy in blackjack is to play with the best possible odds at all times. Given certain the various situations that a player can be in when playing the game, there is always a decision that will be the most profitable. Whether or not a certain decision is good and how profitable it can be is based on probability and the ratio of the cards that are left in the deck. Although the blackjack basic strategy brings down the house advantage significantly, it doesn't not guarantee that a person will win consistently, or anything for that matter.

The charts listed below are based on a game where the dealer stands on all 17s, only one deck or cards is being used, you can double after you split, you can double down on any two cards, and the surrender option is not available. If you are playing a blackjack game that varies slightly from the one described above, using the strategy charts below will still be to your advantage as opposed to playing without a strategy at all. But, know that there may be better charts for your version.

Quick Guide:


Hard Totals

In case you haven't read the previous sections, a hard total is one where there is no possibility of changing the total. For example, if you have an Ace and a 6, the total can be either 17 or 7; therefore, it is a soft 17. In a situation where you get a 5 and an 8, the total is a hard 13 since there is no way of altering the sum. When you have a hard total, your options are to hit, stand or double down. If the surrender option is offered at the table, you may use it as well.

Player's
Hand
Dealer's Card (face-up)
23456789TA
8 H H H D D H H H H H
9 D D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D D D H H
11 D D D D D D D D D D
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13 S S S S S H H H H H
14 S S S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H H H
16 S S S S S H H H H H
17 S S S S S S S S S S

Soft Totals

These always involve an Ace, which can be used as a 1 or an 11. When you have a soft total, your options include hitting, standing or doubling down. Again, if the surrender option is available, you may use it too; however, having an ace as part of your hand is one of the better ones.

Player's
Hand
Dealer's Card (face-up)
23456789TA
A , 2 H H D D D H H H H H
A , 3 H H D D D H H H H H
A , 4 H H D D D H H H H H
A , 5 H H D D D H H H H H
A , 6 D D D D D H H H H H
A , 7 S Ds Ds Ds Ds S S H H S
A , 8 S S S S Ds S S S S S
A , 9 S S S S S S S S S S

Splitting Pairs

This can only be done when the first two cards dealt are of the same value. Depending on the total, you may want to split the two cards and play each hand individually. If you choose to do so, you must place a bet equal to your original on the table. If you get a matching pair of cards, you have the option to hit, stand, double down, or to split. Surrendering is also an option if available, but not advised.

Player's
Hand
Dealer's Card (face-up)
23456789TA
2 , 2 H H SP SP SP SP H H H H
3 , 3 H H SP SP SP SP H H H H
4 , 4 H H SP SP SP H H H H H
5 , 5 D D D D D D D D H H
6 , 6 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
7 , 7 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H
8 , 8 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
9 , 9 SP SP SP SP SP S SP SP S S
T , T S S S S S S S S S S
A , A SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP