Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Strategy – How to Improve Your Potential at the Table

Anyone that’s ever played blackjack will know it’s a fantastic game that allows you to combine skill, logic, luck and timing in a multitude of ways. In fact, once you start to learn the nuances of blackjack strategy, you’ll quickly see that there are many ways to play to your strengths. For example, if you’re mathematically inclined, there are techniques to suit such as card counting. If, however, you have a brain that likes to make decisions based on logic, a blackjack chart will come in handy.

 

Basically, however you like to play, there are ways to improve your potential. Of course, no blackjack strategy is infallible. But, thanks to the game’s unique dynamics, there a variety of approaches you can take. In this guide, we’re going to outline the most popular blackjack betting strategies. Using this information, you’ll be able to choose the tips and tricks that could help you win more when you play blackjack online or live.

The Objective of Strategy in a Blackjack Card Game

We know luck will always play a part in how often you win or lose at the blackjack table. That’s an inescapable fact that we have to get out in the open right now. However, just because the outcome of any single round will be random, that doesn’t mean you can’t get an edge. You see, blackjack is a game of numbers and odds.

Put simply, there are moves that are statistically proven to be more effective than others. Your job is to make the best moves over and over again. This, in turn, will give you a better chance of coming out ahead once good and bad luck even themselves out.

How does a strategy affect a blackjack game?

In theory, blackjack strategy allows you to reduce the house edge. In a standard six-deck game, the house edge (i.e. advantage) is approximately 0.5%. Although that’s low, you can actually improve your odds by using techniques such as blackjack basic strategy. By knowing when to hit, stand, split and double down, based on probability, you can reduce the house edge to 0.40%. In theory, this means you’ll have a better overall return rate if you play optimally.

How effective are blackjack strategies?

When it comes to reducing the house edge, blackjack strategies are extremely effective when used correctly. Guides such as blackjack charts are developed using mathematical frameworks that take into account all possible variables. The end results are moves that, over a significant number of trials, show a greater return than any other move.

However, when it comes to removing the house edge or gaining an advantage, even the best blackjack tactics can’t guarantee anything. Because luck is always a factor, you have to accept that no technique will be 100% effective. In reality, a blackjack betting system will help reduce the house edge when used correctly, but it won’t make you a dead cert to win every time.

Should I use a strategy when playing blackjack?

Yes. Even though things such as a 21 strategy chart can’t guarantee you a win, they can help. What’s more, they’ll provide some structure to your sessions. By working within a set framework, you’re less likely to let emotions dictate your play and, therefore, less likely to make silly mistakes.

Blackjack Basic Strategy

The starting point for any player should be blackjack basic strategy. Even though concepts such as card counting and the Martingale system blackjack strategy might sound more exotic, everything starts with the basics.

What is blackjack basic strategy?

To use basic strategy, you first need a blackjack chart. This chart tells you which move to make in any given situation. As we’ve said, these moves take into account all the known variables, such as the number of decks in play, the value of your hand and the dealer’s card. The prescribed move is the one that shows the best overall return.

 As a player, your job is to either memorize a blackjack chart or have one to hand when you play. Doing this will allow you to make the optimal move in any given situation. That, in a nutshell, is blackjack basic strategy and how to use it. However, the most important concept we need you to grasp here hoe each move is calculated. You don’t have to worry about the maths involved. What you do need to think about, however, is the logic used to determine which moves are best.

How important is blackjack basic strategy?

Basic strategy is extremely important because it gives you a way of seeing the game as a logical challenge, rather than a series of luck-dominated scenarios. In blackjack, you can’t focus on your hand and ignore everything else. Indeed, if you look at a blackjack chart you’ll see that you have to make different moves with a total of 16 based on the dealer’s up-card.

 Therefore, if you want to become a better blackjack player, you need to consider all the variables in play. From the dealer’s card and any other cards on show, to your position at the table and your own hand. All of these factors will influence the moves you make. That, in reality, is the lesson basic strategy teaches us and one you need to remember if you want to improve your potential win rate.

Reasons to use the basic strategy

OK, so now we’ve established that basic blackjack strategy gives you a better way to think about the game. Of course, the important point to reiterate is that it’s not a foolproof system. If you pick up a blackjack chart and start using basic strategy in the hope you’re going to win every time, you’ll be disappointed. In practice, basic strategy will tell you when to hit, stand, split and double down.

From this, you’ll become a more logical player. So, even if you don’t have a chart to hand or you forget the prescribed move, basic strategy will teach you to make better decisions. That’s a powerful skill to acquire and, importantly, one you’ll need if you want to learn advanced blackjack strategies.

Basic blackjack strategy variations

Basic strategy doesn’t come in a neat, one-size-fits-all package. Because the prescribed moves are based on the game’s variables, they’ll change depending on the game you’re playing.

For example, the optimal move with 16 in a single-deck game may be different to what’s prescribed in an eight-deck game. Therefore, you can’t assume that one set of basic blackjack strategy rules will apply in all situations. Fortunately, there are charts for all scenarios.

Basic strategy chart

Let’s quickly explain how basic blackjack strategy charts work. As we’ve said, these charts are the product of mathematical calculations. Each one will take known variables and use them to calculate the best move in a given scenario. Visually, the moves are listed in a chart that contains three pieces of information:

·         Your hand

·         The dealer’s up-card (i.e. the one you can see)

·         The move you should make: H(it), S(tand), SP(lit), D(ouble down).

To use these blackjack charts, you simply find your hand, then move across to the dealer’s up-card. At the point in which these two variables intersect, you’ll find the move you need to make. Simple!

How to Use Basic Blackjack Strategy

Without wanting to sound repetitive, basic strategy is a framework within which you should work. In other words, it should be used each time you play because it tells you the optimal moves to make in all scenarios.

Even though you might “feel” like a different move is better, blackjack charts are never wrong when it comes to the best overall move given a certain set of variables. Yes, there are blackjack strategies that go beyond charts.

The importance of perseverance and basic strategy

This idea of seeing basic strategy as a framework carries over nicely to the idea of consistency. We know now that charts tell us the optimal move in all situations. What they don’t tell us is the move that will win every time. The reason for this is because the calculations are based on known variables. In blackjack, there are also unknown variables i.e. cards that haven’t been dealt.

Because we can’t predict which card is going to be dealt next, you can never make a truly optimal play. However, what you can do is make the next best thing. Therefore, it pays to persevere with basic blackjack strategy. Even though you won’t win every time, your results, in the long run, will be better if you use this technique as opposed to making moves based on gut instinct.

Basic Strategy Rules

So far, we’ve talked a lot about strategy, what it is and what it can do for your results. However, to ensure you understand the instructions given, you have to know basic blackjack moves. Whatever variant you play, regardless of whether it's online or live, there are four standard moves you can make. Once you’ve mastered these, you can implement various blackjack tactics to make sure you choose the right one at the right time.

Hit

To hit in blackjack is to take another card. After placing a bet, the dealer will give you two starting cards. At this point, your job is to assess the value of your hand and decide whether you need more help. If you need to boost your total, you can hit and receive another card from the deck. Once you’ve received a third card, you can assess your total again and, if necessary, hit again. Under the rules of blackjack, you can continue hitting until you decide it’s best to stand or you go bust.

Stand

Standing is the opposite to hitting in blackjack. Once you’ve hit a total you believe is strong enough to win, you can stand pat and move the action on to the next player/the dealer. If you’re playing in a live casino, you wave your hand over the top of the cards to stand. If you’re playing online, you simply hit the “stand” button.

Do you Hit or Stay on 16?

Arguably one of the toughest hands to play in blackjack is 16. Because this total is often too low to stand on, people like to hit. However, the counter to this is that 16 is also fairly close to 21, which means there are a lot of cards that can cause you to go bust (i.e. get a total above 21).

 Therefore, it’s hard to know what to do in this spot. Fortunately, this is where basic strategy and blackjack charts come in handy. Both moves can be optimal, depending on the scenario.

 For example, if the dealer is showing a four, the best play is to stand on 16. However, if the dealer has a seven, you should hit. This is a great example of why basic blackjack strategy is so valuable. When the moves are obvious, everyone can make the right play. However, with a tricky total like 16, it’s good to have some guidance.

 

Double down

Alongside the two main blackjack moves, hit and stand, you can double down when your starting total is 11 or lower. In some games, you can only double down if your starting total is 10 or 11. In others, it’s any value of 11 or lower. Whatever the rule, doubling down requires you to match your opening bet. Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive one card only.

 The reason for doubling down is to take advantage of a strong position. It’s best to double down when the dealer’s chances of going bust are high and you can’t bust. In these spots, it’s worth putting more money on the table because, when you win, you’ll double your returns.

 

Split

Like doubling, splitting should be used to press home an advantage when the odds are in your favour. To split, you’ll need to match your opening bet when your starting hand is a pair. Depending on the variant you’re playing, there may be certain pairs you can’t split. However, in general, you’re free to split any pair you’re dealt.

Once you’ve paid to split, the dealer will separate the two cards and deal each one a second card. At this point, you simply play the two new hands as you would normally

Surrender

Certain types of blackjack allow you to give up your hand before the dealer makes a move. This play is known as surrendering and can be done after the initial deal. In some games, you can hit and surrender (known as late surrender). However, it’s usually the case that you can only surrender after the initial deal and before you hit, split or double down.

 When you surrender in blackjack, you fold your hand and receive 50% of your stake back. For the most part, you’ll make this play when your starting total is weak, the dealer looks strong and you determine that giving up early is better than losing your entire bet.

How many times can you hit in blackjack?

The beauty of blackjack is that you can hit as many times as you like. As long as your total hasn’t gone over 21, you’re free to choose when to hit and when to stand. It’s this freedom that not only makes the game exciting but makes blackjack strategy possible.

Card Counting –Advanced Blackjack Strategy

Once you’ve learned how to use a basic strategy chart and you’re able to think logically about the moves you make, it’s time to think a little deeper about the game. Now, before we go any further, we need you to know that blackjack techniques such as card counting aren’t foolproof. More importantly, they’re not for everyone. With regards to card counting in particular, this strategy requires an affinity for mathematics and mental arithmetic.

What’s more, it requires a lot of practice. Indeed, we can show you how to count cards in blackjack but that’s just the start of things. Implementing this tactic successfully requires a lot of skill, precision and timing. In fact, if you try to count cards and don’t do it correctly, you can do more harm than good. So, if you are thinking about blackjack card counting, make sure you’re extremely well versed in its nuances before you try it in a real setting.

What is card counting in blackjack?

In simple terms, blackjack card counting is a way of tracking the dynamics of a deck(s). The main aim is to establish when the undealt cards are in your favour and when they’re not. According to card counting theory, the deck/s are in your favour when they contain more high-value cards. The deck/s favour the house more when there are more low cards still to be dealt.

To ascertain whether the undealt cards are in your favour or not, you literally have to count, hence the term card counting. By assigning certain values to certain cards, you end up with something known as a running count.

Over time, you can divide this count by the approximate number of decks left in the shoe (i.e. undealt) to get a true count. The true count is a score that tells you when things are in your favour and it’s time to increase your bets. Or, it tells you when to scale back your bets because the dynamics favour the house.

How to count cards in blackjack step-by-step

To show you how to count cards in blackjack, we’re going to use the hi-lo system. Although there are various card counting systems out there, hi-lo is one of the most common. Moreover, it provides the simplest introduction to this advanced blackjack strategy.

Step 1: Start with a running count of zero.

Step 2: As the cards are dealt, assign the following values to each card:

·         If the card is a two, three, four, five or six, you add a count of one (+1).

·         If the card is a 10, Jack, Queen, King or Ace, you add a count of minus one (-1).

·         If the card is a seven, eight or nine, you add a count of zero (0).

Step 3: Combine the values you’ve noted to establish a running count. For example, if three hands have been dealt, you’ll have seen seven cards (six player cards and one dealer card). Let’s assume the values were as follows: +1, +1, -1, 0, 0, -1, +1. In this situation, when you combine all of the values, the running count comes to +1.

Step 4: Continue with the running count for a while. When you have a positive count, there will be more high-value cards left in the deck. When you have a negative count, there will be more low-value cards in the deck. A higher count positive count means the decks are richer in high-value cards and vice versa.

Step 5: Divide your running count by the number of decks left in play. You can determine how many decks are left by subtracting the number of cards dealt from the total number in play at the start of a game and dividing that number by 52.

Step 6: Your true count will tell you how much to bet (i.e. increase or decrease your bet size) and how to play your hand. If you’re a beginner, it is possible to use the running count as a guide. However, if you’re going to get the most out of card counting, you need to use the true count in tandem with a strategy chart.

What are the best cards for the player?

The best cards for you as a player are high-value ones. When there are more high-value cards left in the deck, you stand a much better chance of making a strong hand. However, if we flip this equation, the best cards are also low-value ones. Why? Simple: when more low-value cards have been dealt, it means there are more high-value ones left in the deck. So, while high-value cards are best, it’s important to remember that low-value ones are also important.

Is there a strategy to counting cards?

Yes. As you can see from the steps above, card counting allows you to determine when the game dynamics are in your favour. Using this information, you can go beyond basic blackjack strategy and make moves based on the value of your hand, the dealer’s up card and the type of card likely to be dealt next.

Card counting systems

In blackjack, there are different card counting systems. Each one has its own merits and offers a slightly different take on the main premise of tracking the dynamics of the deck. The most popular blackjack card counting systems are:

·         Hi-Lo

·         K-O

·         Hi-Opt I

·         Hi-Opt II

·         Halves

·         Omega II

·         Red Seven

·         Zen

How do you select the best system?

Like all things in life, choosing the right blackjack card counting system will be a matter of preference. In practice, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Moreover, each one will have its own way of determining how to use a count. Therefore, it’s your job to review what’s available and make a choice.

 Of course, the first thing you need to do is learn how to count cards in blackjack. The requires a basic appreciation of the mechanics. We’ve given you an overview of the main principles already. Building on these, we can add some additional layers to the process. Once you’ve grasped the following points, you’ll have a better overall feel for card counting and, therefore, be in a better position to choose a specific system that suits.

Running counts vs. true counts

When you’re using an advanced blackjack strategy, the running count is the total you get while cards are in play. As we’ve said, your job is to continually assign values to cards as they’re dealt. This creates a running total or, in technical terms, a running count. You can use this count to determine when the deck is richer in high-value cards (running count is a positive figure) or richer in low-value cards (running count is a negative figure).

 To help you determine what the best moves to make are, you need to establish a true count. Each blackjack card counting system will have a different way of determining the true count. For example, the hi-lo system requires you to divide the running count by the number of remaining decks. In contrast, the zen system gets you to divide the running count by the number of quarter-decks remaining.

 Once you’ve established a true count, you’ll have a better idea of when to increase/decrease your bets. Additionally, the value you get will give you give extra guidance on when to hit, stand, double and split.

Back counting

Even if you learn how to count cards in blackjack, it’s very hard to pull off this strategy on your own. Over the years, likeminded players have joined together and formed blackjack teams. As a team, everyone has a specific role in addition to counting the cards. One such role is back counting. Also known as Wonging, this strategy involves one person standing back from a game and counting. Once they find a potentially profitable spot, they signal to other members of the team that the table is hot i.e. worth joining.

Card counting and ranging bet sizes

The real beauty of card counting is that it gives you a chance to vary your bet sizes at the right times. The whole reason for trying to establish when the deck is in your favour and when it’s not is so you can make more when it is and save money when it isn’t.

 As a general rule, you should start by betting an amount roughly equal to 1/1,000 of your bankroll. This can change depending on personal preference. However, for the sake of being conservative, it’s a solid starting point. Once you start your count, you can up your bet from this point when the deck swings in your favour.

 Again, as a general rule, the maximum increase you should make is four units. There are two reasons for this: preservation and detection. You should only increase your bet by around four units because you can still lose when you count cards. So, by not going wild, you help preserve your stack. Secondly, even though card counting is legal, casinos don’t like it. So, by being somewhat conservative, you won’t attract unwanted attention.

 

How much of an advantage is counting cards?

Done correctly, card counting can be highly effective. To get the best results, you need to work as a team. However, an individual that’s highly skilled and well-versed in this blackjack technique can, at least, negate the house edge. If you can do this, the game becomes a 50/50 contest which, in the casino world, is a fantastic proposition.

However, if you try to count cards and you make even the smallest mistake, it can have catastrophic effects. Although results can vary, it’s generally accepted that using this advanced blackjack strategy in the wrong way will cause you to perform worse than if you simply used gut instinct. Therefore, if you’re going to count cards, make sure you’re extremely confident.

How do you bet on true count?

The final step to counting cards and adjusting your bet size is to use your true count. Going back to the idea of betting unit, you can then adjust accordingly based on the true count minus one. To put it another way, you subtract one from your true count to determine the number of units to bet.

For example, if your true count was four, you should be three units. Units in this instance is whatever your starting bet was. So, if you were betting 10 coins, three units would 30 coins. That, in a nutshell, is how you use card counting to find the optimal bet size.

Hi-Lo Card Counting Strategy in Blackjack

Why is Hi-Lo called a balanced system?

Hi-lo card counting is regarded as a balanced system because there are an equal number of +1 and -1 cards. If you scroll back through this blackjack guide, we said that certain cards have a positive value, some have a negative value and others are neutral. If you add up all of the cards using these values, the count will be zero. In other words, they balance each other out.

Card values and ranks for low cards

In the hi-lo card counting system, the following cards are defined as “low” and, therefore, have a positive count i.e. +1:

·         Two

·         Three

·         Four

·         Five

·         Six

Card values and ranks for high cards

In the hi-lo card counting system, the following cards are defined as “high” and, therefore, have a negative count i.e. -1:

·         10

·         Jack

·         Queen

·         King

·         Ace

Neutral cards – ranks and values

In the hi-lo card counting system, the following cards are defined as “neutral” and, therefore, don’t have a count i.e. zero:

·         Seven

·         Eight

·         Nine

Single card deck vs multi-decks in the hi-lo strategy

When you’re counting cards, the number of decks matters. As well as affecting the number of cards in play, there are also certain house rules with regards to shuffling etc. For example, in single-deck games, the dealer will shuffle the cards every six deals (the rule of six). So, if there are three players at the table, the deck will be shuffled every second round. Because of this, you need to restart your count each time the deck is shuffled.

In multi-decks games, the shuffle happens less frequently. Therefore, you have much more time to establish a reliable count. Based on this, multi-deck games are better for counting cards. However, the counter to this is that the house edge in single-deck games is lower. This means it can sometimes be a coinflip as to which one is best. The general rule is that you can use single-deck games if there’s enough time between shuffles to establish a reliable count.

How to practice hi-lo card counting

When you learn how to count cards in blackjack, the next step is to practice, practice and practice some more. This blackjack tactic isn’t easy to pull off in the heat of battle. Therefore, you need to be a master at it. The easiest way to practice is with a deck of cards at home. However, in today’s world, there are also online resource you can use. From simulations to calculators and quizzes, there are various tools at your disposal. Our advice is to use them all.

How to adjust the size of your bets using the hi-lo strategy

According to the hi-lo blackjack strategy, you increase your bets when the count is positive and decrease them when it’s negative. Again, you can use the true count here and subtract one to tell you the exact number of units to wager in a give situation.

Blackjack Strategy Charts

If card counting seems a little too intense (it is for most players), blackjack strategy charts are an ideal alternative. Even though they don’t offer the same level of accuracy and insight as card counting, they’re a great way to make the optimal move in all situations.

 In reality, a blackjack chart does all the calculations for you. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about counts, betting units and when to make certain moves. To help you pick the right play in all situations, check out the charts below. Each one will tell you when to hit, stand, split, double and, if possible, surrender based on the number of decks in play.

How to read blackjack strategy charts

A blackjack strategy chart can be used to guide your moves at the table. It won’t tell you how much to wager like card counting will. However, the right charts will show you when to hit, stand, split and double. Of course, you’ll probably be wondering why you should trust a chart. Well, the simple fact is that the most shown are the best plays based on probability.

Even though you won’t win every time, the prescribed moves should show a long-term profit when compared to the alternative. To put it another way, if a blackjack strategy chart tells you to hit, this play will have a better overall expectation than standing in the same situation.

To read a chart, all you have to do is find your hand value. Once you’ve done that, move across and find the value of the dealer’s face-up card. The point at which these two lines intersect is where your move will be listed. For brevity, the move will be listed as a letter/s:

·         H = Hit

·         S = Stand

·         SP = Split

·         D = Double

·         SU = Surrender

*Note, some charts may use slightly different abbreviations.

Other Popular Blackjack Strategies

In addition to blackjack tactics that tell you when to make certain moves bet, there are also strategies for playing streaks. Even with the best plan in the world, you’re going to win and lose over the course of a session. In an effort to ride these waves and come out ahead, experts have devised betting systems. One of the most popular is the Martingale system.

Martingale betting strategy in blackjack

When it comes to blackjack betting systems, Martingale is the most famous. The reason for this is that it’s simple and, in theory, very effective. The basic premise is “each time you lose, you double your bet size”. Eventually, once you hit a win, you’ll make a profit because the return will cancel-out all the previous losses. That’s appealing to a lot of players and, in theory, a great way to structure your bets.

What is the Martingale progression strategy in blackjack?

In technical terms, Martingale is known as a negative progression system. In other words, you increase the size of your bet when you lose. As per the theory, you double your bet size until you hit a win. When you do, you’ll have a one-unit profit. For example:

·         Bet one – lose

·         Bet two – lose

·         Bet four – lose

·         Bet eight – win = 16 unit return – 15 units wagered = one unit profit

 

Martingale variations

If you like the idea of the Martingale system, here are some variations you can try:

Grand Martingale

The Grand Martingale system takes the original concept and super-sizes it. Instead of simply doubling your stake each time you lose, you double your stake and add your original bet size.

Reverse Martingale

Also known as the Paroli system, reverse Martingale simply gets you to do the opposite of the standard method. With this system, you double the size of your bet after a win and restart the sequence after a loss.

Does Martingale work for blackjack?

Yes, but it’s hard to pull off in practice. Because casinos have maximum betting limits, you may max-out before you win. If that happens, the whole system falls apart.

Do casinos allow the blackjack martingale strategy?

Yes. Even if you told the dealer you were using this strategy, there is nothing they could do about it. In reality, the Martingale system is simply a way of adjusting your bets in an effort to make a profit. There is nothing illegal about that.

Manhattan betting strategy

Otherwise known as a 2-1-2 system, Manhattan betting in blackjack require you to vary your bets when you win or lose. Basically, you start by betting two units. If you win, you reduce your bet to one unit.

If you win again, you wager another unit e.g. two plus one equals three units. If you lose, you stick at one unit. Once you win again, you restart and add one unit until you lose. In practice, the Manhattan betting strategy could look like this:

·         Bet two – win

·         Bet one – win

·         Bet three – win

·         Bet four – lose

·         Bet one – lose

·         Bet one – win

·         Bet two – win

·         Bet three and so on

Oscar’s betting strategy

Another blackjack betting strategy you can use is Oscar’s. This is a positive progressive system, which means you increase your bet size after a win. Once you hit a set target (i.e. a certain amount of profit), you restart the system. In practice, you increase your bet by one unit when you win and stick at the current size if you lose. Once you make a one-unit profit, you restart the cycle.

For example, Oscar’s betting strategy for blackjack could look like this:

·         Bet one – lose

·         Bet one – lose

·         Bet one – win

·         Bet two – win

·         Bet three – win

·         Stop = You stop here because you’ll have wagered eight units in total and, by virtue of winning the last bet, you’re now in profit.

Blackjack Strategy FAQ

Do you bet before you get your cards in blackjack?

Yes. Even with a winning blackjack strategy in place, you still have to gamble in this game. That means you have to bet before any cards are dealt and accept a certain amount of uncertainty.

 

What is a true count in blackjack?

 A true count in blackjack is a value that helps you ascertain how many high or low-value cards are left in the deck. To obtain a true count, you need to assign certain values to cards as they’re dealt (a running count).

 You then divide the running count by a certain factor (for example, the number of remaining decks) to get a true count. This value tells you whether the deck is in your favour (more high-value cards) or not in your favour (more low-value cards).

 

Is it legal to count cards in blackjack?

 Yes. Even though casinos don’t like card counters, it’s not illegal. The only issue you may have is that bricks and mortar casinos are private businesses and, therefore, the owners can ask you to leave at any time. You won’t, however, be in trouble with the police.

 

How hard is it to count cards in blackjack?

 In practice, it’s hard. Even though the theory is relatively straightforward, there are a lot of moving parts. What’s more, you have to do all multiple calculations in your head simultaneously. Therefore, you have to be extremely confident with numbers and mathematics to count cards.

 

Is copying the dealer’s action a good strategy?

 Not really. The dealer has to play by certain rules that you don’t. For example, the dealer can’t stand on a total below 17. In some situations, a blackjack chart will tell you to stand on a low total (e.g. 13) if the dealer is showing a weak card (i.e. a four, five or six).

 

When should you bust in blackjack?

 You never want to go bust in blackjack. Going bust means you’ve hit a total over 21. When this happens, you lose the round and, therefore, lose your stake.

 

Are progressive strategies used in blackjack?

 Yes. A progressive blackjack technique is one that requires you to increase the size of your bet each time you win and decrease the size of your bet when you lose.

 

Do dealers have a strategy in blackjack?

No. Dealers aren’t allowed to vary their moves. In practice, a dealer doesn’t make bets. Moreover, they simply have to draw cards until they have a total of 17 or greater.

 

Are blackjack charts allowed in casinos?

 Yes. Even though you may be asked to not have a chart on the table, you can use them. In fact, as a novice, you should get comfortable with using blackjack charts before, during and after you play. Of course, it’s better to memorise the moves you should make. However, there’s nothing wrong with having one to hand when you’re at the table.

 

How to memorise basic blackjack strategy

 The best way to memorise blackjack strategy charts is to use them time and time again. Failing that, you can keep some core ideas in mind.

 

·  Firstly, you should always hit when the dealer is strong and you have a low total. The dealer is strong when they have an up-card worth seven or higher.

·  Secondly, you should always stand when the dealer is weak, regardless of your total. The dealer is weak when their up-card is a four, five or six.

 Assuming you can keep these points in mind, you should be able to make better moves at the table. To put this and everything else we’ve covered in this blackjack guide into practice, use our sign-up link and create your first account at Paddy Power Games today. 

 

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