Blackjack is the most popular casino card game in the world. It is also known as a banking game because gamblers play against a ‘banker’ (the dealer) who is in charge of the game. The Blackjack game is played with 1-8 decks of 52 playing cards with 1 to 7 players at a blackjack table. You can also play multi seats, so 2-7 hands in one game. To lower the edge against the house when playing Blackjack, it is important for players to always use a blackjack basic strategy. We have prepared multiple strategies that are useful for all variants of blackjack, including:
- LIVE Blackjack in online casino
- Electronic Blackjack in online casino or in land-based casino
- Land-Based Casino Blackjack
Some strategies are suited for Blackjack games with 1 deck of cards, while others are suitable for 4-8 decks. The house edge (the advantage the dealer has during the game) for 1 deck of cards is lowest, exactly 0.17%, but it increases when more decks are added. 4-8 decks makes house edge 0.6%.
As for electronic slot Blackjack, an RNG (Random Number Generator) is used to control random cards dealt, so it is always best to apply the standard blackjack basic strategy.
Read more to understand and apply Blackjack basic strategy.
Table of Contents
Blackjack Basic Strategy
Blackjack Basic strategy is pretty simple. The playing cards in a deck have values (1-10) and using basic mathematical principles (blackjack strategy chart), players can deduce house edge to minimum, when applying the basic strategy based on pure math.
These strategies can be applied to both LIVE blackjack and slot (electronic) blackjack games.
The strategies players should use depends on the card decks held in shoe(plastic holder where playing cards are held and dealt to players), therefore there are strategies for:
- Single deck = 52 playing card
- 2 decks = 104 playing card
- 4 decks = 208 playing cards
- 6 decks = 312 playing cards
- 8 decks = 416 playing cards
The house edge on each of these card decks increases as more decks are added. Below is a table showing the house edge per deck of cards.
|Card Deck||House Edge|
|Single Deck of playing cards||0.17%|
|Double Deck of playing cards||0.46%|
|Four deck of playing cards||0.60%|
|Six deck of playing cards||0.64%|
|Eight deck of playing cards||0.65%|
In the next picture we have a blackjack basic strategy chart with each step to take in every possible situation in a blackjack session.
The basic blackjack strategies are simple rules you can use to guide your blackjack sessions as a newbie or expert. Here are the 4 specific decisions that are same for all blackjack basic strategies:
- Always stand on hard 12 if the dealer shows 4, 5, or 6, if not hit.
- Always stand on hard 17+ = Example of your hand = 10+8.
- Hit hard 11 and below = Example of your hand = 2+7.
- Stand on Soft 19+ = Example of your hand = A+8.
To learn more about the basics of how to play blackjack, what is hard/soft hand we suggest to read first our online blackjack article for more explanations and insights.
Blackjack Basic Strategy for Single Deck of Cards
Using single decks when playing blackjack is uncommon, as it is mostly found when playing Live casino poker. When a single deck is used during blackjack, it is shuffled after every round. This is the best blackjack variation to play because the house edge is the lowest (0.16%).
As a players you should note that blackjack tables where the dealer stands on soft 17 increase the house edge by 0.2%.
Here is the difference between blackjack strategy for single deck blackjack and the general blackjack strategy:
- Double down your 11 against A.
- Double down your 9 against 2.
- Double down your 8 against 5 or 6.
- Hand A + 7 is a stand against A.
- Hand A + 6 is double down against 2.
- A + 3 and A + 2 is double down against 4.
- Pair 7 + 7 is stand against 10.
- Pair 4 + 4 is double down against 5-6.
- Pair 3 + 3 and 2 + 2 is hit against 2-3.
- Hand 2 + 2 is hit against 2.
Playing a single-deck game is quite different from multiple decks, and the strategy also differs.
Blackjack Basic Strategy For Double Deck of Cards
When playing blackjack on a table with only two decks, it is a bit different compared to 4-8 decks but the house edge is still better, exactly 0.46%. Here are the different decisions compared to basic blackjack strategy:
- Double down your 11 against A.
- Double down your 9 against 2.
- Split pair 7 + 7 against 8.
Blackjack Basic Strategy For 4-8 Decks of Cards
Playing with 4-8 decks of cards is most common when playing online LIVE blackjack.
If you follow the strategies in this guide, you’re well on your way to win more. Do not be afraid to hit, split, or double down on your bets. Read our article where we discuss Live blackjack to learn more about how to play Blackjack online with a real dealer.
Blackjack Basic Strategy When Playing on Table Where the Dealer Hit on Soft 17
Tables where the dealer hits soft on 17 are not common in online Live blackjack. In these games, an ace can either be worth a 1 or 11. For example, if you have an ace + 3, it is either a 14 or 4 depending on you. This also applies to the dealer, and it can increase the odds in their favor when they have to hit on soft 17. Here are some of the tips you should use:
- Double down vs a dealer’s 6 if you have a pair of A,8.
- Double down A,7 when a face-up dealer hand value is 2.
- Double down on A,3 when a dealer has a card value of 4.
Extra Tips and Recommendations
Although some players love to count cards in blackjack, using basic strategy is very simple for most players. Here are some bold tips that you might always follow if you can not use blackjack strategy chart:
- Never split a pair of 10+10 or face cards (value 10).
- Double down your 11.
- Double down 10 against 2-9.
- Always split a pair of 8s and Aces.
- Stand on hard 17+.
Super extra tip: Play 1-2 hands (seats) and never go 7 hands to minimize your risk!
You can also check our article 8 Tips for Online Blackjack.
Blackjack Strategy: Important FAQ
Does playing more than one spot give you an edge in Blackjack?
Playing blackjack at more than one spot allows you to spread the risk = increase your chances of winning with at least 1 hand. But when a dealer will win you will also lose more.
What happens if a dealer makes a mistake while dealing in a LIVE Casino?
If a dealer makes a mistake while dealing cards, it is best to contact customer support of the LIVE casino games provider. You have this option available in online casinos.
Which is better: Playing at a full table or playing alone with the dealer?
If you are using basic strategy charts to play, you are better served playing at a full table instead of alone with a dealer. Card counters find it easier to play alone with a dealer.
Are the rules for slot and Live Blackjack the same?
The rules for live and slot blackjack playing online are same because most of the LIVE blackjack studios use 4-8 decks with playing cards.
What are the odds of winning a hand in blackjack?
The odds of winning a hand in blackjack is 42.22%. This is one of the best odds you can get for any card game. It is high because the house edge for blackjack is quite small, especially with 1-2 decks of cards.