What are the best blackjack strategies?

When it comes to choosing a game that requires skill at the casino, many players head straight for the blackjack table. The idea of the game is fairly simple and it is easy to play but playing blackjack and consistently winning are two different things. There is an element of luck in the game, but there is also plenty of skill that is required. In order to help a person win, following a strategy is a good idea. The best blackjack strategies are the ones you have mastered and tested and are comfortable with. A math whiz may ace card counting – another player may prefer to just memorize the basic strategies.

You also need to learn the rules of the game and the house rules specific to the casino you’d like to play at. Each casino will have different varieties of the game. They can use different numbers of decks, they can have rules about insurance, minimum or maximum bets, and they can have computer generated games or they can have live dealer games.

Why you need to learn the basic strategy

A beginner in blackjack must learn the basic strategy and master it if he can. It is important because a player who knows the basic strategy can make the house advantage as low as 0.5%. The basic strategy in blackjack chart is composed of a set of rules and guidelines that tell the player when to hit, stand, split and double down.

The chart or cheat sheet you should follow depends on the number of deck on the table and certain game scenarios. Make sure to memorize all the different charts, so you’ll know what to do in common situations. Learning the basic strategy is not infallible but will, hopefully, make you lose at a slower rate than most players.

Chart for 4-8 decks where the dealer stands on Soft 17

Chart for double deck game where the dealer stands on Soft 17

Chart for single deck game where the dealer hits on Soft 17

Other Popular Blackjack Strategies

  • Martingale system – this strategy revolves around the bets that a player makes. They begin with a small initial bet. If they lose, they double their bet on the net hand. They keep doubling their bets until they win a hand. When they win, the bet reverts back to the initial bet. If this strategy is used properly, the player will win more than they lose because of the progression of the bets. It does have limitations and can run into trouble because of table limits.

  • Paroli system – also known as anti-martingale or reverse martingale. This strategy requires you to increase your bet when you are winning and decrease it when you are losing.

  • Card counting – this strategy is legal but not all casinos tolerate it for obvious reasons – it is advantageous to the player and further lowers the house edge. It is possible for card counters to get kicked out of casinos, especially if they have long winning streaks. Card counting involves paying attention to all of the cards that have been played and assigning tags for small cards and high cards. By counting the cards, the player can know what the chances of a low card or a high card are going, thus they can decide whether to make a large or small bet and when to draw a card or stick.

A player can choose any of these strategies, none of these strategies or a combination of them. The key is to use them consistently and not deviate from the system on a hunch. If you find the strategies above daunting, check these blackjack tips from known blackjack connoisseurs that are easier to memorize.

  1. Play at the table with least number of decks.

  2. Don’t be pressured to tip the dealer.

  3. Avoid gimmick blackjack game variations such as Super Fun and Spanish 21.

  4. Avoid taking insurance.

  5. Don’t make a fuss about the shuffle.

  6. When the dealer shows 2-9, double down on 10 or 11.

  7. When the dealer shows 2-6, stand on 13 to 16.

  8. If the dealer is showing 7 or higher, don’t split 5 or 10 and don’t stand on 12 to 16.