Using The Blackjack Strategy
Reading Time: 6 Minutes
Welcome to our blackjack strategy guide!
Blackjack has by far the highest RTP (Return To Player) of any casino game. So if we want to maximise our casino profits, we should use it for offers wherever possible.
This guide will explain how to use blackjack, and show you exactly which decisions to make when using the game.
To do this, we'll cover:
If you are new to blackjack, then you should spend a few minutes learning about how this game works.
Click the link below to read our introduction to the game.
With blackjack, you have decisions on what actions to take, and these affect the RTP.
Our blackjack strategy will show you exactly what actions to take.
And it's very easy to learn!
Once you place your bet, you receive two cards and the dealer receives one card. The goal is to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as possible. You can receive more cards by Hitting, or stick to the cards you have by Standing.
An ace counts as 1 or 11, Jacks, Queens and Kings all count as 10. The numbered cards count for their value (so a 2 is worth 2 for example).
Blackjack is when you have an Ace and any card counting as 10. When this happens, you win 2.5x of your stake, unless the dealer also has Blackjack, in which case you get your stake back.
If you go over 21, you have bust and lose the hand. If the dealer beats you by getting blackjack, or closer to 21, without going bust, you’ll lose.
If you beat the dealer or the dealer goes bust – you win back your stake x2. If you draw, its called push and you get your stake back.
Once the cards are dealt, you have 5 options:
- Hit: Take another card. Afterwards you will have the option again to either hit or stand. If you go over 21 you will be bust and your hand will lose.
- Double: If you click double, your stake will be doubled. You will receive only 1 more card and then the dealer will reveal their hand.
- Stand: Don’t take any more cards. The dealer will now reveal their hand.
- Split: If you have a pair (two of the same number, such as two 6s) then you can split. Your stake will double and you will now play each card as a separate hand. If you split Aces (AA) then you only get one card, but any other pair you can play like normal.
- Insurance: You have this option if the dealer has an ace. You should never take this as the odds are significantly in the casino’s favour.
So how do you decide when to hit, stand, double or split? It all depends on the cards you hold, and the dealer's card
Our blackjack strategy tables below will show you exactly which decisions to make.
The tables below will show you the optimal strategy for when you’re playing blackjack. These contain every combination of which cards you may be dealt, and which card the dealer may receive.
Based upon this, the tables will then show you what action to take.
To use the strategy, you first identify what table you should use:
Table 1 (Left Hand Side): Your hand is Hard
This means that you have any two cards without an Ace.
Table 2 (Top Right): Your hand is Soft
This means you have any two cards, one of which is an Ace. The term soft means you cannot bust if you hit. If you have Ace 5, you cannot bust by hitting, because your hand could be worth 16 or 6. But if you hit and get a 10, you now have 16, and this will be a hard hand because it is possible to bust on your next action.
Table 3 (Bottom Right): Your hand is Paired
This means you have two of the same cards, so 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 etc, and could split your hand (double your initial stake, and play 2 separate hands, one with each of the cards).
Once you have established which table you should use, you can now look at the appropriate row and column on the table for your hand and the dealers hand. This will tell you which action to take.
Our friends at Outplayed have created an awesome Blackjack Strategy Calculator.
This free tool allows you to enter your cards and the dealers card/s, and it will instantly tell you which action to take.
Once you're familiar with the blackjack strategy, it will probably be quicker to check the strategy chart to make decisions.
But, whilst you're new to playing blackjack, the Outplayed Blackjack Strategy Calculator can be a very handy extra resource.
If the dealer is dealt an ace, you may be offered insurance. This is where you pay extra money, but get your stake back if the dealer has blackjack. This reduces the RTP of the game, so you should always decline insurance.
Push just means that you and the dealer tied, because your hands were both worth the same amount. When this happens, you just get your stake back.
There are lots of different variations of blackjack, many of which have different rules, strategies and RTPs. In order to ensure that we are following the correct strategy, and using easy to play, high RTP games, we want to try and stick to Classic or European variations of blackjack. These games will often have different titles, but can be called things like:
- Premium Blackjack
- Classic Blackjack
- Multihand Blackjack
- Single Deck Blackjack – the optimal strategy is slightly different for this game, but using our strategy will not significantly impact the RTP
- Single Hand Blackjack
- All Bets Blackjack – fine as long as you avoid all side bets.
And avoid games such as:
- Cashback Blackjack
- Blackjack Surrender
- Blackjack Switch – this is a high RTP blackjack game but requires a very different strategy that is quite complicated, so we’d recommend avoiding it
- Progressive Blackjack
Many blackjack games have the option to place ‘side bets’.
Side bets can be very high variance, and the house edge can range anywhere from about 3% to about 17%. This is compared to a house edge of about 0.5% for regular blackjack! Given their high variance and low RTP, we strongly recommend avoiding using any side bets when playing blackjack.
The only exception to this is when using golden chips, but we'll always explain in our offer guide if using a side bet might be recommended.
If you use Google Chrome on your computer to complete offers, then I highly recommend downloading our Browser Extension tool.
This tool gives you one click access to the blackjack strategy at any time, plus a variety of other useful features.
Click the link below to find out more, and add this handy tool to your browser.