Blackjack is a very simple casino game to learn to play, but you can increase your chances of getting a win by making use of some very useful blackjack strategies. Below we are going to take a look at some different blackjack strategies that can improve your odds of winning when you are playing this very popular table game. However, please always bear in mind that we can never guarantee that you win, and you can still end up losing even if you do use these strategies.
- Hard 11
- Aces and Eights
- Fives or Tens
- Hard 12
- Soft 18
- Dealer Has Nine
- Six and Five
- Insurance Bet
- Eight Versus Fix
- Hard 16
Always Double Down with a Hard 11
You will always stand a better chance of winning when you double down with a hard 11 against the dealer's upcard versus hitting, with one exception. If you happen to be playing a multi-deck blackjack online game where the rules state that the dealer has to stand on a soft 17, you are better off hitting against the dealer's Ace instead of doubling down.
Always Split of Pair of Aces and Eights
You should always opt to split a pair of Aces and eights regardless of what the dealer has as an upcard. Unfortunately, there are many blackjack players who will not split a pair of eights when the dealer has a nine, ten, or Ace as their upcard. They feel that since they are huge underdogs in such a situation, why risk more money by splitting? However, what they fail to understand is that you will be less of an underdog if you are playing two hands, each starting with an eight.
You will be less of an underdog if you are playing two hands, each starting with an eight.
The bottom line is that always splitting eights and Aces is your best because in the case of the latter, it will result in significant gains for you, and for the latter, it will, based on the upcard that the dealer has, allow you to lose less money or win more money.
n.b. If you happen to be playing a multi-deck blackjack game where the surrender option is allowed and the dealer has to hit with a soft 17, then your best option is to just surrender your pair of eights, instead of splitting.
Do Not Split a Pair of Fives or Tens
A pair of fives is a hard 10 and it will always be better for you to take one card or more than splitting your hand and playing with two hands that start with a five. Even though splitting a pair of tens will often lead to a win, keeping them and having a 20 is a greater winning ploy in all circumstances.
Hit a Hard 12 Versus a Dealer's Two or Three Upcard
In this situation most blackjack players chicken out and stand with their 12 because they do not want to go bust. However, the bottom line here is that versus a dealer's two or three upcard, you will lose cash in the long run whether you hit or stand. However, you stand to lose less money by hitting, which is why it is a better strategy in such a situation.
Hit a Soft 18 if the Dealer Has a Nine, Ten or Ace Upcard
Blackjack player mistakenly think that a hand of 18 is a sure which, which is the reason why they stand if they have a soft 18, especially if the dealer has an upcard of nine, ten, or Ace. However, when you have a soft 18 against the dealer's nine, ten or Ace, you are the underdog whether you hit or stand. However, you become less of an underdog if you hit because if you land a small card, such as Ace, two or three, you will have a pat hand that is higher than 18, which increases your chances of winning. If, on the other hand, you draw one of the four cards valued at ten, you will do no harm to your hand.
The bottom line is to always hit if you have an A-7 (soft 18) when the dealer's upcard is nine, ten, or Ace and aim for a soft 19 to 21 or a hard 17 to 21. There is one exception to this, and this is if you are playing a single-deck blackjack game with the rule where the dealer has to stand on a soft 17 - in this case, it is best to stand on an A-7 if the dealer has an Ace as their upcard.
Double Down on Ten When the Dealer Has an Upcard of Nine or Less
You will always be the favourite when you have a two-card ten and the dealer has 9 or less for their upcard, which is the reason why doubling down in this scenario is the best strategy. It is a very simple rule for you to remember - always double down with ten when the dealer has an upcard with a value of nine or less.
Never Play a Six to Five Blackjack Game
Historically, blackjack hands have always been paid out at 3:2 odds. For instance, if you bet $10 and you land a blackjack, you will earn $15 worth of winnings. Nowadays, some casinos pay out 6:5 odds for a blackjack, meaning that a $10 wager would see you win a profit of $12. The house edge in a 6:5 single-deck game increases by 1.45%, while if odds of 6:5 are offered in double-deck or multi-deck blackjack, the house edge jumps to 2%. Thus, it is best for you to play blackjack games that have a 3:2 payout for blackjack.
Never Place an Insurance Bet
The insurance option is a bet for suckers, which is the reason why it is in your best interest not to make an insurance bet when the dealer has an Ace as their upcard. Yes, even if you have a good hand such as 19 or 20, do not make an insurance bet. The reason we are telling you this is that the payoff for insurance, which is 2:1, is less than the dealer's odds of having a blackjack.
With a Single-Deck, Double Down on Eight Versus the Dealer's Upcard of Five or Six
In double-deck and multi-deck blackjack, you should never double down with a two-card value of eight, but when there is only a single-deck in action, the odds of making a blackjack shift to make the double down option the superior strategy to hitting.
Stand with a Hard 16 Against the Dealer's Ten Upcard If You Have a Multi-card 16
The basic blackjack strategy, which we are sure you have already taken a look at, takes into consideration only your hand's total and the upcard the dealer has. When you have a hard 16 and the dealer has a ten, the strategy tells you to hit. Although this is a correct strategy, you can increase your playing accuracy by considering whether your 16 happens to be a multi-card one. If it is, then your best bet is to stand against the dealer's ten upcard.