Since it was introduced to the public, blackjack has become one of the classic table games that various bettors enjoy. Due to its immense success, you can find various blackjack variants in both land-based and online casinos.
Although the game is known for its luck-based nature, blackjack is also a game where you must learn the basic rules to play well and win. You must also learn blackjack’s strategy and hand charts to make wise moves and outplay other players.
If you are new to blackjack and still learning the ropes for the game, this BC.GAME blackjack guide will help you learn how to use blackjack strategy charts to your advantage.
How to read blackjack strategy chart
In a blackjack game, the goal is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding the value of 21. Once both the player’s and dealer’s cards have been dealt, the game begins. The dealer does not make decisions, and all crucial moves and gameplay are solely up to the player. You also have the option to ‘hit’ for more cards or ‘stand’ to keep your hand as is.
If your hand isn’t good enough, you can keep hitting until it is or stop when you go over 21. If you go beyond 21, the dealer wins regardless of their hand. To reach a total of 17 or above, the dealer must continue to hit.
Although there are varying moves, specific scenarios, rules, and card decks in different blackjack variants, the decision is always up to you. Most experienced players use the blackjack basic strategy chart to help them make the best choice. Players will need to memorise and develop strategies based on what they learn from the chart to take full advantage of the strategy chart.
With the help of a blackjack strategy chart, you can make wiser decisions and increase your chances of winning the game. A blackjack strategy chart will recommend a course of action based on your hand, and the dealer’s up card.
To help you get started, here’s a blackjack strategy table of the game’s basic abbreviations:
|D||Double if allowed, otherwise hit|
|Ds||Double if allowed, otherwise stand|
|N||Don’t split the pair|
|Y||Split the pair|
|Y/N||Split only if ‘Ds’ is offered|
Blackjack basic strategy chart
Blackjack charts are also known as a blackjack decision matrix. They are multi-row and multi-column tables that have various blackjack terms. Depending on the type of blackjack game and its deck, a different online blackjack strategy chart is used.
Following the first deal of two cards and the dealer’s up-card exposure, the optimal course of action for the player is laid out in a chart. The player’s hands are on the leftmost, more compact row of the standard blackjack strategy chart.
Meanwhile, the dealers up cards are represented on the expansive rightmost row. Rows represent the player’s hand, and the dealer’s up cards are represented by columns in a blackjack chart.
- Rows → A basic blackjack hand chart has only one heading row, with the left side devoted to the player’s hand and the right side to the dealer’s up card. It’s followed by another 26 rows containing the succeeding digits and their corresponding actions.
- Columns → Under the player’s hand portion, you’ll find a single column with all the possible numbers and combination permutations. There are 10 columns to the right where the dealer shows their up card. The top one features the numbers 2 through 10 and the ace, while the ones below it have the corresponding acts marked in coloured text.
The colours on the strategy chart for online blackjack also have different meanings. Some bettors also refer to strategies from popular betting books and try these classics. Here are the colours and the actions that they represent:
- Green → hit
- Red → stand
- Blue → double down
- Yellow → pair split
- Orange → surrender
Perfect blackjack strategy chart
You first have to understand what every box means to increase the chance of winning and have the advantage over the house edge when using a blackjack strategy. You also need to learn how to distinguish the different sections in the chart. Usually, your card combinations will be displayed on one side, and the casino dealer’s cards will be displayed on the other side.
The rules of blackjack are fairly the same between land-based and online casinos. However, some subtle differences can affect what type of chart to use and the best blackjack strategy cards to maximise. As mentioned, blackjack variants, like other top casino table games, have different rules, decks, and gameplay. For each varying deck, a different blackjack betting strategy chart is used.
To use a blackjack strategy chart, it is important to consider how many decks a blackjack game has. To give you an idea, here are the different blackjack charts used depending on the number of decks a game has:
Single deck blackjack chart
A single deck blackjack chart features one deck but two sets of instructions. One for when the dealer must stand on a soft 17 and another for when the dealer is supposed to hit on a soft 17. Each set features three charts, one for hard, soft, and split hands. If you want to use this chart for a low house edge, it’s crucial to avoid card counting.
Double deck blackjack chart
In a double deck blackjack chart, the player’s hand is located along the left vertical edge of the chart, while the dealer’s up card is located along the top. This chart has double card decks, and the ace is represented by an A. A double deck blackjack chart also shows a list of the hands that can be split and those that cannot be split in ascending order.
Multi-deck blackjack chart
A multi-deck blackjack chart is used in a game with six decks. However, the multi-deck blackjack strategy can also be used with four to eight decks in blackjack games. You’ll notice that the charts seem much like those for a single deck, but this one is more versatile. In this chart, the first group of tables is for games where the dealer must stand on a soft 17, while the second group is for games where the dealer must hit on a soft 17.
How to play using a blackjack strategy chart
As you learn a blackjack strategy chart, you’ll discover that every hand, such as pairs, hard hand, and soft hand, are followed by a distinct action. The decisions you make can be based on the best blackjack strategy chart you’re using, but it’s crucial to understand first which action is best to use in a specific situation and when’s the best time to use them.
Learning the perfect blackjack strategy chart for you can be overwhelming at first, but reading a chart will be easier and faster to memorise as you play and practise more. To make it easier for you to learn how to play with a blackjack strategy chart, here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Split aces → The ace counts as eleven, which is a great kick-off for getting one more card.
- Always split eights → Eight is also a good starting point with which you can make winning combinations.
- Stand on hard 17 or higher → Your chances of busting are higher with a hand total of 17 or higher, so choosing to stand is a good idea.
- Never split tens → Unless the dealer gets a blackjack or 21, you gain a winning hand. That is why avoiding splitting tens is crucial.
Tips when using a simple blackjack strategy chart
For starters, you should learn to recognise when to split your hand. Remember to divide aces and 8s but never split 10s and 5s. Blackjack’s basic strategy emphasises how soft and hard hands are played.
Here are some tips for dealing with soft blackjack hands:
- The rule of thumb with a soft hand is always to take a stand on a soft 21 or 20.
- If you have an ace and an 8, you are up against the number 6 and should double down.
- A soft 18 consisting of an ace and a seven can be played as follows: double down against 2-6, stand against 7 and 8, and hit against 9, 10, and Ace.
- When your hand value is 17, you can double down against cards 3 through 6 or stand with a soft 17 with an ace and a 6.
- Hit with a hand of soft 16 (an ace and a five, or an ace and a four) or soft 15 (an ace and a four) and double down against cards 4 through 6.
- Hit with a hand of soft 14 or 13, which consists of an ace and a 3 or a 2, only when up against a hand value of 5 or 6.
For blackjack hard hands, here are some tips you can use:
- It’s best to fold at 16 versus a 9-Ace and at 15 against a 10.
- If you have a hard 17 or higher, you should stand.
- With a strong hand (13-16), you should stand against 2-6 and hit against 7-aces.
- Protect yourself against the 4-6 and strike with the 12 against the rest.
- Play a double on a hard 11 every time.
- Use a hard 10 to double against 2-9 and a hard 9 to double against 3-6.
- Never fold a hand of 8 or lower.
To hone your skills better when using a blackjack strategy chart, here are some popular blackjack variants you should play:
- Classic blackjack → This blackjack variation is the traditional version that many players are familiar with. In this game, players can choose between one and eight decks. Bettors can only win with a card value of 21 or the closest to it. When a player happens to get a total that’s more than 21, this is called a bust deal, and they lose their bet.
- Blackjack Switch → This blackjack variant is essentially the same game as classic blackjack but with two hands. Each player will get four cards they can swap to make a hand for themselves and the dealer.
- Double Attack Blackjack → Double Attack Blackjack, also known as Double blackjack, is played similarly to Spanish 21. The goal of the game is the same: Go as near to 21 as possible without going over. The most distinct change in this variant is that once the dealer sees his first two cards, players have the option to double their bet.
Read up on blackjack strategy charts and try betting at BC.GAME
When learning how to play blackjack, you can start with basic blackjack strategy charts that are easier to understand. With a basic blackjack strategy chart, memorising and learning the common terms and decisions used in the game will be easier. You can use more advanced and complex blackjack strategies as you play more blackjack variants and improve your gameplay and skill.
What are the best blackjack rules?
Two of the best blackjack rules are to double down on shard 11 and always split a pair of 8s.
Is the blackjack strategy chart effective?
Blackjack strategy charts are effective when aiding you to make better decisions and improve your skills. However, you should avoid solely basing your decisions and gameplay on the chart and learn to create strategies depending on the game’s circumstances.
What blackjack hands to split?
Having two of the same card value, such as an eight and a six, allows you to treat your hand as if it were two hands instead of one. If you have these values, you can split them. You can also split aces, tens, fours, and fives.
Are blackjack strategy cards allowed in casinos?
Yes, land-based and online casinos allow players to use blackjack strategy cards to help them play better and increase their chances of winning. However, to avoid looking too much at the chart and losing track of the game’s progress, it’s best to memorise the charts.