Blackjack Strategy for Beginners

Basic Blackjack Strategy Online

Blackjack is a fantastic and highly popular casino game. It is however, one where the rules seem simple but without strategy, you’re leaving it down to lady luck to win you any money. Blackjack strategies can get complicated and there is a lot of mathematics involved. Honestly, unless you’re a genius, it’s going to take a long time before you can call yourself a Blackjack expert but with this article you have everything you need to know to get started.

Blackjack Basic Strategy

The Blackjack basic strategy is rules that give you the best way to play each hand that could be dealt to you. Basic strategy was developed by computer simulators so after searching through the thousands or millions of hands that could possibly be dealt, it tells you what playing decision is best to choose in any given scenario. All this is available as a chart which makes it easier to memorise or you can keep one nearby to refer to when playing online.

Blackjack basic strategy not only helps you to win more money but when the inevitable happens and you lose a bet, it can help you to effectively use surrenders to lose less and is considered the introduction to card counting. If you want to take your beginner Blackjack knowledge and develop into the professional stage of card counting, you won’t be able to do that without first knowing basic strategy inside out.

We at betting.co.uk highly recommend that you have an in-depth understanding of Blackjack basic strategy before playing with real money at any casino or online.

Below we will take you through the things you need to memorise for Blackjack basic strategy. You can either put the information into a chart yourself and colour code it to whatever works best for you, or there are a vast number of charts available to find online which are free to download and use.

Surrenders

You are only able to surrender on the first two cards you are dealt. After you have taken a hit card, you will no longer be able to surrender so make sure this is one of the things you consider before you make your first move.

Memorise these surrenders

  • Surrender 16 if the dealer’s up card is between 9 and Ace
  • Surrender 15 if the dealer’s up card is a 10

Splits

If your first two cards are a pair or two face cards (King, Queen or Jack) which are all worth 10, you can split giving you two hands. To do this you need to place another bet equal to your original wager.

Memorise these splits

  • Always split Aces and 8’s
  • Never split 10’s and 5’s
  • Split 2’s, 3’s and 7’s if the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 7
  • Split 4’s if the dealer’s up card is a 5 or 6
  • Split 6’s if the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 6
  • Split 9’s if the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 9 unless it’s 7

Hard Total

If the first two cards dealt to you do not contain an ace or contain an ace that has to count as 1 rather than 11, it is known as a hard total

Memorise these hard totals

  • Hard 17 and above – always stand
  • Hard 13, 14, 15 or 16 – stand if the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 6 or hit if the dealer’s up card is between 7 and Ace.
  • Hard 12 – stand if the dealer’s up card is between 4 and 6 otherwise hit.
  • Hard 11 – always double down
  • Hard 10 – double if the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 9 or hit if the dealer’s up card is between 10 and Ace
  • Hard 9 – double if the dealer’s up card is between 3 and 6, if the dealer has anything else hit.
  • Hard 8 and below – always hit

Soft Total

If the first two cards dealt to you contain an ace counting as 11, it is known as a soft total. For example if you are dealt an Ace and a 7, it would be known as a soft 18.

Memorise these soft totals

  • Soft 20 (Ace & 9) and Soft 21 (Ace & 10) – always stand
  • Soft 19 (Ace & 8) – double if the dealer’s up card is a 6, otherwise stand
  • Soft 18 (Ace & 7) – double is the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 6, stand if the dealer’s up card is a 7 or 8, hit if the dealer’s up card is a 9, 10 or Ace. If the dealer’s up card is between 2 and 6 and you can’t double, stand.
  • Soft 17 (Ace & 6) – double if the dealer’s up card is between 3 and 6, otherwise hit
  • Soft 16 (Ace & 5) and Soft 15 (Ace & 4) – double if the dealer’s up card is between 4 and 6, otherwise hit
  • Soft 14 (Ace & 3) and Soft 13 (Ace & 2) – double if the dealer’s up card is a 5 or 6, otherwise hit.

Top 6 Tips for Blackjack beginners

  1. If you can help it, don’t sit at first base – sitting elsewhere gives you more time to decide on your move. We’d recommend sitting at third base
  2. Ignore other players – concentrate on yourself and your own game, it’s unlikely other players will give you advice during a game so there’s no reason to pay attention to them.
  3. Do not buy insurance  – Buying insurance is a side bet which is available to put down when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. To win this bet, you are betting that the dealer has a face card (King, Queen or Jack) making their hand amount to 21 (blackjack) so the odds of winning are pretty slim.
  4. Give yourself a daily budget – It’s incredibly easy to get carried away playing a game like Blackjack, so look after yourself by giving yourself a daily budget and be strict when sticking to it.
  5. Follow the rules – There are many Blackjack rules so familiarise yourself with them and stick to them.
  6. Play for without staking real funds – Many online sites allow the chance to play Blackjack without real money stakes, so no money is won but also, no money is lost. This is a great way to familiarise yourself with the game before staking real money.

What other betting/casino guides & strategies are available?

At betting.co.uk we have a vast selection of betting/casino guides and strategies. So now you’ve all you need to know on Blackjack strategy, check out Baccarat, Bingo and all our live casino guides!

Conclusion

Blackjack is a game everyone thinks they know. The common misconception being that the aim is to get as close to the total value of 21. The actual aim being to beat the dealer by either exceeding the dealer’s total without going bust or not going over 21 when the dealer does. If this is something you didn’t know, you need to check out our Blackjack rules for beginners guide.

Although it may take a while to become an expert, getting started with a Blackjack strategy for beginners is relatively straightforward. Spend some time learning the Blackjack basic strategy on websites that offer Blackjack games without the need to stake real money.

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