How to Win at Blackjack? Basic Strategy

Winning at blackjack doesn’t mean waiting for a pocket Ace and Ten/Royals. This is the most valuable combination for sure, but there are other things that can help you win more frequently. Blackjack is one of few casino games with the elements of skill, and that can make a significant difference in results.

How to Win at Blackjack Using Basic Strategy?

Professional players do not rely on their intuition. They know and trust the basic strategy. This trust comes from knowing that this is a mathematically justified set of rules ensuring the optimal results in the long run. Whatever hand you and a dealer might have, the strategy will tell you how to respond. You just need to learn this collection of rules and strictly follow it.

How Can Basic Strategy Help You Win at Blackjack?

The effect from implementing the strategy can be felt in the long run. You can’t make a few bets and draw conclusions from that. Inexperienced players do this mistake of jumping to conclusions. Depending on their results, they tend to over or underestimate the influence of the basic strategy. But you shouldn’t have any illusions about it. What it really does is minimize the house edge to less than 1% in the long run. That’s it.

How to Use Basic Strategy Table

Basic strategy is quite simple and you can find variety of tables that are very easy to use. All you need to do is print a table out and keep it whenever you play blackjack. Below is one of the tables and instructions on how to use it.

how to win at blackjack

  • Grey area at the top shows the dealer’s cards. Left side grey area shows what cards are dealt to a player. H and S stand for Hard and Soft. Hard means the number of points can’t change and soft hand means the number of points can change because of Ace, which gives 1 or 11 points.
  • Red cells signal that a player needs to Stand and green cells tell it’s time to Hit. For instance, if a dealer has 2 and you have H 14, you should stand. But when a dealer has 7 and you have H 16, you should hit.
  • Blue colored cells is a signal to Double, yellow ones – Split.

All the possible situations are covered by these basic strategy table, regardless of what you or a dealer have. By using this table you maximize theoretical return to player that means more winnings.

How to Win at Blackjack? Favorable Rules

To win more is to make fewer mistakes. That’s why you need to factor other things as well. And the first thing to remember is that blackjack rules can vary. It might seem insignificant, but even the slightest change in rules can make a big difference.

One of the differences to look for is a natural blackjack payout. The best, and at the same time the most popular option, is 3 to 2. Less lucrative for players is 6 to 5 option. The difference is quite significant, since 3 to 2 translates into 1.5 coefficient, while 6 to 5 into 1.2.

  • There are some other rules that can make your play more successful. For example, to win more frequently, you should pick the type of blackjack that has a rule saying that dealer stands on any 17. This rule won’t let dealer hit even in case of soft 17 regardless of player’s cards.
  • Doubling after a split should be allowed. If this isn’t the case, then it’s impossible to properly implement the basic strategy. After a split player should be able to follow the same strategy rules.
  • It’s also good to have Surrender option. By default it isn’t available, and players should look for a special type of the game, called Blackjack Surrender.

Blackjack players can sometimes feel that unlucky streak should be followed by a streak of good luck. It’s nothing more but a belief that has no solid support. Chances of winning/losing won’t change in response to the results of previous rounds. That’s true for online blackjack that shuffles cards continuously. Players that do believe that good and bad rounds are correlated can end up chasing losses by risking more and more money.

Practicing Blackjack in Demo Mode

Online casinos offer one great opportunity, which is demo mode. New players would benefit from it a lot by practicing and mastering the basic strategy. Online blackjack can also be a good option for those who make their first steps in real money blackjack. Gambling sites usually set quite low minimum bet requirements compared to brick and mortar casinos, so that you can test your skills without risking too much money.

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