BlackJack Strategy

21 Winning Stretegy

In blackjack, you can’t influence or predict what the next card will be, but you can employ strategies that will determine how successful a player you are.

Blackjack basic strategy can be practiced and refined, and online casinos give you the opportunity to learn and use strategies in practice mode.

For example Grand Reef, Casino Mate, Spin Palace and Royal Vegas, all give you the opportunity once you’ve downloaded the casino software to practice the game on your demo/ practice account.

Read our 21 strategy article and start playing today!

Basic blackjack strategy

Some casinos have slight variations in their blackjack rules, but the following apply to most versions that you can play online.

Use this Blackjack strategy chart that we give here in the beginning with all your games, and in time you will know “by heart” what to do in every given situation.But especially in the beginning it is handy and  Smart to play purely by the strategies this chart gives. Even if you think that you should take the “change” and to gamble on the next card  Stick to this and you will play the best winning practice!

Doubling Down

When you’ve received your initial two cards, you can increase your bet by up to double, in return for receiving only one more card. There are clear situations when you should double down: When your two cards total 10 and the dealer is showing less than a 10You’re dealt A-4, A-5 or A-6 and the dealer is showing a 6 or lessYou’re dealt 5-5 when the dealer is showing less than a 10

Splitting

If you’re dealt two cards that are the same, you can split them and play each card as a separate hand. When this is an option, the split button will appear and by clicking this you are placing another bet, equal to your initial bet, on the ‘second’ hand. In some casinos, you can only split identical cards e.g., J-J, while in others you can split cards of the same value e.g., J-10. You should always split A-A and 8-8It’s good tactics to split 6-6, 7-7 and 9-9 when the dealer is showing 6 or less

Surrender

Surrender is a rule found in some online casinos, although you won’t find it offered everywhere, as it’s not especially familiar to Australian and New Zealand players. Surrender means that you ‘give up’ on a hand with half of your bet being returned, and is considered useful as a strategy only in very limited and clearly-defined circumstances. Only surrender when you’re dealt 16 and the dealer is showing 9, 10 or A If surrender isn’t played, in the above situations you should hit

Insurance

If the dealer is showing A, players can take out insurance against their having blackjack. This is an independent side bet that pays 2:1 and can be up to half the size of your initial bet. However, insurance rarely represents good value, as the limited size of the bet and potential win (at most, equal to your initial bet), is not offset by the low probability of the dealer getting blackjack. More often than not (probability dictates), you lose your insurance when the dealer doesn’t hit blackjack, and this lack of value is compounded by being able to lose your initial bet as well at the same time.

Card counting

Hit 21Card counting has a mystique but is largely misunderstood. In essence, card counting systems (and there are many out there) attempt to give players information about when the odds are (slightly) in their favour, given the cards that have already been dealt in a shoe. In the digital version of blackjack in our online casinos, card counting is impossible because the ‘cards’ dealt to you are produced by a random number generator (RNG) and are not limited by the size of the shoe. The ‘deck’ is shuffled continuously and the card you receive depends on the precise moment that you click to get your card, irrespective of cards dealt previously.

Our recommended casinos for playing blackjack online

Other blackjack strategies

Blackjack StrategyMimic the dealer: This means playing in the same way that the House plays e.g. no doubling, no splitting, etc. One of the best tips for new players however is not to adopt a mimic the dealer system, as mastering Basic Strategy is far more helpful than trying to play like the House.

Assume 10 in the hole: This is a frequent tip given to new players, but it shouldn’t be a part of your blackjack system. This tactic is based on the incorrect assertion that as there are more 10 cards than any other, the odds are that the dealer likely has a concealed 10. Analysis has shown that over time this approach is less successful than consistently using Basic Strategy.

Bankroll Management: Aside from understanding the rules of the game, having a system for managing your bankroll is crucial to enjoying blackjack. Successful bankroll management is about having a disciplined approach that includes:

  • Playing for the right size stakes
  • Knowing how long you should play for
  • Setting a win/loss limit

In determining the size of stake you should play for, a good rule is to opt for a bet size that allows you to make at least 20 wagers e.g. if you have a $200 bankroll, you shouldn’t play at a table with a minimum bet over $10. If you want to set a time limit for your sessions, it is useful to know that playing in an online casino in a single player game, you can expect to play, on average, about 150 hands an hour. House edge is generally calculated at 1% so, in a worst-case scenario, at $10 per hand, you need to factor in the potential of losing $150 per hour.

If you want to play for 2 hours, therefore, you shouldn’t start out with a bankroll of less than $300. In terms of setting a win/loss limit, if you manage to increase your bankroll by 30%-40% this is a good time to quit. Likewise, it’s considered wise to get out when you have lost 50%.

Ultimately the key to successful bankroll management is following the rules that you set for yourself – and not playing with money that you can’t afford to lose. But then again: This goes for every gambling game!