Lower the house edge when playing blackjack with our in-depth strategy charts. Complete guide on how to use them so you can instantly improve next time you play.
Blackjack is one of the few casino games in which the player has a certain amount of control over the house edge (the casino's advantage).
When played with a mathematically-proven strategy, the the house edge is less than 1% for most variants of this classic game.
Compare that to American Roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker which are both over 5% and you start to see the benefits of playing online blackjack, instead of other classic table or cards games.
The benefits of using a blackjack strategy
Casino bosses love players who don't care for using any form of blackjack strategy other than their gut feeling. The reason for this is because in the long run, a player's personal instinct will be wrong more often than it's right.
It's reported that the house edge for blackjack varies from between 2% to 5% for players that simply go with the flow and at a major casino which is taking millions of Euros in bets over the course of a year, that is a huge difference to its profit margins.
Simply put, by playing blackjack without a strategy is equivalent to handing your money over to the casino for free.
One of the major attractions of the game of Blackjack is the battle between the player and the dealer and the decision making involved, which is why it makes sense to approach the game with a plan to win, or at least make it more difficult for the house to win.
When you tighten up your game and follow the strategy charts provided on this page, you'll end up winning more often and that's a feeling we all want to taste.
Basic blackjack strategy charts
There are a plethora of blackjack variants available at all of the best online casinos for Blackjack. Each game will have its own adjustments to the standard rulebook and the number of decks of cards being used, which can range from one up to eight.
To play using the optimum strategy, you need a specific chart for the exact version of the game you are playing. This will (over time) bring the house edge down to its lowest possible level.
While it's not easy to find reliable charts for every game, the next best option is to use a general, or standard, strategy chart that covers the majority of variations. The one we have for you on this page (see below) is based on tables using four to eight decks, but you can also use it as a guide for single deck blackjack, too.
The chart is easy to use and it is for the dealer standing on 17. Running along the top of the charts are the values for the dealer's "up card" and down the left are the possible player starting hands. Therefore, all you need to do is cross-check the two and it will tell you what the correct decision is.
The insurance bet
Many blackjack games offer insurance if the dealer's up card is an ace. The offer will be made to the player before the dealer checks his hole card to see if he has blackjack.
Usually, the cost of the insurance side bet is half the amount of your initial bet. For instance, if you bet 10€ on the hand, and insurance is offered, it will cost you another 5€.
It pays (at most casinos) 2 to 1 if the dealer does indeed have blackjack, which means you recoup your stake plus your 5€ is returned.
The question is: is this a sound bet to take?
When playing online, the answer is always, no. The house edge on this bet is approximately 7.40%, so you will really deplete your bankroll if you accept it on a regular basis.
Naturally, there will be times when you refuse and the dealer is holding blackjack, but more often than not, no insurance will win the day.
This basic guide will help improve your all-round game, but the house will still maintain a slight advantage. However, if it's less than 1%, this is hardly noticeable.
In addition to playing strategies, you can also implement one of several betting systems such as D'Alembert, Fibonacci or Martingale. Some of these can help your bankroll management which means you can play for longer with the same amount of money. But make sure you understand these strategies (and their limits) thoroughly, otherwise you could incur even very large money losses!Last update: 30-09-2019