The Best Blackjack Strategy: A Step by Step Guide

This guide is going to tell you everything about the best ways to play blackjack. Become a winning player - today!
The Best Blackjack Strategy: A Step by Step Guide

Blackjack is one of the easiest games you can find in a casino as all you have to do, is to use your two cards to beat the dealer.

To win a blackjack game, you can ‘Hit’ aka. ask for another card, or you can ‘Stand’ and hope that your initial two cards are good enough. You win if dealer’s cards go over 21, or their sum is lower than the total sum of yours.

Even if you’re a complete newbie at blackjack and you did not understand anything of what we just said, you have the chance to learn the game and get started within minutes.

However, don’t let the game's simplicity fool you. Blackjack is an easy game to play - but to win at blackjack, well - that’s a different story.

This guide is going to tell you everything about the best ways to play blackjack. It will teach you to minimise your losses and maximise your winnings. Read it from the top to the toe, take notes when you think you should - and get ready to surprise everyone with your new amazing blackjack skills.

Blackjack Myths

Due to its simplicity, there are lots of misconceptions about Blackjack. Before we move to the step by step guide about how to play (and win), let’s start with something as different as "how NOT to play Blackjack".

99% success at Blackjack

You will not win at Blackjack 100 percent of the times. You will not win 99 percent of the time and, believe us, if you think that you can find a system that is going to let you leave the blackjack table with a victory in your pocket after 90 percent of your games, you are definitely on the perfect road…to get flat broke.

What you can do, is to find some spots and use them to your advantage. Do it often, and you will be surprised by the money you will bring home. Do it wrong, and…well, you probably already know what happens, don’t you?

Blackjack isn’t always the same game

If you are new to the game, you may not know that blackjack has dozens of variants. Games differ on the number of decks used, forced dealer action on soft 16 and 17, and a few other aspects.

So, let’s get this straight. This guide applies best to European blackjack. You can play European blackjack at NetBet Casino and at Casino.com, so we advise you to start from there.

(Don’t) Listen to your gut.

You feel you will win. You feel this time the Jack is coming. You feel it’s now or never. Well - guess what? You have just lost your money.

Don’t listen to your feelings when you sit at the blackjack table - find a strategy, get a system and stick to it. True, it will take a while until you’ll master the right strategy, but that’s why you should always be sharp and ready to take notes as you play.

The Insurance

Regardless of what you think and what you feel (see above), you should never take the insurance. Yes, it may have worked fine for the guy who sits next to you - but you don’t know how much money he has already left on the table because of the insurance.

If there’s one truth about blackjack, this is that the insurance is always a bad bet. Don’t take it.

Step by step guide to playing your best blackjack

Now that have given you some easy points to keep in mind, let’s move to the blackjack table and let’s see how to increase your win-rate.

To play your best blackjack, you need to be confident, consistent and methodic. When you sit down, make sure that you feel good and (possibly) that you haven’t drunk even a tiny drop of alcohol, as you are going to need a very sharp mind to succeed.

How to play and win at online blackjack

To win at Blackjack, the first thing that you need to know, is how to deal with the most common scenarios that can happen in a hand of blackjack.

Based on the information you have (the dealer’s card and your own cards) you need to decide whether you should Hit, Stand, Double down or Split.

To help you, we’ve put together a handy cheat sheet with all the most common situations. Keep it by your side while you play - you will not be allowed to do so in a live casino but, hey, if you play from the comfort of your home…no one can tell you what to do, right?

Hard totals           
Dealer's card > 2345678910A
Player hand           
17–20 SSSSSSSSSS
16 SSSSSHHSUSUSU
15 SSSSSHHHSUH
13–14 SSSSSHHHHH
12 HHSSSHHHHH
11 DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhH
10 DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhHH
9 HDhDhDhDhHHHHH
5–8 HHHHHHHHHH
Soft totals           
Dealer's card > 2345678910A
A,8–A,9 SSSSSSSSSS
A,7 SDsDsDsDsSSHHH
A,6 HDhDhDhDhHHHHH
A,4–A,5 HHDhDhDhHHHHH
A,2–A,3 HHHDhDhHHHHH
Pairs           
Dealer's card > 2345678910A
A,A SPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP
10,10 SSSSSSSSSS
9,9 SPSPSPSPSPSSPSPSS
8,8 SPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSPSP
7,7 SPSPSPSPSPSPHHHH
6,6 SPSPSPSPSPHHHHH
5,5 DhDhDhDhDhDhDhDhHH
4,4 HHHSPSPHHHHH
2,2–3,3 SPSPSPSPSPSPHHHH

Key:
S = Stand
H = Hit
Dh = Double (if not allowed, then hit)
Ds = Double (if not allowed, then stand)
SP = Split
SU = Surrender (if not allowed, then hit)

Betting patterns

Betting the same amount every hand is a viable option - especially, if you are new to Blackjack and don’t want to confuse yourself too much. Yet, once you feel that you are starting to understand how deal with different hands, start to consider to head to step two.

What’s step two?

When you size your bet, consider the outcome of your previous hand. Changing your bet sizes allows you to get the most out of winning streaks as well as to minimize your losses during the losing ones.

Essentially, you can choose to be an aggressive player or a conservative one. Choose the style that best fits your approach (and your roll), and stick to it.

The conservative approach

This betting pattern is built to maximize your winnings. According to the conservative approach - every time you win a hand, you should raise your bet and play again.

The key to surviving to this approach and make sure you survive even to the longest losing streak, is to always play by your bankroll - and never bet money you can’t afford to lose.

The aggressive approach

If you think that the “conservative” approach looks rather hazardous, that’s because you don’t know the “aggressive” one. Essentially based on the Martingale system, the aggressive approach invites you to double the size of your bet…every time you lose.

Sure, here the risk to lose some significant amount of money is pretty high, but all you need to do to close with a nice profit, is to only win one hand. Nothing more than one hand.

Our advice, however, is to take the conservative approach and so to raise your bet only when you win, not when you lose.

Here’s another handy cheat sheet to help you with your bets. Use it together with the one above, and your winning odds will increase tenfold!

First Round:     
 BetOutcome TotalNext Bet
Hand 11W +1 
Another Round     
 BetOutcome TotalNext Bet
Hand 11L -11
Hand 21L -21
Hand 31W -12
Hand 42W +1Round finish.

So, here it is.

  1. Open one European blackjack table
  2. Make sure you have your hand chart next to you
  3. Choose on your bets depending on the outcome of the previous hand.

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