Blackjack Strategies

At least once in their lifetime, everyone has come across this renowned game of luck that is commonly found in brick-and-mortar as well as online gambling establishments worldwide.

I'm thrilled to inform you that this captivating game originated in France during the 17th century under the moniker "Ventuno". It eventually embarked on a journey to America, where it was bestowed with its present-day designation.

To beat the dealer and win the stakes, the player must strive to achieve a score as close to twenty-one as possible.

In this section, I will guide you through the journey of becoming a Blackjack expert. I will share with you the insider secrets and tactics used by seasoned players, enabling you to have a thrilling experience at the casino while minimizing any potential setbacks.

All casino games are founded on numbers and probabilities, so while luck certainly plays a pivotal role in gambling, it doesn't imply that one cannot capitalize on the cards dealt to both the player and the dealer. It's important to remember that even though the outcomes are unpredictable, there is still room for strategy and making the most of favorable circumstances.

In statistical terms, certain strategies have proven to be more effective than others, providing users with a greater likelihood of achieving success in their pursuit of victory.

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Basic rules

Played with a shoe containing 2 or more decks of French cards, amounting to a total of 104 cards, blackjack is a game that I'd like to start by discussing its fundamentals. In this game, the value of an ace can be either 11 or 1 point, while face cards like jacks, kings, and queens are worth 10 points. As for the remaining cards, regardless of their suit, they hold their nominal value, where the score is determined through basic arithmetic calculations and remains unaffected by the suit.

To begin, you must place your bet as the first step. Once that has been completed, the dealer will proceed to distribute one face-up card to each player, starting from the left and moving across to the far right. The final card will be given to the dealer themselves, who represents the bank. Following the initial distribution, the dealer will then proceed to give each player another face-up card, excluding the bank. At this point, the player will have two cards in their possession and will have the option to either request an additional card or stay, depending on their strategic judgment. The objective of the game is to come as close as possible to a score of 21. If a player exceeds this number, they will lose the bet and the dealer will emerge victorious. Once all players have determined their respective scores, the dealer must adhere to the "bank rule," which dictates that they must draw a card that brings their score to 17 or lower. Should the dealer surpass 21, they will be deemed "busted."

To employ a fundamental approach, individuals must consistently take into account the four primary tactics.

  • HIT: Requesting a card
  • In a game of blackjack, after all players have received their cards, one of the choices is to either request a new card (Hit) or to stand (Stand). It is generally more favorable to stand when you have a score of 17 or more points, and to ask for a card when the total points of the cards in your hand are less than 8.
  • SPLIT: The act of dividing a bet when a player is dealt two cards of the same value. In such instances, the player can separate the two cards and place an equal bet on the second card, effectively playing with two pairs of cards. While players are allowed to draw additional cards for each hand, splitting two aces permits only one additional card. Although splitting may appear advantageous, it is not always the most favorable option. For instance, if a player has two 10s and the total combination is 20, it is generally better to stick with the current hand rather than risk ending up with a weaker hand through splitting. It is important to note that skilled players never split face cards.
  • Doubling the bet is an available choice when the player's initial two cards have a total value between 9 and 15. However, after doubling, the player can only draw one extra card, resulting in a total of three cards. This particular strategy is strongly advised when the player holds an Ace and a 2, 3, 4, or 5, or when the dealer's face-up card is a 4, 5, or 6.

In order to apply the most effective strategy, it is important to determine the category your hand falls into. There are two distinct types - Soft Hand and Hard Hand - which are differentiated by the presence or absence of an Ace. The first type, commonly referred to as 'soft', is characterized by the versatile nature of the Ace, as it can hold a value of either 11 or 1. Conversely, the second type does not include an Ace.

I already have the ability to discern between the opportune and beneficial moments to duplicate, simply based on this discrepancy.

Fundamental tactics for playing with a gentle touch.

It merely increases twofold in these instances.

  • If you hold a 2, 3, 4, or 5 and the dealer possesses a 4, 5, or 6.
  • If you possess the numbers 6 or 7 and the bank holds 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Hard hand basic strategy

In these instances, it merely undergoes a twofold increase.

  • If you possess the numbers 9, 10, and 11.
  • If you possess the number 9 while the dealer holds either 3, 4, 5, or 6.
  • If you possess a quantity of 10 while the dealer holds cards with a value of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9.

I can rely solely on the combination of my own cards because the only information I have available is the dealer's face-up card. Remember, it's crucial to make decisions based on our own hand and not get influenced by other players' moves.

  • If your hand has a total of 17 to 20 points, it is advisable to stay, no matter what card the dealer has.
  • If your score is between 13 and 16 points, choose to continue playing only if the dealer's cards fall within the range of 2 to 6; otherwise, request an additional card.
  • If you possess a score of 12, request an additional card if the dealer possesses a 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, or ace; remain firm if the dealer possesses a 4, 5, or 6.
  • If you possess an 11, always opt to double your bet, unless the dealer presents an ace.
  • If you possess a total of 10, it is advisable to increase your bet, unless the dealer holds a 9, a 10, or an ace.
  • If you possess a score of 9, make it a habit to request an additional card, yet amplify your wager when the dealer's hand comprises a 4, 5, or 6.
  • If your score falls between 5 and 8 points, it is advisable to consistently request an additional card.

When playing Blackjack, it is important to take into account two additional strategies: Insurance and Surrender.

One way to protect oneself from potential losses in blackjack is to opt for Insurance, which is equal to half of the original bet and can be used if the dealer's face-up card is an ace. For instance, if I were to bet 500, the Insurance would amount to 250. By placing this Insurance bet, I am essentially hedging my bet against the possibility of the dealer getting blackjack with their second card. If the dealer does get blackjack, I will lose my initial bet but receive double the amount of the Insurance, similar to a tie.

In fact, a seasoned gambler is well aware of the opportune moment to wave the white flag. In certain versions of the blackjack game, they have the option to concede, and indeed, they exercise this choice.

In such cases, surrendering is the optimal strategy to minimize long-term losses, especially when holding a hard 15 or hard 16 in blackjack and facing a dealer's strong card like a 9, 10, or ace.

  • You hold a 17-point hand while the dealer reveals an Ace as their face-up card.
  • You possess a challenging sixteen and the card held by the dealer is either a nine, a ten, or an Ace.
  • You possess a challenging 14/15 hand while the dealer holds a 10 or an ace.
  • You hold a Hard 12/13 while the dealer possesses an ace.
  • If you have a pair of eights and the dealer's face-up card is either a ten or an ace.

As a helpful assistant, I understand the importance of surrender as a strategic option in specific circumstances, which can prove advantageous rather than exacerbating one's predicament. It is crucial to recognize that surrender should not be dismissed as an imprudent choice, but rather embraced as a valuable opportunity provided by the casino to its players.

Any method is valid as long as it works, so to familiarize yourself with the basic strategy, I recommend practicing alone with a deck of French playing cards, the ones used in this game. Keep in mind that in both physical and virtual casinos, the game is played with two or more decks. Start by dealing cards to both yourself and the dealer, and analyze how you would handle the combination of cards you receive in order to beat the dealer's hand. Don't forget to follow the advice we have given you so far. If you find yourself short on time, you could create flashcards to memorize the best move to make in certain situations, or you could print a table to carry with you and study at your convenience. The key is to find a method that suits you and helps you improve your skills.

Remember to be cautious and not let rumors or other people's opinions sway your decisions. It's important to note that the amount of money you wager doesn't necessarily reflect the skill of the player. In fact, the more you bet, the higher the potential losses, which can greatly impact your bankroll. Therefore, it's crucial to find a strategy that aligns with your budget and personal preferences for an enjoyable experience.

When it comes to placing bets, it's crucial to avoid the temptation of increasing your wager when you're on a losing streak. This particular strategy has proven to be futile in the majority of cases and will only exacerbate your predicament.

Always adjust your bets based on your bankroll to maximize your winnings and minimize potential losses when starting out in blackjack. It's crucial to bet conservatively in the beginning and gradually increase your wager as you achieve victories. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the intricacies of this gambling game before taking any unnecessary risks. It's essential to be mindful of your bankroll at all times and make calculated adjustments to your betting strategy.

Advanced strategies

Paroli strategy

When you've grasped the fundamental approach, you can take it up a notch and experiment with more demanding tactics to inject some thrill into your gameplay.

I begin with small wagers and, as I achieve victories, gradually raise the stakes in accordance with the Paroli Strategy. This approach offers a notable advantage over the bank as it doesn't necessitate substantial investments while still presenting the opportunity to secure substantial winnings. The essence of the Paroli Strategy lies in the proportional increase of betting amounts based on the triumphs attained.

If you win, there are two options for your next move. One option is to bet the initial amount plus the amount you won on the next hand. The other option is to withdraw the winnings and start over. By following this strategy, you can maximize your gains.

If, unfortunately, you end up losing, you will need to wager your original amount (let's say, 1 euro). To illustrate, suppose you experience a sequence of three consecutive losses, then your fourth bet should be 5 euros (based on the previous scenario).

Systems employing a regressive approach

In the world of betting, there exists a strategy known as the Paroli Strategy. This particular strategy follows a positive progression approach, meaning that the amount of the bet increases when one is successful in their wagers and decreases when luck is not on their side. However, it is important to note that there are also strategies that operate in the complete opposite manner. These strategies involve increasing one's bets when faced with losses and decreasing them when victories are achieved.

Based on the premise that a winning hand will inevitably arise during the course of the game, these tactics are devised. Regrettably, one of the drawbacks associated with employing these methods is the high probability that the player's funds will be exhausted before fortune finally smiles upon them.

Martingale Strategy

The Martingale Strategy stands out as a highly effective and straightforward method. Its key feature lies in its approach of doubling the bet size after each loss until a victory is obtained. Its fame derives from its ability to yield positive outcomes.

I have come across two different approaches in implementing this strategy: the Reverse Martingale, which is essentially the Paroli Strategy, and the Grand Martingale, which takes the core idea of the Standard Martingale and enhances it by doubling the bet after a loss and adding the initial bet amount.

Using a strategy or system does not guarantee victory; instead, it simply enhances a player's likelihood of winning an additional sum. These days, betting techniques have advanced, resulting in the emergence of blended betting systems that incorporate elements from both positive and negative progressions. As a result, the shortcomings associated with each system are eliminated.

Side bets

Insurance is a type of lateral bet that is frequently offered at various tables. It falls under the category of optional wagers, meaning it is not always available during gameplay.

If you're not well-versed in card counting, it's important to note that this particular type of bet carries a higher house edge than the traditional version of the game. With these bets, you typically need to draw specific cards or wager on the likelihood of the house busting or a specific total score being achieved.

There are a variety of side bets to choose from, but one of the most well-known is the 21+3. This particular bet involves placing a wager on the combination of three cards. With several options at your disposal, you can explore different strategies and make your betting experience more exciting.

  • Three cards of the identical suit, which is commonly referred to as "color."
  • Scala: 3 cards with ascending values but belonging to different suits.
  • Three cards with identical values, yet each bearing a distinct suit.
  • Color scale: A set of three cards with ascending value, all of which share the same suit.
  • A flawless trio: 3 cards with matching suits and identical worth.

Card counting

Card counting is a highly beneficial technique for players, although it can be quite challenging to master due to the cognitive effort it demands.

During a game, a technique can be employed that takes into account the number of decks in use and the way cards are shuffled. It is worth noting that cards are only shuffled at the beginning of the game and not between hands. The key point here is the divider inside the shoe, which determines the number of cards dealt to the players participating in the game.

When there are more high cards in the deck, the player has an advantage. This detail increases the chances of the dealer busting, which is beneficial for the player. As a result, this strategy enables the player to identify the most favorable moment to place a higher bet, thereby reducing potential losses.


In recent times, there has been a surge in the utilization of a distinct system, known as the sequence-based system, which stands apart from its counterparts in numerous ways.

When playing the game, it is crucial to diligently observe and memorize the outcome of seven rounds. Paying close attention to these results is essential. Once you commence playing, it is imperative to adopt a contrasting strategy: refrain from betting if the initial round was victorious, and conversely, place a wager if it resulted in a loss.

When it comes to using a particular strategy in gambling, it's important to note that it's not always foolproof. While it may initially lead to a series of successful wins, there comes a point where it can become counterproductive. Therefore, it is crucial to be attentive and recognize the right time to increase one's bet, as well as knowing when it's best to walk away from the gaming table in order to prevent depleting their bankroll.

Player advantage

Understanding the benefits of your position as a player is valuable for gaining insight into when to strategically utilize your cards, taking into account the opportune moments that arise.

When it comes to cards, it's interesting to note that the lower ones (ranging from 6 downwards) tend to work in favor of the dealer. This gives them an advantage in obtaining strong hands and significantly lowers the chances for other players to hit a blackjack. Conversely, the higher cards have a preference for the player, enhancing the probability of the dealer going over 21.

To recap

  • Always separate 8s and Aces when playing blackjack: this strategy will yield greater gains over time.
  • If you have a total of 11 in blackjack with a hard hand, it's recommended to double down. However, it's important to note that this strategy is not applicable when playing with multiple decks. In such instances, it's advisable to request an additional card.
  • Stay away from insurance if the dealer is holding an Ace.
  • Avoid accepting the "even money" option at certain casinos.
  • Avoid playing games that have a 6:5 payout ratio as it benefits the casino financially and limits your potential winnings in comparison to your bets. Opt for games that have a 3:2 payout ratio instead.
  • If the dealer has a 7, it's advisable to stick with a pair of 9 since there's a high likelihood of them drawing a face card worth 10. Consequently, they could potentially reach a score of 17, but you, holding a pair of 9, have the opportunity to surpass them with a score of 18.
  • Steer clear of side wagers: although many tables may present them, these bets do not yield substantial returns over time for the player. Consequently, the decision to assume the risk lies entirely in your hands.

In conclusion

Before embarking on your journey at the blackjack table, it is crucial to determine the magnitude of your bankroll. This will enable you to efficiently handle your funds and ascertain the amount that you can comfortably wager (and potentially forfeit!). In doing so, you will safeguard yourself against any unforeseen and unwelcome predicaments.