Blackjack Strategies

Odds and variations of basic strategy

Blackjack is an incredibly popular table game based on odds and mathematics. You might already know this, but did you know that you by using basic strategy could reduce the house edge to as little as 0.2-0.5%? Many of us would like to believe that we make the right decisions when we decide to take that extra card, choose to split or ask to stay, when we in fact are taking decisions that in the long run are costing us money.

Basic strategy is simply an optimal way of playing blackjack, which involves making the mathematically correct decisions of surrender, pair splitting, doubling down, hitting and standing, as well as insurance and even money. Do you believe that you’re able to play blackjack flawlessly? Well, let’s see about that! Join us as we’re showing exactly how blackjack is mastered!

Blackjack odds

The basis of becoming a master in blackjack lies in the understanding of what the odds are and how the house is making an edge of these. If you for instance learn the probability of busting when hitting a card, you will be able to make better decision that will drastically lower the house’s edge. In this section we will be teaching you the basics of basic strategy and what the odds are on certain scenarios, which will give you a good base to stand on as we’re digging deeper into the various strategies.

Surrender strategy

Have you ever used the option surrender or are you playing every hand that is being dealt to you? By using surrender it’s possible to give up a hand and receive half the stake back. Now why on earth would we want that? Sometimes we’re simply being dealt cards that compared to the dealer has less than a 25% chance of winning. Surrendering such a hand will actually save us money in the long run. In this section we will teach you when and when you shouldn’t use this option.

Pair Splitting strategy

Splitting a pair is a feature that should lower the house’s edge, but as players rarely know when they should and when they shouldn’t split a pair, the house has actually been benefiting from this. Do you ever split a pair of 10’s? Then you’re making the casino really happy, because this is costing you money in the long run, but fear not! In this section you will learn all about when you should and shouldn’t split a pair.

Doubling Down strategy

Doubling Down is a feature that let us double our stake at the cost of only being able to hit one more card. This alternative is not only good to use when we start with a really good hand, but can also be to our advantage when the dealer has bad hand and a high probability of exceeding 21. There’s a profit of 1.4% to be made if you’re using this feature correctly, which we in this section will teach you how to do.

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Hit & Stand strategy

As it’s not always possible to surrender or double down the hand, the big question is if we should hit another card or if we’re better off standing. In the heat of the game the decisions might look simple, but that is rarely the case. Sometimes we’re wrongly hitting at 16, while we’re at other times wrongly standing on the same sum. It’s not easy knowing what the right decision is, but after having read this section you’ll never have to do the same mistakes again.

Insurance strategy

Insurance is a side bet that makes it possible for us to place an extra bet of half our stake when the dealer is showing an ace. This is to insure ourselves against a possible blackjack. Should the dealer get 21, we will then receive triple the amount of this extra side bet, hence end up breaking even on the hand. Does this sound like a good deal? That’s exactly what the casinos would like us to believe. Insurance is never a good option and in the following section we will thoroughly explain why.

Even Money strategy

When lady luck is on our side and have been dealing us 21, it happens that the house will show an ace, which means that there’s a risk of the dealer also getting 21. In such a case we would only get our stake back, thus missing out on any profits. The house is therefore offering us “even money“, which means that we get double the stake and the hand ends. This might be tempting to take, but this is just a variant of insurance that in the long run lowers our profits by 4%. Read more about this in the following section where we’re explaining the maths behind it.