# Blackjack strategy FAQ

**Browse page & FAQs**show

Welcome to our comprehensive “Blackjack Strategy FAQ” page. Here, we delve into the ins and outs of blackjack strategy, providing clear and concise answers to your most pressing questions.

Whether you’re a novice trying to understand the basics or a seasoned player looking to refine your approach, we’ve got you covered. From the intricacies of perfect strategy to the complexities of card counting, we explore it all.

We aim to equip you with the knowledge necessary to increase your odds and enhance your gaming experience. So, sit back, and let’s demystify the world of blackjack together.

## Ask questions about blackjack strategy

## All frequently asked questions about blackjack strategy

### What is a blackjack strategy?

A blackjack strategy is a set of guidelines and rules that a player follows to maximize their chances of winning. This casino strategy is based on the mathematical probabilities of different outcomes in the game. It dictates when to hit, stand, double down, or split pairs, depending on the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard.

### What is the best blackjack strategy?

The best blackjack strategy is known as Basic Strategy. It provides the optimal way to play every possible hand in the game, reducing the house edge to the smallest possible amount. This strategy is based on mathematical probability and provides the player with the best chance of winning over the long term.

### How to learn blackjack basic strategy?

Learning blackjack basic strategy involves studying the strategy chart, which outlines the optimal play for every possible combination of the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard. It’s also helpful to practice the strategy in low-stakes games or free online versions of blackjack before playing for real money.

### How to memorize blackjack basic strategy?

To memorize blackjack basic strategy, you can start by understanding the logic behind the decisions made in the strategy chart. Then, break down the chart into manageable sections and practice each section until you have it memorized. Repetition and practice, either through online games or physical cards, can also help reinforce the strategy in your memory.

### How to read basic strategy blackjack chart?

To read a basic strategy blackjack chart, you find your hand along the left vertical edge and the dealer’s upcard along the top. In the box where the row and column meet, the chart will tell you the statistically optimal play: H for hit, S for stand, D for double, and P for split.

### Why use blackjack basic strategy?

Using blackjack basic strategy helps to reduce the house edge and increase your chances of winning. It’s grounded in mathematical probability, which means it provides the best possible decision for every possible hand you could be dealt. While it doesn’t guarantee a win every time, it can significantly improve your odds over the long term.

### What is the house edge in blackjack with basic strategy?

The house edge in blackjack, when using basic strategy, typically falls between 0.5% to 1%. This percentage can vary slightly based on specific house rules and the number of decks used in the game. The basic strategy helps to minimize the house edge, but it’s essential to understand that it does not guarantee winning. It simply provides the best mathematical strategy for each possible hand against any dealer’s upcard.

### What are the odds of winning blackjack with perfect strategy?

The odds of winning in blackjack with a perfect strategy, also known as the basic strategy, are roughly 42% to 43%. However, this figure can vary slightly depending on the specific rules of the game and the number of decks in play. Remember, the perfect strategy doesn’t assure a win every time, but it increases your odds over numerous hands by telling you how to play each hand optimally.

### What does R mean on a blackjack strategy card?

The ‘R’ on a blackjack strategy card stands for ‘Surrender’. This option, if available, allows the player to forfeit half of their bet instead of playing the hand after the dealer checks for blackjack. It is often used when the player has a weak hand, and the dealer has a strong upcard, making the chance of winning the hand slim.

### What does DS mean on a blackjack strategy card?

On a blackjack strategy card, ‘DS’ stands for ‘Double if allowed, else Stand’. This means that the player should double their bet if the house rules allow it; if not, the player should simply stand. Doubling down is typically beneficial when the player has a strong hand, and the dealer has a weak upcard.

### Who invented the blackjack basic strategy?

The blackjack basic strategy was invented by a group of American mathematicians in the mid-1950s. The group was led by Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott, often referred to as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. They published a paper in 1956 called “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack”, which introduced the basic strategy for the game of blackjack.

### According to basic blackjack strategy, which two similar cards should you always split?

In the basic blackjack strategy, it’s recommended to always split Aces and Eights. Splitting Aces gives you a chance to hit two natural blackjacks, while splitting Eights can turn a tough total of 16 into a chance of getting two 18s.

### Which is the best counting strategy for blackjack?

The Hi-Lo card counting strategy is considered one of the best for blackjack. It’s a balanced system that’s relatively easy to learn and use. Each card is assigned a value of -1, 0, or +1 and the player keeps track of the running count, adjusting their bets and plays based on the count.

### Why are blackjack strategy cards allowed in casinos?

Blackjack strategy cards are allowed in casinos because, despite assisting players, they don’t guarantee a win. Even with a strategy card, the house still maintains a small edge. Casinos also believe that not all players will use them correctly or bother to use them at all, which contributes to their continued allowance.

### What is Shaq blackjack strategy?

Shaq blackjack strategy refers to a type of blackjack introduced by the basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. The game follows the standard rules of blackjack but has a unique side bet called “Shaq Jack.” However, as a strategy, it’s recommended to stick to the basic blackjack strategy, regardless of the game’s variant.

### Blackjack strategy: how much as a starting stake?

There’s no definitive answer to this, as it depends on your personal bankroll and risk tolerance. However, a common approach is to wager no more than 1% of your total bankroll on a single hand. This way, you can withstand potential losses and avoid depleting your bankroll too quickly.

### Where to get a blackjack basic strategy card?

Blackjack basic strategy cards can be found at many online and physical stores. Online outlets like Amazon have a variety of strategy cards. Additionally, they are often available at casino gift shops. You can also find printable versions online for free.

### What blackjack strategy wins the highest percentage of hands?

The basic blackjack strategy, when used correctly, wins the highest percentage of hands. This strategy, which uses statistical probabilities to determine the best action for each possible hand, can significantly reduce the house edge and increase your chances of winning.

### Where can I buy a blackjack strategy chart in Vegas?

Blackjack strategy charts can be purchased in various locations in Vegas. Many casino gift shops sell them, as well as bookstores that carry gambling-related materials. They are also available in some convenience stores on the Strip.

### What strategy did the MIT blackjack team use?

The MIT Blackjack Team used a combination of counting cards and team play strategies to gain an advantage in blackjack. The most notable technique was the Hi-Lo card counting system where each card is assigned a value and the count is adjusted based on the values of the cards played. Team play involved players signaling to each other to communicate the count and determine when the odds were in their favor.

### What is the blackjack strategy where you double your bet if you lose?

This is known as the Martingale betting system. It is a negative progression system where you double your bet after each loss. The idea is that when you eventually win, you will recover all previous losses plus gain a profit equal to the original bet. However, this strategy can be risky as it requires a large bankroll and there is a risk of hitting table limits.

### Why are blackjack basic strategy cards different?

Blackjack basic strategy cards may vary due to the different rules and conditions in different casinos or variations of blackjack. Factors like the number of decks in play, whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17, or if doubling after splitting is allowed, can all affect the optimal strategy, hence the variations in strategy cards.

### Where to buy blackjack basic strategy card Excalibur?

You can purchase a blackjack basic strategy card at the Excalibur gift shop in Las Vegas, or online. These cards provide a handy reference for the optimal decisions to make based on your hand and the dealer’s up card.

### What is a red 7 in blackjack strategy?

In the Red Seven Count strategy of blackjack, the red sevens are given a positive value. This is a form of card counting where red sevens are counted as +1, black sevens, 8s, and 9s as 0, and tens and aces as -1. When the count is positive, the player has the advantage, and when it’s negative, the house does.

### How long it takes to learn basic strategy blackjack?

The length of time it takes to learn the basic strategy in blackjack can vary from person to person. However, with regular practice, most people can gain a good understanding of it in a few weeks. Using a strategy chart can speed up the process.

### Standard blackjack strategy, what is always the correct play if you’re dealt an ace and an eight?

In standard blackjack strategy, if you’re dealt an ace and an eight, the correct play is always to stand. This is because the total can either be 9 or 19, and if you hit, you risk busting if you get anything other than an ace or a 2.

### How to practice basic strategy blackjack?

The best way to practice basic strategy blackjack is by playing the game. You can start with free online games or use a strategy chart while playing to understand the different decisions. Over time, as you become familiar with the strategy, you’ll be able to make decisions without referring to the chart.

### What is the blackjack strategy chart when dealer hits soft 17 & player counts cards?

The blackjack strategy chart for when the dealer hits a soft 17 and the player counts cards varies slightly from the basic strategy. The player should stand on 12 against a dealer 2, stand on 15 against a dealer 10, and double on 11 against an Ace if the dealer hits soft 17. Adjustments are also made based on the count, for instance, the player might stand on 16 against a dealer’s 10 if the count is positive.

### In blackjack should you deviate from basic strategy when the count is high?

Yes, in blackjack, you should deviate from the basic strategy when the count is high. This is known as a card counting strategy. When the count is high, there are more high cards (10s and Aces) remaining in the deck. This situation is beneficial for the player, as it increases the chances of getting a blackjack or making a strong hand, so the player should increase the bet size and make strategy adjustments.

### Blackjack strategy when to surrender?

The surrender strategy in blackjack should be used when your chances of winning are less than 25%. It’s typically recommended to surrender hard 16 against a dealer’s 9, 10 or Ace, and hard 15 against a dealer’s 10. However, remember that not all casinos allow the surrender option.

### How often does playing a perfect strategy game of blackjack win?

Playing a perfect basic strategy in blackjack reduces the house edge to less than 0.5%. However, even with perfect strategy, winning isn’t guaranteed in every hand. Over a large number of games, the player is expected to win about 42%-48% of hands, but the exact percentage depends on the specific rules of the game.

### What is the blackjack betting strategy where you never bust?

The “Never Bust” strategy in blackjack involves always standing on 12 or more, so you never risk busting by drawing a 10 or face card. While this strategy reduces the chance of busting, it also means passing up potential opportunities to improve your hand, and overall, it’s less effective than basic strategy.

### How to calculate blackjack basic strategy decisions?

Blackjack basic strategy decisions are calculated based on statistical probabilities. For each possible player hand and dealer upcard, the action (hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender) that results in the highest expected return is chosen. This requires considering all possible outcomes and their probabilities. Many people use strategy charts or computer programs to help calculate these decisions.

### What is the blackjack strategy for when ace is 1?

When the Ace is counted as 1, it’s typically because counting it as 11 would make the hand go over 21 and bust. In this scenario, treat the Ace as 1 and follow the basic strategy for hard totals. For example, if you have Ace-6 (treated as 7), you’d hit against any dealer upcard.

### When to use insurance in blackjack strategy?

In basic blackjack strategy, it’s generally recommended not to take insurance. This is because, statistically, the odds are against the dealer having a blackjack when their upcard is an Ace. However, if you’re counting cards and the count is high (indicating a higher proportion of 10-value cards remaining), taking insurance could be a profitable decision.

### How many blackjack strategy charts are there?

There isn’t a definitive number of blackjack strategy charts as they vary based on the specific rules and conditions of the game at hand. However, there are four primary charts: Hard Hand, Soft Hand, Pair Splitting, and Surrender. These charts are adjusted based on the number of decks used, dealer rules, whether surrendering is allowed, and other game-specific conditions.

### Which blackjack strategy card should I use?

The blackjack strategy card you should use depends on the specific rules of the game you are playing. There are strategy cards designed for different variations of blackjack, like single-deck or multi-deck games, as well as for different dealer rules. Ensure that the strategy card you use corresponds to the exact version of blackjack you’re playing for it to be effective.

### What was Thorp’s blackjack strategy?

Thorp’s blackjack strategy, detailed in his book “Beat the Dealer”, is based on card counting. He introduced the Ten-Count system, where players keep track of the number of tens and non-tens remaining in the deck. This gives an indication of when the odds are in the player’s favor, allowing them to adjust their bets accordingly.

### What is the 2 1 2 strategy in blackjack?

The 2 1 2 strategy in blackjack, also known as the Manhattan strategy, is a betting system. It starts with a two-unit bet. If this bet wins, the next bet is decreased by one unit, hence a one-unit bet. If that bet wins, the next bet is increased by one unit, leading to a two-unit bet. This pattern continues as long as the player is winning.

### How accurate should your basic strategy be when playing blackjack?

Your basic strategy when playing blackjack should be as accurate as possible. Deviations from the basic strategy can lead to an increase in the house edge. It’s crucial to remember that even the slightest mistake can significantly impact your overall performance and outcome in the game.

### How to plan my blackjack betting strategy?

When planning your blackjack betting strategy, consider the amount of money you’re willing to risk, the rules of the game, and your level of expertise. Start by mastering the basic strategy, then you might consider learning card counting or other advanced strategies. Remember to adjust your bets based on the count and your bankroll.

### With ideal strategy how much bankroll should I have for blackjack?

The amount of bankroll you should have for blackjack depends on several factors, such as your betting unit, the minimum bet at the table, and your risk tolerance. As a general rule, it’s recommended to have at least 50 times the minimum bet. However, if you’re planning to use strategies like card counting, you may need a larger bankroll.

### How many hands can you lose in a row in blackjack with basic strategy?

The number of hands you can lose in a row in blackjack with basic strategy is highly variable and dependent on luck. While it’s unlikely, theoretically, you could lose every hand in a session. On average, losing streaks in the game of blackjack tend to last around 3 to 4 hands, but longer losing streaks are not uncommon.

### Where can I buy blackjack basic strategy cards in bulk?

You can purchase blackjack basic strategy cards in bulk from various online platforms. These include Amazon, eBay, and specialty gaming stores. Often, these cards come in a pack of multiple copies, perfect for if you’re hosting a blackjack event or game night. Ensure to choose a card that matches the specific rules of your game for the most accurate advice.

### Blackjack strategy when the dealer stays on 16

When the dealer stays on 16, it is usually beneficial for you to stick (not take another card) on 12 or more if you have it. This is because the dealer has a higher chance of busting (going over 21) with 16. However, it’s essential to consider the specific rules of your game and use a strategy chart for guidance.

### When to use deviations from basic strategy in blackjack

Deviations from basic strategy in blackjack should be used when you’re card counting. Card counting helps you keep track of the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck, giving you better insight into when the odds are in your favor. When the count is high, meaning there are more high-value cards left in the deck, you can deviate from basic strategy to maximize your advantage.

### How much money can you make playing blackjack with basic strategy

The amount of money you can make playing blackjack with basic strategy depends on several factors, including your bet size, the number of hands you play per hour, the specific rules of the game, and your skill level. While basic strategy can help minimize the house edge, it does not guarantee consistent winnings.

### What is the strategy for a blackjack tournament?

In a blackjack tournament, the primary strategy revolves around adjusting your bets to outpace your opponents. Unlike regular blackjack games where you play against the dealer, in a tournament, you need to end up with more chips than your fellow players. This often involves betting aggressively when you’re behind and conservatively when you’re ahead. Additionally, it’s important to keep an eye on your opponents’ chips and their betting patterns. However, you should still adhere to basic blackjack strategy to maximize your chances of winning individual hands.

### Where can I learn the MIT blackjack strategy?

The MIT blackjack strategy was developed by a group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who used card counting to win significant amounts at casinos. The strategy is not officially documented in a single location, but the basic principles of card counting, which it heavily relies on, are widely available in various blackjack strategy books, online forums, blogs, and websites. Books like “Bringing Down the House” by Ben Mezrich offers an insight into the tale of the MIT Blackjack Team.

### Is blackjack basic strategy affected by how many players?

No, the number of players at a blackjack table does not affect the basic strategy. The basic strategy is determined by the player’s hand and the dealer’s up card and remains the same regardless of how many players are at the table. However, the number of players may impact the number of rounds you play and the speed at which the dealer goes through the deck, which can influence card counting strategies.

### Do you change blackjack basic strategy when counting cards?

Generally, basic blackjack strategy does not change when counting cards. Card counting is a method used to keep track of the ratio of high to low cards left in the deck, which can help predict the likelihood of getting a favorable hand. While counting cards can influence your betting and insurance decisions, the basic strategy, which is based on statistical probability, remains the same.

### How does blackjack strategy change when the table hits on soft 17?

If the dealer hits on a soft 17, it slightly alters the blackjack strategy. For instance, you would double down on 11 when the dealer’s up card is an Ace, and you would double down a soft 19 when the dealer’s up card is a 6. These changes are due to the increased probability of the dealer improving their hand when they hit on a soft 17. Therefore, it’s crucial to use a strategy chart that corresponds with the specific rules of the game you’re playing.

### What is the correct blackjack strategy when I am playing on a table where the 10’s are removed?

When playing on a table where all the 10’s are removed from the deck, also known as Spanish 21, the blackjack strategy changes significantly. Normally, a player’s strategy heavily relies on the possibility of the dealer or the player getting a 10 or a face card. However, when the 10’s are removed, it increases the house edge. As a result, you need to be more aggressive in doubling down and splitting pairs to maximize your potential winnings. Also, you should be more cautious about hitting on higher numbers since the chance of busting increases.

### What is the best blackjack card counting strategy?

The Hi-Lo strategy is considered the best and most commonly used card counting strategy in blackjack. It involves assigning a value to each card; +1 for 2-6, 0 for 7-9 and -1 for 10-Ace. The idea is to keep track of the running count by adding or subtracting as each card is dealt. If the count is high, it means there are more high-value cards left in the deck, which is advantageous to the player. Conversely, if the count is low, it means there are more low-value cards left, which is beneficial for the dealer.

### How much does knowing blackjack strategy increase your chances of winning?

Knowing blackjack strategy can significantly increase your chances of winning. While the exact percentage can vary based on the specific rules of the game you’re playing, a player using basic strategy can reduce the house edge to around 0.5%. This means that for every $100 you wager, you’ll lose an average of 50 cents over the long term. Without using basic strategy, the house edge can be 2% or more, meaning you’d lose an average of $2 or more per $100 wagered.

### In basic blackjack strategy, you are always supposed to split what?

In basic blackjack strategy, you are always supposed to split Aces and 8’s. Splitting Aces gives you the chance to hit two Blackjacks, while splitting 8’s is a good strategy because 16 (two 8’s) is considered the worst hand in blackjack. By splitting 8’s, you give yourself a chance to hit 18 with the next card, which is a much stronger hand.

### Blackjack basic strategy do I hit on 15 when dealer has 10 when I can’t surrender?

If you have a 15 and the dealer has a 10, and surrender is not an option, the basic blackjack strategy recommends that you hit. While it’s true that you risk busting (going over 21), it’s your best chance of winning the hand. If you stand, you’re hoping that the dealer will bust, but with a 10 showing, the dealer has a strong hand. Therefore, despite the risk, hitting is the better strategy.

### What percentage of blackjack players use basic strategy?

It’s difficult to give an exact percentage of blackjack players who utilize basic strategy because it varies widely. However, it’s estimated that less than half of the players use it consistently. Many players rely on their instincts or misconceptions about the game, while others may know the basic strategy but fail to apply it consistently, which undermines its effectiveness.

### How come I never win at blackjack even when I play perfect strategy?

Even when you play perfect strategy in blackjack, winning is not guaranteed. This is because blackjack is a game of probability, not certainty. The house always has a slight edge, and the randomness of the card shuffle can result in losing streaks even for the best players. In the long run, perfect strategy minimizes the house edge and improves your chances of winning, but it doesn’t eliminate the element of luck.

### Percent of winning blackjack when using perfect basic strategy?

Using perfect basic strategy in blackjack typically reduces the house edge to around 0.5%. This means that over the long run, you can expect to win about 49.5% of your hands. However, this percentage can vary slightly depending on specific house rules and the number of decks used. It’s important to remember that this is a statistical average over many hands and doesn’t guarantee results in a single session.

### How much strategy is involved in blackjack?

Blackjack involves a significant amount of strategy. While the basic rules are simple to understand, the decisions a player makes on when to hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender can greatly affect the outcome of the game. Learning and consistently applying the basic strategy can significantly reduce the house edge. Additionally, advanced techniques like card counting can further improve a player’s odds, but require considerable practice and skill.

### What is the nine-count blackjack strategy?

The nine-count blackjack strategy is a betting system that involves tracking the number of nines that have been dealt in the game. The idea is that the player increases their bet when fewer nines have been seen, on the expectation that more nines are due to come. However, this strategy is generally considered less effective than traditional card counting methods, as it doesn’t provide a significant advantage over the house.