strategies in online blackjack: A detailed guide

Basic strategies in online blackjack: A detailed guide

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Blackjack, historically known as vingt-et-un or 21, is one of the most popular table games in Canada. While it offers excellent odds of winning (around 42.2%), knowing blackjack's basic strategy can improve your chances.

Below, we take a closer look at the basic gameplay rules and explore the top five strategies.

Blackjack strategy 101: The basic rules

As mentioned above, this is a straightforward game with a considerable following. Knowing the rules is a vital part of the blackjack strategy. In case you're new to the game or need a recap, these are the rules in a nutshell:

  • Objective: Beat the croupier (dealer) by gaining cards worth 21. The winner has the closest number to 21, without exceeding it.
  • Blackjack Card values: Aces equal 1 or 11, face cards have a worth of ten, and all other cards maintain their general value.
  • Betting: All players place bets before the croupier deals. The casino declares maximum and minimum wagers.
  • Gameplay: The croupier deals one card per round face up and then starts a second round. Only the dealer receives their second card face down. Here’s what can happen next:
    • If a player has a natural (a ten-card or face card and a one), but the croupier doesn't, they pay the player the value of their bet.
    • If the dealer and a player both have a natural, it becomes a stand-off. The player gets only their original bet back.
    • If the croupier has a natural, but none of the players do, the house gets all the players' bets.
    • If neither the players nor the house has a natural, gameplay continues with the player to the dealer's left.
    • Each player decides whether to hit (take another card) or stand (keep only the cards they have).
    • If a player achieves 21, or the closest number to 21, they win their bet. If they get over 21, it's a bust, and they lose their wager.
    • After serving all players, the dealer reveals their face-down card. If the two cards have a value under 16, they hit. If the cards equal more than 16, the croupier stands.
    • Gameplay continues until all players, or the dealer, win or bust.
  • Splitting pairs: If a player gets two cards of the same denomination, they can decide to treat each as a separate hand. Their original wager goes on the first hand, and they must place an equivalent bet on the second.
  • Doubling down: If a player's original cards total 9, 10, or 11, they can decide to double their bet. This practice is known as doubling down.

How to use a basic blackjack strategy chart

Online Blackjack Strategy

When looking at options, few things beat the efficiency of a blackjack chart strategy. It narrows down the possible options to those most likely to succeed.

The charts display what to do, based on your cards and the dealer's, known as upcards. Look for your card values in the leftmost column and the upcards in the top row. While different charts may be more or less complex, the croupier's cards are usually in the first row.

Blackjack strategy chart: Strong dealer hand

The following chart shows you the most popular blackjack basic strategy if the dealer has a strong hand:

  7 to Ace
4–8 Hit
9 Hit
10–11 Double up
12–16 Hit
17–21 Stand

This chart shows you when to split pairs if the croupier’s hand is strong:

  7 to Ace
2, 3, 6, 7, 9 Split
8 or Ace Split
4, 5, 10 Don’t split

Blackjack strategy chart: Weak dealer hand

Statistically, the croupier will likely go bust if they start the game with a number between 2 and 6. This chart shows your available moves if they start with a weak hand:

  2 to 6
4–8 Hit
9 Double up
10–11 Double up
12–16 Stand
17–21 Stand

This chart shows you when to split pairs if the croupier’s hand is weak:

  2 to 6
2, 3, 6, 7, 9 Don’t split
8 or Ace Split
4, 5, 10 Don’t split

The best blackjack strategies ranked by Mr Bet

Best Blackjack Strategy

Many strategies exist, but specific responses and techniques are almost always viable. Below, we take a look at five of our favourites.

1. Always stand on or split a pair of 10s

When you have a pair of 10s, there are very few scenarios in which you can successfully hit without going bust.

You could stand, which would leave you with a hand of 20. If you split the hand, you have excellent chances of hitting blackjack. You may also get two sets with a value near 21.

Many like to play it safe and prefer keeping the pair of 10s. It's nearly always a winning strategy since you're only one away from 21.

2. Hit on soft numbers over 12

The most common blackjack strategy is to stand on any soft number over 12. A soft number includes an Ace. Since an Ace has a value of either 1 or 11, you can safely hit on higher numbers. 

Even if you get a ten-card or face card when you hit on a soft 17, you can demote your Ace to a value of 1. Doing so means you still have a total of 17 rather than a bust with 27. The same is true for any soft number under 18.

3. Split pairs of 8s and pairs of Aces

While some players only split 8s and Aces under certain circumstances, it's always a worthwhile blackjack strategy. You're more likely to get a good set by splitting a pair of 8s into two hands than by keeping a hard 16.

In the case of Aces, splitting improves your opportunities. If you land a ten-card, face-card, or another high-valued card, you'll be near 21.

4. If the dealer has a 2 or a 3, hit on a hard 12

A hard 12 comes with a reasonably limited amount of options. You should hit if the croupier has a weak hand of 2 or 3.

The only card that can potentially derail this strategy is a ten-card which would make you bust. Any other card gets you closer to 21. 

5. Memorize the blackjack strategy charts

The blackjack chart strategy is probably the most efficient way of improving your odds. Whether a single or multi-deck game, there's a chart detailing the most efficient moves. For best results, consider memorizing them.

Which blackjack strategy do we recommend?

Above all other blackjack tactics, we recommend memorizing the charts. While many of the strategies listed above are helpful, they apply to particular instances.

You can handle any situation when you memorize the charts for single-deck and multiple-deck games.

Game types for practicing your strategy online

You have many options if you want to practice your blackjack strategy online. Let's take a look at the two primary online gaming types.

Live blackjack games

Live stream games are an excellent way to practice. You get all the thrill of the gaming tables without having to go anywhere.

The casino hosts a high-definition video stream that broadcasts the dealer to all the players in the game. The rules remain the same, but the presentation is different.

Online blackjack games

Online games are also a great way to practice your blackjack strategy. There are different types, including animated and computer-generated video games.

Each of these online options allows you to practice your strategy, whether streamed or animated.

Practice your blackjack strategy at Mr Bet

If you're looking for the ideal place to practice blackjack, we've got you covered. Mr Bet Casino offers a range of live and online games by top providers.

You can focus on blackjack's basic strategy by playing games like Single Deck Blackjack or Single Deck Blackjack: Elite Edition.

Once you're ready, you can move on to themed versions like:

  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack
  • European Blackjack
  • Blackjack Switch

What's lovely about the Mr Bet online blackjack games is that most come in demo and live versions. You can practice your strategies without playing with real money, then move to actual betting later on.

If you're ready to start, check out our registration page for a fantastic start-up bonus.

Private: Hans Schulze
Writer on Mr. Bet
1 Posts
Private: Hans Schulze
Hans Schulze has been involved in the online gambling news industry for more than ten years, having worked for such websites as Loyd enjoys writing about exciting advances in the gambling world!
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