Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games due to it's low house edge of around 1%. This means that for every £100 staked, a player can expect to lose £1 on average. Compare this to other popular casino games such as single-zero roulette, which has a house edge of 2.7% or Caribbean Stud Poker with a house edge of around 5% and it seems like a logical choice when hoping to walk away with a profit.

Despite the casino having an edge on Blackjack, as they do on every casino game, when you, the player, are playing with or to receive a bonus, it's possible the edge can be turned in your favour.

perfect blackjack strategy

Blackjack, like all other card games, is simply maths. Knowing when to hit, stand, split or double should depend on the probability of hitting the card you need to beat the dealer. The decision of how to play your hand depends on two variables:

1. What cards you are dealt

2. What card the dealer is showing

By knowing these variables, you are able to apply maths to determine the likelihood of either beating the dealer or busting. Because the laws of blackjack are based on maths, there is a perfect blackjack strategy which gives you the best chance of beating the dealer for every combination of cards.

By playing the perfect blackjack strategy, you are able to increase your EV and return maximum profits.

Some matched betting sites focus on casino strategies such as blackjack more than others. Profit Maximiser is one that contains a lot of useful strategies and information on profiting from casino bonus & offers.

blackjack chart

The blackjack chart below shows what you should do when dealt specific cards based on the card the dealer is showing. The advised action to take in each circumstance is based on maths and gives you the highest probability to win the hand. You won't win every hand by using perfect blackjack strategy but you will maximise your chances of winning.

H

Hit

S

Stand

D

Double if possible, Otherwise Hit

D/S

Double if possible, Otherwise Stand

SP

Split

YOUR

HAND

DEALERS VISABLE CARD

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

A

HARD HANDS

5-7

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

8

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

H

9

H

D

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

10

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

H

11

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

12

H

H

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

13

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

14

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

15

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

16

S

S

S

S

S

H

H

H

H

H

17

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

SOFT HANDS

A,2

H

H

H

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

A,3

H

H

H

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

A,4

H

H

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

A,5

H

H

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

A,6

H

D

D

D

D

H

H

H

H

H

A,7

S

D/S

D/S

D/S

D/S

S

S

H

H

H

A,8

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

A,9

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

PAIRS

2,2

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

H

H

H

H

3,3

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

H

H

H

H

4,4

H

H

H

SP

SP

H

H

H

H

H

5,5

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

H

H

6,6

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

H

H

H

H

H

7,7

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

H

H

H

H

8,8

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

9,9

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

S

SP

SP

S

S

10,10

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

S

A,A

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

SP

basic rules to follow

1. Never take insurance

Insurance can be a tempting bet, especially if you're holding a strong hand such as 20. However, taking insurance is mathematically a bad bet. Essentially, you are betting on the dealer to turn a 10 on their face-down card. Let's take a look at the maths:

Let's assume that you are playing blackjack with one deck which contains 52 cards and that you've been dealt two cards which neither of are 10's. This means that there are 16 cards with the value of 10 remaining in the deck (four 10's, four jacks, four queens and four kings). As you have been dealt two cards and the dealer is showing an Ace, there are 49 cards left unturned. 

If you were to place a £1 insurance bet you would receive back £3 if the dealer turned over a 10. If you were to play this bet 49 times, you'd win your insurance bet 16 times as there are 16 chances in 49 of hitting a 10 or face card and lose your insurance bet the other 33 times. Therefore, after playing the insurance bet 49 times, you'd win 16 x £3, returning £48 (£32 profit) and lose 33 x £1 (£33 loss).

This means that you'll lose £1 every 49 times you place an insurance bet which is roughly a house edge of 2%.

As mentioned earlier, players are more likely to be tempted to take an insurance bet if they have a strong hand such as 20 which would be the case if you were dealt two 10's or two Kings. However, taking an insurance bet when you have been dealt a 10 or face card significantly increases the house edge and makes it an even worse bet.

Let's say that you were dealt two Kings and the dealer is showing an Ace. There are 16 cards with the value of 10 in the deck but you are holding two of them. Therefore, there are 14 remaining unturned. If we play the insurance bet again 49 times, you would win 14 times and lose the remaining 35 times. This means that you would win £28 but lose £35 over those 49 hands when taking insurance, leaving you £7 down which is a house edge of over 14%!

This explains why taking an insurance bet is never a good option!

2. Never Play Side Bets (eg '21+3' or 'Perfect Pairs')

Many casinos offer side bets on blackjack with the most popular being '21+3' and 'Perfect Pairs'. These are additional bets you can make alongside your blackjack hand stake.

Players are attracted to blackjack side bets due to the potentially high payouts. For example, a suited 3-of-a-kind on a 21+3 side bet can pay 100/1. However, many players fail to do their research and often are unaware of the extremely high house edge the casinos have on these bets.

  • 21+3 Side Bet

When playing this side bet, you are betting on your first two dealt cards and the dealers up card, combining to make a winning hand. There are various winning combinations such as:

  • Suited Three of a kind
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Flush

If your two cards + the dealers up card combine to make one of the above hands, you will win. 

However, the odds of you hitting one of those combinations compared to the payout should you do so, make this a very bad bet. Payouts for each hand generally depend on the number of decks being used and the blackjack game provider. However, we have provided an example of the house edge in the table below.

21+3 house edge

Number of Decks

House Edge

3

7.76%

4

5.99%

5

4.89%

6

4.14%

7

3.60%

8

3.18%

  • Perfect Pairs

If you place a Perfect Pairs side bet, you will be paid out as a winner if your first two dealt cards make up one of the following combinations:

  • A perfect pair (same suit & same number)
  • Coloured pair (same number, same colour)
  • Mixed pair (same number, different colour)

Similar to the 21+3 side bet, Perfect Pairs has an extremely high house edge of between 5.8% - 6.8%. This means that you can expect to lose around £6.30 for every £100 staked on a Perfect Pairs side bet. Again, making it a very bad bet!

conclusion

As mentioned earlier, Blackjack is based around maths and by using maths, you are able to give yourself the best chance of winning. 

The perfect blackjack strategy can be found in the table above and it's a good idea to bookmark this page for reference when you are playing blackjack online. You'll find more casino strategies on some matched betting sites such as Betting Mastermind which contains various money-making strategies around betting.

It's can be sometimes tempting to hit another card or stand when the table says otherwise but by doing so, you are giving the casino more of an edge. Stick to the table to increase your EV and overall profits.

Do not play any side bets or take insurance as these will reduce your EV even more on every occasion.


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