Blackjack Basic Strategy: Tips to Outsmart the Dealer

Master Blackjack basic strategy with our guide on bets, hit, stand, double down, and split. Boost your winnings and play like a pro today!
Blackjack basic strategy

Blackjack basic strategy is essential for anyone looking to improve their chances of winning at this popular casino game. By understanding the rules and guidelines of the game, you can make more informed decisions and minimize your losses. In this article, we’ll explore the various aspects of Blackjack basic strategy and how you can use them to your advantage.

Hit and Stand

The basic hit and stand approach is the first step to beating the dealer. When you Hit, you ask for another card, and when you Stand, you stick with the cards you have. Your decision depends on your hand and the dealer’s. If the dealer has an Ace or 10 value card, try for a hand with at least 17 or more. Hit when your hand is valued between 9 or less or 10 and 16 but stand on 17 or more.

Pair Splitting

Pair splitting is another strategy you can use when you have two cards of the same value. You can split the cards and form two new hands, potentially giving you another chance to beat the dealer. However, you need to do it with the right cards. Split two Aces and two Eights, but avoid splitting two Nines or Tens, two Fives, and two Fours.


Surrendering is also a strategy where you can surrender your hand and lose half of your original bet. You should only consider surrendering if your hand has less than a 50% chance of winning. If the odds are clearly against you, it is better to lose only half than all of your bet.

Double Down Bet

The Blackjack double down bet is a popular bet where you can increase the total value of your initial bet by up to 100%. However, in return, you must stand after you take one more card. Making a Blackjack double down bet is a confidence call in your hand.

There are three scenarios that make sense when considering this bet. In each of the following hands, you cannot go bust on your next card, and you are more likely to beat the dealer’s hand:

– You are dealt a hard nine (two cards that make up 9, not including an ace), and the dealer’s card is a six.
– You’re dealt a hard 10 or 11 and the dealer has lower. This means your chances of winning are currently more than the dealers, and it is a good time to double down.
– You’re dealt a soft 16, 17 or 18, and the dealer has a two to six card face up. This means it is an excellent time to double down as your ace has the option to be a 1 or 11.

Insurance Bet

Knowing when to use insurance is another important aspect of Blackjack basic strategy. Insurance in Blackjack is a side bet which you can use if the dealer’s up-facing card is an ace. Insurance acts as a safety net. The bet will only be available once in the game when the dealer’s up-facing card is an ace.

The odds of an insurance bet are 2/1, and the maximum bet you will be allowed is half of your main bet. Insurance gives you the chance to break even if the dealer has Blackjack, even if you lose your main bet. However, you need to be careful and time your insurance bet right. If the dealer’s hole card is not a 10, you will lose the insurance bet.

Card Counting

When it comes to card counting, it’s important to note that most, if not all, casinos ban this strategy. Whilst the act of card counting is not illegal, it can result in your winnings being forfeited or a complete ban from the casino. As a beginner, it is always best to stick to the table rules and avoid using card counting.


The odds of winning Blackjack with basic strategy are very effective. Going equipped into a game of Blackjack with a basic strategy gives you the best chances of beating the dealer. The more you play, the more developed your strategy will become, but starting off with the basics is most certainly the right way to do it. By using the Blackjack basic strategy, you will be able to combine everything we’ve taught you with everything you learn on your own to become a pro!