Blackjack Strategy

Last updated on : 05 Jan, 2024

Blackjack Strategy

If you are new to blackjack, the first question to crop up in your mind would be ‘what is blackjack?’ It is a card game which incorporates skill and chance, keeping you entertained throughout your gaming session.

Whether you play it online or in person, the objective is to win against the dealer by ensuring that the total value of your cards does not exceed 21.

Despite its simple rules, blackjack requires players to be highly strategic. Understanding the different in-game terminologies like hit, stand, double down, and split is important, and more important is when to execute them.

Counting cards is something that is common in this card game, but more in connection to advanced players than novices.

When you employ the right tactics, you can significantly tilt the odds of winning in your favor. Being strategic helps you in top decision-making, making the game more enjoyable for you.

On this page, we will dive into the details of blackjack stratgey, while discussing basic and advanced strategies, tips and tricks of blackjack, mistakes to avoid, and many more.

Basic Blackjack Strategies

When new to blackjack, it is important to start by knowing the basic strategies of this card game. The set of guidelines are set to improve a player’s decision-making process during a game. By incorporating these strategies in your gameplay, you can maximize your chances of winning.

They will teach you to assess the strength of your hand and accordingly arrive at decisions that are in your favor. As you implement strategies with situational accuracy, you will significantly decrease the house edge, thus improving your own odds of emerging as a victor.

In blackjack, there is a mathematical element involved, which allows you to decide on an approach based on your hand against the dealer’s upcard. In the long run, it will minimize your losses and substantially enhance your overall gaming experience.

Blackjack is a game where you want to progress constantly to make the game interesting. That said, basic strategies are not enough. They can help you win during your initial stages, but to consistently overcome the house edge, you must explore.

The basic blackjack strategy chart can be your stepping stone to achieving an upgraded level of gameplay, allowing you to come up with special moves to get the best out of your hand. The chart will teach you about -

  • Hard Totals
  • Soft Totals
  • Pairs

Let us briefly look at what these are.

Hard Totals

Hard totals refers to a hand where the Ace card is absent or its value is 1. The strategy chart will teach you when to hit, stand, double down, or surrender based on the type of hand you have

Soft Totals

Soft totals include a hand where the value of the Ace is 11. A hand like Ace, 2, 3 allows you to hit or double down as per the situation of the game. Conversely, you may want to stand if the hand is A, 8, 9


When you are stuck with pairs, whether you choose to split, hit, stand, or double down will depend on the dealer’s upcard. For instance, if you get 2s or 3s and the dealer’s upcard is between 2 and 7, it is best to split.

Alternatively, if your hand has 5s and the dealer has an upcard between 2 and 9, you can double down or hit

This chart can help understand the basic blackjack strategy. While they do not always guarantee wins, they can help you determine the probabilities and statistics to minimize the house edge.

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Depending on the blackjack variation being played, you may also be forced to adjust your strategies. It is important that you practice as much as possible to be able to adopt different strategies as per in-game situations.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Card counting in blackjack is a strategy used by players of advanced levels. It enables them to mentally assess the balance of high-value cards to low-value cards that are remaining in the dealer’s shoe.

Accordingly, they are able to predict the cards that have been dealt and anticipate favorable hands. Counting cards is not just about memorizing certain cards, but tracking them in order to make in-game decisions. It comes with practice and requires tremendous concentration and discretion.

You can follow the below steps as basic principles of card counting in blackjack -

High Cards vs. Low Cards

As a card counter, you must assign values to the cards in play. Usually, high cards are assigned negative values, whereas low cards are assigned positive values. As the cards are dealt, the count fluctuates, thus influencing the probability of certain results.

Running Count vs. True Count

Running count and true count in blackjack are concepts used by players to determine the remaining cards in the shoe or deck.

While the running count is a tally of cards during an ongoing game, true count is derived from running count, but is adjusted depending on the number of decks that are yet to be dealt.

You can increase the accuracy by using multiple decks, facilitating a more precise assessment of the remaining cards per deck.

Popular Card Counting Systems in Blackjack

Over time, a variety of card counting systems have emerged in blackjack, with each designed to give the players an advantage by keeping an eye on the high to low cards remaining in the deck. 

Despite these systems functioning in their own way, their objective is to help players accurately assess the deck’s composition.

Below listed are some of the most popular card counting systems -

Hi-Lo System: One of the most widely utilized card counting methods in blackjack is the Hi-Lo system. You must assign values to cards (+1, 0, -1) and maintain the count depending on the cards dealt. If you notice that the positive count is higher, the remaining deck will usually be more favorable

KO (Knockout) System: The KO system is similar to the Hi-Lo system, as it assigns values to cards. The cards 2s, 3s, 6s, and 7s carry +1 value and 10s and Aces are assigned -1

Hi-Opt System: Out of the three systems, the Hi-Opt system is the more complicated one, as it assigns different values to different cards, requiring a more intricate card counting strategy.

While like the other two systems it aims towards achieving accuracy, you are required to be more skilled and possess a higher level of concentration

Advanced Blackjack Strategies

Advanced blackjack strategies comprises advanced techniques that go beyond the basic strategies. It is aimed at giving you an advantage over the casino, and contains methods such as card counting, hole carding, and shuffle tracking, to name a few.

As someone with experience in blackjack, you can make informed decisions by adjusting your bets as well as predict possible outcomes.

You can also use progressive betting systems to adjust your wagering based on wins and losses suffered during a game. Below, we will provide basic insights into strategies like Martingale, Paroli, and Labouchere.

While they can help you manage your bankroll and capitalize on your winning streaks, they come with certain risks.


When you use the Martingale system for betting, you double your bet after suffering a loss in the hopes to recover previous losses and gain profit that matches your initial deposit amount.

The downside of this approach is the it requires massive bankroll and carries the risk of higher loss


Paroli has a more positive undertone to it, as it involves doubling your bet after incurring a win with the intention to improve on the winning streak. As opposed to Martingale system, it involves fewer risks because you target small profits


While following the Labouchere method for betting, you set a predetermined sequence of numbers that represent betting units. In the sequence, you bet on the total of its first and last numbers.

These numbers are discarded if your bet wins; conversely, if you lose the bet, you must increase the size of the bet by adding value of the amount lost to the end of the sequence

Advanced Gameplay Strategies in Blackjack

You can also opt for certain gameplay techniques that are far advanced than those used by new blackjack players. Some of these are highlighted below -

Hole carding: This technique requires you to keep a close watch on the dealer’s hole card or the face down card. You might come across instances where the dealer makes an error or gives away a sign. You can use this information to adjust your strategy, thus gaining an advantage to beat the casino

Shuffle tracking: Here, you pay attention to the dealer during the shuffling stages of the game, looking for a certain group of cards or clumps. Through experience, you can tell the placement of favorable cards, facilitating a more strategic betting process

Edge sorting: While using this technique, you identify small irregularities that could leave a huge impact in the game. When you successfully recognize these imperfections, it allows you to locate high value cards and manipulate the dealer during the game

Advanced strategies come with constant practice and require a great level of observation and skill. Accordingly, you can manipulate the vulnerabilities you locate during the course of the game, gaining an advantage against the house.

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It is, however, noteworthy that many casinos ban the use of such techniques due to the obvious disadvantage faced by them, with some even claiming them as being illegal.

Useful Blackjack Tips and Tricks

Becoming a seasoned blackjack player requires you to do more than just understand the basic rules of the card game. Certain tips and tricks can help you incorporate your knowledge of the game into your gameplay.

Here are some of the crucial elements that you should always consider -

Managing bankroll:

In blackjack, bankroll management is fundamental for successful allocation of funds towards bets. As a part of it, you must set aside a dedicated amount of your money in order to sustain through suffering losses and incurring wins.

When you bankroll your funds into smaller units, you have something to fall back on despite suffering consistent losses, ensuring that you do not exhaust your finances. Accordingly, you can sustain and be a part of long-term gambling experience

Controlling emotions:

Wins and losses are a part of blackjack, and it is important for you to be in control of your emotions. Making impulsive decisions that are driven by your emotions can prove fatal during a losing streak as well as a winning streak.

As you know emotions tend to cloud judgment, and lead a person to making poor decisions that can impact your gameplay in a negative manner. Instead be patient, disciplined, and level-heded

Choose the right table:

Believe it or not, but selecting the right table can sometimes be the decisive factor between you winning and losing. Make sure that you choose a table that has favorable betting limits.

It can make way for a healthy bankroll, allowing you more freedom to include different strategies in your gameplay. While at it, you must also notice table manners, as they can highly influence your decision-making at the table

An Insight into Online Blackjack Strategy

Thanks to technology and the Internet, playing online blackjack is possible for many gamblers around the world. It revolves around the traditional rules of the traditional card game, but is played in the digital realm, giving you the convenience of playing from anywhere and at any time. Even the strategies used are measured as per the casino you are playing with.

Despite sticking to the basic rules of blackjack, you can notice striking differences when you play the game online. Here is how online blackjack is different than the traditional card game -

  • The first and obvious difference is the absence of a physical dealer and cards. Their physical presence often impacts the flow of the game for players
  • Instead, the online platforms make use of Random Number Generators (RNGs), which eliminates the tedious waiting periods in between rounds as well as proving disadvantageous to players as they cannot read dealer’s cues
  • Also, the pace of the online blackjack games is much faster, forcing you to arrive at quick decisions as compared to the traditional version
  • You can also find many variations of blackjack online that are modified in order to suit the different playing styles of players

Tips to Improve Gameplay While Playing Blackjack Online

Since playing blackjack online is different as compared to playing the card game in person, the approach you take varies, too. Here are some tips that you can incorporate in your gameplay to ensure that advantage is on your side at all times -

Pick the right source:

Start by choosing a reputable platform to play blackjack. Make sure that you opt for a licensed website that follows fair gaming practices. While at it, you must also ensure that the transaction methods used by them are acceptable in your region, which will keep the conversion requirements at bay

Understand the rules:

Being new to a game can be nerve-wracking, and the same is applicable to blackjack as well. Reputed websites often carry a How to Play section, comprising the basic rules of blackjack and other related information.

If there are different variations available on the site, visit them and understand what makes them different. Accordingly, select a game that you are most comfortable playing

Choose free rooms:

Many online casinos make available free rooms, where you can try blackjack and compete against actual players without spending any money.

Since you will not be playing against a bot, you can understand how other players approach when faced with different in-game circumstances. You can later incorporate them in your game, building confidence to beat the most experienced opponents

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Managing bankroll:

Set aside a portion of your winnings to prevent exhausting your wallet. Managing your bankroll allows you to set limits for different gaming sessions, avoiding possible overspending

Cash in on the bonuses: 

Online casinos offer welcome bonuses as well as loyalty bonuses, which you must take advantage of. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions attached to them and utilize them wisely to extend gameplay without risking your existing funds

Navigating online sources for playing blackjack requires you to be wary of certain aspects. See to it that you are informed about the recent updates in the world of online gambling.

Furthermore, blackjack is a game that requires practice to be mastered. So, practice against different opponents by using the free rooms. Gradually, once you get a hang of the game’s online version, confidence will come naturally.

How to Win at the Blackjack Card Game?

Understanding the basics of blackjack is the road towards winning at it, and then comes incorporating different strategies and tips. It is also important to remember that only practice can make your game perfect.

That said, here are some steps that can help you to win the blackjack card game -

Focus is key:

Focus on how you want to approach the game depending on the strength of your card. You must also remember that you can experience wins and losses in blackjack, and being in control of your emotions is important. When you are focused, you do not let wins and losses affect your decision-making

Abstain from insurance bets:

If you are in for a long haul, getting sucked towards the charm of insurance bets is not advisable. While they can be advantageous in short bursts, it is best advised that you stick to the basic approach

Card counting:

If you are someone who has been playing blackjack for a while now, learning how to count cards can help alter your approach. It can significantly tip the odds in your favor, and it can be achieved through practice and good understanding of the game

Pick the right table: 

Make sure that you analyze the offerings from different blackjack tables. This will help you to shortlist ones that offer betting limits that are in sync with your bankroll management goals. You must also assess the table dynamics and dealer behavior, as they can influence your game in one way or another

Know when to quit: 

It is vital to set limits on your wins and losses and stick to them. Having a predefined spending goal will tell you when to step away. Knowing when to quit is one of the main strategies of successful blackjack players around the world

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Blackjack Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding the most common mistakes in blackjack can substantially improve your approach and overall experience. Here are some of the blunders that you should steer clear of, regardless of whether you are a newbie or a seasoned player -

Overlooking the basics: 

One of the big errors that you can commit in blackjack is overlooking the basics of the game. The basic charts and strategies are easily accessible online. Analyzing them can help you to outline the types of plays that you can come up with based on the hand you have. 

If you ignore the basics, you are basically giving the house an edge over you

Do not chase losses: 

Recouping losses highlights your current struggles, something that the casino can manipulate. Ensure that before sitting at a table, you set certain limits to your spendings and do not exceed when the time comes. Chasing losses can lead to massive losses that you cannot afford

Not practicing: 

Casinos make free rooms available for players, so it only makes sense to take advantage of this opportunity. Visit free rooms and practice as much as you can, as it will help you to not only find a way out of a sticky situation, but also devise strategies to put the dealer in a tough spot

Ignoring table dynamics:

Look for patterns and the dealer’s behavior. Even other players might give out a vibe that may be out of the ordinary, allowing you the chance to exploit them to land results in your favor. Monitor how the game is progressing and adapt to the changing circumstances accordingly

Forgetting that blackjack involves chance: 

Blackjack involves luck and not all the strategies that you incorporate in your gameplay will bring you desired outcomes. It is important that you enjoy the experience without solely focusing on winning every hand


Blackjack is a game where success is as much reliant on luck as it is on strategy and skill. Practice is one of the keys towards achieving success in this card game, as it allows you to refine your existing gameplay while letting you enjoy the experience.

Irrespective of whether you are a new player or an experienced one, embracing the challenge will let you understand that success does not come overnight.

You need to grow with every game that you play by assessing what other players at the table are doing. Invest time and effort in understanding the nuances of the game to be able to make calculated moves as per the demand of the situation.

Do not let setbacks overwhelm you and most importantly, do not let success get into your head. If you follow bankroll management, stick to the limits.

Knowing when to take a step back will give you a steady bankroll and you can extend your session with a particular casino. So, arm yourself with different strategies, starting with the basics, and enjoy the journey that blackjack takes you on!

Head onto Spartan Poker now and play poker online in India!

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