Blackjack is arguably the world’s most famous casino game. It’s played by millions of players across the world and is deeply entrenched in our culture and popular media.

One of the main reasons why the game has been so successful is due to its easy-to-understand rules. Just about anyone can learn blackjack, and the rules are simple enough that they can be picked up in a matter of minutes. However, some players choose to dive deeper into blackjack and have developed strategies and techniques to help maximise their chances. We’ve written a guide to help you understand blackjack strategy charts. Check it out below.

The Rules of Blackjack

Before you can think about using blackjack strategy charts and special tactics to boost your chances, first you need to have a solid understanding of the rules and how the game is played.

The basic premise of blackjack is incredibly simple; your hand must get as close as possible to or reach a total of 21. Going over 21 is called going bust, which means you lose that hand.

Blackjack is played with between 2 and 7 players, including the dealer. At the beginning of a round, players place bets and all players and the dealer are dealt one face-up card each. Each player is then dealt another face-up card, while the dealer is dealt a face-down card.

Next, players are asked whether they want to stand or hit. Stand means they are happy with their hand, while hit means they want to take another card. Players can hit as many times as they want until they reach or exceed a total of 21.

After each player has decided whether they want to hit or stand, the dealer turns over their face-down card. If the total of the dealer’s hand is less than 16, they must hit until the total exceeds 17.

At the end of the round, whoever has a hand with a total closest to or of 21 wins.

Humans love simplicity, which is certainly a reason why blackjack has remained so popular for so many years. However, some players take blackjack very seriously indeed and have developed particular strategies and tactics to increase their chance of success. Let’s find out more.

Blackjack Strategy Charts

When you first look at a top blackjack basic strategy chart, you’re more than likely going to feel confused. They look complicated and intimidating, more like the periodic table than a guide to help you win at the casino.

However, blackjack strategy charts are actually easier to understand than they first appear. By sitting down and learning what each section is for and what the abbreviations mean, you’ll be reading blackjack strategy charts in no time and using them to perfect your game.

Blackjack strategy charts list the possible combinations you may see of your hand and the dealer’s face-up card. Depending on what these cards are, the chart will advise you to hit or stand. Charts also offer advice for more advanced blackjack betting options, such as splitting, which is where your hand is split into two separate hands, and doubling down, which is where you double your bet before you take another card.

In the left-hand column of a blackjack strategy chart, you’ll see a list of possible card combinations in your hand. You can then cross-reference these against the top row, which is the possible card the dealer can have, and check what your next course of action should be.

Splitting and Doubling Down

To make proper use of a blackjack strategy chart, you need to learn when to split and when to double down.

If you are dealt a pair of cards, such as two 3s or two 7s, you can split these into two separate hands as long as you place a new bet on the new hand that is equal to your initial bet. Generally, you should always split aces and 8s but never split 10s or 5s.

Doubling down is a phrase that has entered the popular lexicon, but it actually comes from blackjack. After you have been dealt your first two cards, you have the option of doubling down, which means you can place another bet of the same value as your initial bet.

After doubling down, you will be dealt one more card, after which you must stand.  This means you should only double down in certain situations, such as when your hand totals 9, 10, or 11.


Check out a blackjack strategy chart before your next game to help boost your chances of winning big!