Blackjack is a perfect mix of luck and skill. Follow the strategy table when playing to minimize the house edge. And don’t forget to have fun!
Blackjack is a perfect mix of luck and skill. Follow the strategy table when playing to minimize the house edge. And don’t forget to have fun!
An overview of the most important blackjack tables, an introduction to blackjack strategy and tips and tricks for the card game and an interactive trainer – we will teach you the basic rules that you need to master in order to play blackjack profitably.
For everyone in a hurry, we have prepared the correct blackjack strategy in simple tables. We distinguish between two different rule variants: Dealer draws on soft 17 and dealer stands on soft 17. For both variants you as a blackjack player should play the following table’s strategy (regardless of how many decks you are playing with). How to read the tables is explained in detail below.
The blackjack tables above explain how the mathematically optimal blackjack strategy works.
There are several rules in blackjack that are used in casinos. For our strategy tables, we distinguish between two basic variants: The dealer draws on soft 17 (“hits on soft 17”) and the dealer stands on soft 17 (“stands on soft 17”). In the first variant, the dealer still has to draw cards with one hand like A-6, but not with the other. Depending on this, the strategies for the player differ slightly. Other variants (such as when doubling is allowed, whether doubling after splits or when the player is allowed to give up) have no influence on the strategy or are already recorded in the tables.
The dealer’s first card is always visible in blackjack and is crucial for the player’s strategy.
With this information you can see the mathematically perfect strategy from the table. What the individual fields mean is listed under the tables.
The most important tips for correct blackjack strategy summarized in simple guidelines:
If the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6, the likelihood of him busting increases. Therefore one should carefully draw cards. As long as you play a soft hand, you don’t run the risk of facing the same fate yourself. If the dealer busts, you automatically win, no matter what your total. However, you should only double or split if the table dictates it, in order to maximize profits.
With a hard 17 or higher, one should never draw a new card (not hit), even if the dealer’s up card is a ten or an ace. The likelihood of overbought is far too great. If the dealer has ten, he will draw on a very good hand, but the risk of drawing on his own 17 is still too high. Here you prefer to play the safe strategy. With 17 points against an 8 at the dealer, you still get a push, even if the dealer draws a 9 as the next card.
A basic rule for splitting: Aces and eights are split, tens and sixes are not.
The reason is simple. An ace is the strongest card in blackjack, but two aces add up to only two points. So you split to play two hands with the strongest card. Two eights add up to 16, the statistically worst blackjack total. However, if those eights are split up, you will have a better starting point.
On the flip side, ten is a good basis for a hand, but 20 is too strong to risk a split. If you split two sixes, you get two hands with the 6 as the base. A very poor and weak starting point for the game, while a 12 is a decent starting position, because with the next card we have a good chance of getting a score close to 21 and the only cards we have to fear are tens.
Every time the dealer shows an ace, you have the option of taking out insurance. This means that you place a side bet equal to half the original stake and if the dealer has blackjack this side bet pays 2: 1. Mathematically, insurance is always an extremely bad decision and only increases the casino’s edge.
If you are planning on playing blackjack at a live casino, take the time to memorize the strategy tables. When you play our mathematically perfect strategy, you lower the casino’s house edge considerably. If you play online blackjack, you can just open and peck at the tables – but it is a bad idea to take printed tables with you into the casino. The casinos don’t like it when you squeeze the house edge. Below you will find a blackjack trainer with whom you can practice the strategy without any use.
Over time you will be able to read and apply the Strategy Chart better and faster. You’re ready to play blackjack online for real money. With the strategy table, the house edge drops from 5% to 0.5% – so there is no reason not to use it.
If you continue to play blackjack this way, you will be able to remember some or all of the strategy table. Which in itself is not only good brain training, but also gives you the best chances of winning in online blackjack.
Correct use of the basic blackjack strategy reduces the house edge from 5% to less than 0.5%.Blackjack strategy in action
Blackjack is one of the casino games with the lowest house edge. But that only applies if you play with the most perfect strategy possible. Exactly how big the house edge is depends on the specific rules in the casino, but in most cases – if the player plays perfectly – the casino only has a house edge of 0.25 to 0.45 percent.
The casinos count on players who don’t know exactly how to play blackjack and who make mistakes, big or small. The average player who plays without a mathematically designed strategy will make statistically wrong decisions here and there – for example not splitting when he should, doubling up when he shouldn’t, or the like. Such small deviations from the perfect blackjack strategy alone give the house a higher house edge.
Weak players – for example someone who still draws at 17 because they “have a feeling” – give the casinos a house edge of over 5 percent.
With our strategy, however, you can be sure that the casino has the smallest possible advantage.
If you have the choice, always play the variant in which the dealer must be on soft-17. This variant is inherently a 0.2% lower house edge.Tip by Casinoid
Watch out! You cannot beat the casino in blackjack in the long term with just a basic strategy and tables.
The casinos have spent a great deal of time designing the game of blackjack so that no player would be able to beat the house with a simple strategy. With live casinos there is the possibility of beating the casino with the sophisticated method of card counting, but this strategy is much more complex than our basic strategy and is tied to certain conditions in the casino. More on this below.
In particular online it is impossible to use the card counting method and in online casinos you will always lose to blackjack in the long run.
However, the house edge in blackjack at online casinos is also extremely low and it is possible to score close to plus-minus-zero in the long run. If you are lucky, you can win money in the short and medium term.
Mathematically, a house edge of 0.4% means that, in the long run, you lose an average bet for every 200 blackjack hands you play. This is far better than most other casino games.
The best blackjack strategy will fail if you play in a bad casino.
Virtually every online casino offers different variants of blackjack. These often only differ in small details, but these small details can make a big difference. There are usually these different variations:
|Advantageous variation||Disadvantageous variation||Difference in house edge|
|Dealer stands at Soft 17||Dealer draws on Soft 17||0,20%|
|Double after split allowed||No doubling after split||0,14%|
|Doubling allowed on all two cards||Doubling allowed only at 10-11||0,19%|
|Aces can be split again||Splitting aces again is prohibited||0,07%|
|Late surrender allowed||Late giving up is prohibited||0,08%|
|Blackjack pays 3 to 2||Blackjack pays 6 to 5||1,36%|
The most important variation is the payout percentage in blackjack. Always make sure that this is paid out 3: 2 and not 6: 5.Info: payout percentage
The blackjack variants offered by reputable online casinos all pay out blackjack 3: 2 and at most casinos the dealer is on a soft 17. This means that online you always have very good odds and a house advantage very close to zero.
More tips and tricks for a successful blackjack game:
Time and again, people make the following rookie mistake: It’s their first time at a casino and their pockets are full of money. Then they let themselves be infected by the atmosphere, play too much, too long and too carelessly, and suddenly all the money is gone. Some even make up their minds to simply squander some money. But that’s actually the worst thing you can ever do. Instead, we recommend that you only budget a certain amount for the casino. The total money that you are willing to invest is your “bankroll”.
There are several factors to consider when deciding how big your bankroll is. The starting bankroll is the amount of money that you set aside for your hobby. This amount should be high enough to guarantee long-term gaming fun, but not so high that it would hurt you financially should you lose your money. The main rule of thumb when playing online is: only gamble for as much money as you can lose. Before you start playing, you should always think about the size of your bankroll so you don’t make a huge mistake.
The size of the starting bankroll depends on your own financial circumstances. The advantage of online casinos is that you can generally play for far less money than in real casinos. Minimum stakes of two to five are usually the minimum in blackjack, while online you can also play for a few cents.
Card counting is a recognized way to gain an edge over the casino. However, it is definitely not for beginners. Card counting is based on a simple principle: The cards are divided into three groups that either count plus points, minus points or no points at all. If a deck “overheats”, ie when a certain value is reached when counting, the chances of the player to win increase, who then increases the stakes.
So much in a nutshell. The principle sounds simple, but it isn’t because you have to have all your cards on the table at all times, you have to have a very quick grasp and an excellent memory. Players who have made large sums of money using this system are generally highly educated academics and this is no accident.
If you are interested in the card counting system, click through to our blackjack card counting guide or watch the film “21”. Last but crucial note on this. Card counting works and isn’t illegal, but casinos penalize it with immediate sacking if discovered.
There are a number of betting systems and players around the world favor different systems. However, they all have one thing in common: They do not offer a guaranteed profit. The illusion of control is much more inherent in the systems. Whether Martingale, Paroli or 1-2-3-6 – no system will beat the casino in the long term. But these systems can still be fun to play. We want to briefly introduce the most important blackjack systems here.
The difference between positive and negative progressive betting systems is pretty simple. Both betting systems are based on whether the previous hand was won or lost, but react contrary to it.
The Paroli system is very useful for blackjack in order to minimize its losses and maximize its winnings. Those who play according to the Paroli strategy can also keep track of their game much more easily. The Paroli system is a betting system with positive progression. That means: if you win, you bet more, if you lose, you bet less, so that you can really exploit or get through a streak of luck or bad luck.
Simply put, you double your stake every time you win. As soon as you lose, you go back to the bet you made at the beginning. Many players give themselves a win limit in the Paroli system, because if you lose after winning a few bets, you lose everything. A good strategy is to start over with the first amount after winning three hands.
Example: if you bet 5 euros at the beginning of the game and win, you bet 10 euros in the next round. If you also win this, you bet 20 euros in the next. And if you win again, you go back to the beginning and bet 5 euros again. So you can make some profits in the short term and have fun at the same time.
The Martingale betting system is a negative progression system. In contrast to the positive progressive game strategies you bet twice with Martingale if you lose. This is helpful to compensate for losses in the blackjack game in the long term.
At the beginning you should set the minimum. The more often you lose, the more often you double your stake. Of course, this is not without risk: If you lose over and over again, you will of course not make any profits in the short term.
On the other hand: When the time comes, you gain quite a bit! Therefore, many players risk this aggressive betting system.
Many betting systems such as Paroli, Parlay and Martingale seem far too aggressive and risky. It might sound a bit complicated at first, but as you will see in a moment, this system is also very easy to learn.
The numbers in the name of this game system already tell us how to place our units. At the beginning we determine our unit – mostly the table minimum. Let’s say it’s five euros. We multiply the basic stake one after the other by the factors 3, 2 and 6. But be careful: this only applies if we win! So if you lose three bets in sequence, you only place one unit until you win. If you lose in the middle of the 3-2-6 cycle, you go back to the beginning. As soon as you have finished a cycle, of course.
The whole process can be better understood using an example. If we were to play with a unit of 10 euros, then according to this system we would first bet 10 euros, then 30, then 20 and finally 60 euros – provided we win every round. Once the sequence is over, you return to the initial 10 euros.
Like the Martingale system, the parlay system is incredibly risky and aggressive in blackjack. This is because you double your stake after each round. That means: everything you win is actually put back into the game. So you can lose even high profits very quickly in the long run.
A cap is therefore not a bad idea in the parlay system. So once you have won a certain number of bets you stop doubling and go back to the beginning. Most people who use Parlay as a system unfortunately lose precisely because they don’t set this limit and lose all their winnings in one fell swoop.
How high this limit should be depends on your own preferences. However, the line should be drawn realistically: If you start with € 10 and double it for too long, you will regret it afterwards. An adequate limit is therefore appropriate. Likewise, one should also consider a loss limit in blackjack in the parlay system. You don’t want to lose your entire bankroll in one session! The betting limit refers to the number of lost bets after which you stop.
The so-called Fibonacci sequence is very old and was described by an Italian mathematician in 1202. It is a constant sequence of consecutive numbers. It starts like this:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 …
As you can see, each number in the Fibonacci sequence consists of the sum of the two previous numbers. This sequence can be used to make a practical betting system that can also be used for blackjack games. The Fibonacci betting system is a very simple and easy to understand system. The player starts with a unit that he determines himself – usually the table minimum is suitable for this. Let’s say it’s 5 euros.
Every time the player wins, he bets more money in the next bet according to the sequence. And this is what it looks like at the blackjack table:
Because it is so simple and because it was not developed specifically for the blackjack table, many critics find this system insufficient. But despite its generality, the Fibonacci system has its advantages in the game. As with the other examples above, this is a positive progression where you don’t raise your bets until you win.
But unlike many extreme variants, with this system the player is not forced to double his bets and thus risk all of his winnings, but one always keeps some of his winnings. This gives the player maximum influence on his bankroll without having to think about it too much. A big disadvantage, on the other hand: as you can see from the sequence, you need at least five consistent wins to make really big wins. That’s a pretty big hurdle.