Michael Tradford
Last Update:
September 3, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

Blackjack Strategy 2021: How to Win at Blackjack

Being the most popular casino game, the fact that you can play blackjack in the comfort of your home or wherever is an intriguing concept for online gamblers, and blackjack is without doubt, one of the online casino games that punters play the most. However, to win the dealer at the end of the day in blackjack one needs to adopt strategies to ensure that he can play blackjack and know how to win at blackjack. Some well proven blackjack strategies supported and even developed by experienced gamblers for punters to play with do exist and range from basic to advanced levels.

Important Facts to Know About Blackjack Strategies
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  • Blackjack strategies range from basic to advanced levels

  • Expert blackjack players use these strategies to win

  • Card counting for playing blackjack requires dedication

  • Blackjack playing strategies help you figure out how to place your bets

Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is a game of chance, but unlike a lot of other casino games it is however, largely influenced by the playing choices being made by the player in every bet especially with respect to going home with an overall win over the dealer after you play with money at the blackjack table.

Some of these decisions that a player should make when he finds himself in certain situations have been compiled through experience and logic as rules, by expert punters and has even been tabled mathematically as a form of blackjack strategy for amateurs who follow it religiously to go home with a win in the long run when they play using it at the casino. This is what makes up the basic strategy recommended to win at the table when playing blackjack in the casino, and which players must take as the rules to have the better chances in every hand against the dealer.

Some of these decisions of the blackjack basic strategy to play with at the casino include:

  • Allowing the dealer to bust
  • Stand If You Have a High, Hard Hand
  • In blackjack, split Aces and Eights Always; Never Split Tens and Sixes
  • In blackjack, never Take Insurance

These are basic blackjack rules observed from simple logic and playing experience that will increase the chance of the player getting a win from his money in the casino when he makes a bet at the table, in the long run. These basic blackjack rules are further demonstrated in the sheet below:

Hard totals
Dealer's card >2345678910A
Player's hand
Soft totals
Dealer's card >2345678910A
Dealer's card >2345678910A

Dh=Double(if not allowed, then hit)
Ds=Double (if not allowed, then stand)
SU = Surrender (if not allowed, then hit)

The chart above describes the general basic blackjack betting strategy for the player to play with when he finds himself in certain scenarios while playing blackjack at the table in the casino. It takes into consideration the type of cards that the player has been dealt to play blackjack with relative to the revealed card of the dealer in every hand, so that the player knows how to use this strategy to bet his money. The truth is that in blackjack there is a finite number of possibilities that could occur in each hand once the player’s cards have been dealt and the dealer has also received his cards. The basic blackjack strategy is an assessment of these possibilities, and then giving to the player which one is the safest or most likely decision to play with, as opposed to going with gut feeling that a lot of players play with and almost always end up losing in the long run when playing blackjack at the casino.

Like most casino games, blackjack has a house advantage which is basically an in-built system to help casinos make profit in the long run. Unlike a lot of casino games however, blackjack has one of the lowest house advantages which is around 0.50% of the money that will be used to bet. The implication of this is that after several rounds, for a player applying the basic strategy, the house will make $0.50 from him, if he has staked $100 so far. However, for an ignorant punter not following the rules of the basic strategy, the house edge can increase up to 2.5% incurring him a loss of $2.5 for the same $100 after the same number of hands played. Little wonder why experts recommend this basic strategy for every player who is looking to win with his money at the casino table.

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Blackjack Strategy – Advanced Level

Card Counting

Before we find out how card counting works, we must understand what kind of card we’re looking to find in every hand with this strategy when playing blackjack at the casino, otherwise we are just counting cards without really knowing why. It is important to know that when the deck is full of the high counting cards like the Aces, 10s, Kings, Queens, and Jacks the probability that the player wins is higher, and the opposite is the case when the mix has an abundance of low counting cards like the cards 2 - 6.

If this makes no sense to you, you should consider that when the deck is full of these large cards it is easier to get a “blackjack” or a 20, and although the dealer has the same chance of obtaining this in such situations in hand, the player gets a 3:2 bonus payoff on his money on his own Blackjack hand.

Before going into this strategy, worthy of note also is the fact that if the dealer draws a stiff hand such as 12 through to 16, unlike the player, he is obliged to draw. And if the deck is full of large cards, he is most likely to bust.

But how will the player know if the deck is full of large or small cards, to know when to increase the money he is playing with in each hand? This is where card counting comes into play.

Basically, card counting is a tracking system where the player keeps track of the cards being dealt at the casino by the dealer in each hand, making use of tags, counting and his memory. In most casinos the cards are dealt from a shoe, and since there is always a finite number of cards when playing in each hand, they player is able to know what kind of cards are remaining in the deck and which kind the dealer is likely to give to him when employing the card counting system, and bet his money accordingly.

When tagging cards for counting, most methods make use of the -1, 0, +1 tags for counting; with cards numbered 2 - 6 receiving the +1 tag, cards 7 - 9 receiving the 0 (neutral) tag, and face cards and aces receiving the -1 tag. When the cards are being dealt in each hand, the player uses the tags earlier assigned to the cards to estimate the probability of getting larger or smaller cards to know how he should play. He does this by adding the value of the cards in his head, and in a single deck, if the value is in the positives the player is expecting larger cards and can adjust his wager, but if the value is in the negatives, this means that more big cards have been dealt than smaller cards, thereby raising the probability of a smaller card being dealt to the player and in this case the player should reduce the money he wagers.

However, most casinos use multiple decks for blackjack and in such a case the player would have to use the value of the tags to get the true count. This is gotten by dividing the current count the player has in his head by the number of decks the player believes to be left. For example, if the tags count up to 8, and the number of decks left is 4, then the true count value would be 2.

Obviously, the higher the true count value, the higher the odds to obtain a royal, and the lower the true count value, the lower the chance, just like in a single deck. This serves as a simple guide to know when to bet high or low.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is obvious from the description above that card counting is not rocket science, it does not require a photographic memory, or great mathematical prowess to play blackjack with. All it really requires is a desire to play and win, and practice. The ability to know when favorable cards are coming your way in blackjack will help you as a player to know when to bet more or less, therefore, giving you the advantage and the dealer the disadvantage in the long run.

Card counting in blackjack is completely legal as it is simply a mental exercise or a strategy adopted by the player to help in his play towards winning or beating the dealer, and it is completely unreasonable for anyone to criminalize thinking. It is however illegal to play while counting cards for blackjack with the assistance of a machine in the casino.

However, as private establishments, the casino has the right to serve whom they wish to serve, and let whom they will allow to play blackjack, and since they have been trying to make card counting illegal to play blackjack with, they waste no time in removing a player suspected of counting cards from their premises. And this is always obvious when the player goes on a long winning streak and the casino is running at a loss. Also, not only can the casinos kick the player out, but they can also warn other casinos of said player, thereby causing the player to not be able to play in those casinos. The casinos can take it a step further by charging the player with trespass, if he returns to the any of the casinos where he has been blacklisted. It is therefore wise to check any winning streak that you come into so that you can always win some more later.

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Placing the Bet

There are various strategies to be considered when thinking of how to spend your bankroll management, some include:

  • Raising the bet with every win
  • Using the Martingale betting system
  • Using the 1-3-2-6 Blackjack Betting System
  • However, for a player using the card counting system, it would be wiser to make his stakes in tandem with this system - and this is done by:
  • Starting off the game with minimum bets
  • Raising the bets as the count or the true count get gets higher and reducing it when it gets lower.
  • Going back to the minimum bets when the deck gets reshuffled.

Betting with the Best Strategy in Blackjack

Blackjack is a very fun game to play and is even more fun when you are winning. With the low house edge, a proper strategy would be very useful in helping a player beat this wonderful game. And it is indeed a beatable game, since player decisions weigh heavily in this game, and the fat that casinos are against strategies such as card counting that could help a player win is proof that blackjack is beatable.

These strategies outlined in this article are very useful in and good enough for a play who wants to realize profit at the end of his games. You can put your newly acquired strategies to use in your blackjack games in any of the provided casinos on our online Casino comparison page and go home smiling.

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Strategy or Luck?
It is obvious that in blackjack, rather than rely on luck, you need a good strategy to succeed and make profit, just like in several other casino games and a lot of methods have been introduced to help players beat this very popular and fun game. However, some things remain key such as – knowing the basic strategies to know the favorable conditions, counting the cards in the deck to know the favorable conditions, and raising or reducing your wager accordingly.
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