Blackjack Basic Strategy Explained – Blackjack Strategy for Beginners

Blackjack is one of the rare casino games in which you can use a strategy that actually works. Players who use the blackjack betting strategy are more likely to end up with a profit, as they can lower the house edge to just 0.5%.

However, the basic blackjack strategy is not so easy to master. There is a chart that covers all the possible scenarios, and you will need to memorize it fully, as no casino will let you look at the chart while playing.

But don’t worry. In this blackjack strategy guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the basic blackjack strategy, after which you will be ready to hit the tables and win some cash. Read on!

What Is the Blackjack Basic Strategy?

Blackjack is a game that’s mathematically solvable. However, people often don’t have the patience to learn the math behind blackjack, as a good portion of them only plays the game for fun, which is why a lot of players end up on the losing side.

Now, the casinos wouldn’t even include blackjack if they knew the players could use a simple strategy to beat the house every time. The game is designed in a way that the house wins over a long period regardless of whether you use the basic strategy or not. Nevertheless, using a blackjack betting strategy will lower the house edge, meaning that you will be less likely to lose compared to someone who uses no strategy at all.

It is estimated that using the basic blackjack strategy lowers the house edge to just 0.5%, but that’s only if you use it perfectly.

But what does the basic blackjack strategy consist of? Basically, you will have a chart of all the possible combinations of your hole cards together with the dealer’s upcard. Each combination will contain one or two of the five suggested moves — hit, stand, split, double, and surrender.

Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart

The basic blackjack strategy can be easily learned when you’re presented with a simple strategy chart. Note that not all blackjack games are the same, which is why the basic strategy changes with each variation of the game. The strategy for single-deck blackjack is not the same as the one played with multiple decks.

Since it is likely that you will play multiple-deck blackjack, we will present a chart that covers this variation of the game. The numbers at the top represent the dealer’s upcard, while the numbers on the left represent your hole card totals.

Hard Totals


Soft Totals


Pair Splitting


S — Stand

H — Hit

R — Surrender

D — Double if allowed, otherwise hit

Ds — Double if allowed, otherwise stand

Y — Split

N — Don’t split

Y/N — Split only if “double after split” is allowed

Key Takes from the Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart

  • Always stand on hard 17
  • Always double down on hard 11
  • Only surrender in four scenarios
  • Always stand on A9
  • Always split aces and eights
  • Never split tens and fives

Online Blackjack Strategy Guide

The best thing about the basic blackjack strategy is that you can easily implement it while playing the game online. As we’ve mentioned before, no land-based casino will allow you to keep a chart with you while playing at the table, but online casinos have no way of checking what you’re doing in front of your computer screen.

You can easily have the charts presented on this page open in one tab while playing the game in another. However, it is still best to memorize the chart. It will take a bit of time, and, of course, practice, but your gameplay will be much faster, and you will be able to win more money in a shorter time.

Final Thoughts

The basic blackjack strategy has been known for decades. Many programmers, mathematicians, and fans of the game have worked on improving it over the years, but the one we presented here is the definitive version of the strategy that’s here to stay.

While it seems really simple at first, the basic blackjack strategy is quite difficult to learn. There are over 300 possible combinations you need to memorize perfectly if you want that house edge to go as low as 0.5%. So, start learning using our basic blackjack strategy chart and good luck at the tables!


  • Does the blackjack basic strategy work?
  • How to learn the blackjack basic strategy?
  • Can you make money playing blackjack using the basic strategy?
  • How to count cards in the blackjack basic strategy?