Blackjack strategy charts are used to play basic strategy. The reason you should use these charts is because when you play using perfect strategy you reduce the house edge as much as possible.
Casual blackjack players should always use the best strategy because it’s easy to do and if you can reduce the house edge you can play longer on a set bankroll.
As you probably already know if you’ve played blackjack at more than one casino, you can find different rules at different blackjack tables. For example, some places make the dealer stand on a soft 17 and others make the dealer hit a soft 17.
The perfect strategy is slightly different depending on the house rules.
Casual players can find a good strategy chart like our basic strategy chart and use it for every blackjack game they play. The difference between the expected return using that chart in a blackjack game with slightly different rules is so small that it probably won’t cost you $5 a year. What I’m saying is it isn’t worth the extra work and effort to memorize more than one chart.
The chart I linked to above is designed for games where the dealer stands on a soft 17. Here’s the chart for when the dealer hits a soft 17. If you compare the two you’ll see very few things change. You can use either one as a general strategy chart.
Find your hand down the left hand side and match it with the dealer up card along the top to find the best play. For example, if you have a 7 and a 2 making a hard 9 and the dealer has a 6 up card the correct play is double.
Hit stands for hit. I used green for go.
DBL stands for double. I used blue for double.
Stand stands for stand. I used red for stop.
Split stands for split. I used purple for split.
|Your Hand||Dealer’s Up Card|
|2 – 2||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit|
|3 – 3||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit|
|6 – 6||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit|
|7 – 7||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Hit||Hit||Hit||Hit|
|8 – 8||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split|
|9 – 9||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Stand||Split||Split||Stand||Stand|
|A – A||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split||Split|
Notice there isn’t a row for splitting fours, fives, and ten valued cards. Play these hands based on their hard totals of 8, 10, and 20.
The only reason you may need a different strategy chart than the ones included on this page and the one I linked to above is if you’re an advantage player.
If you’re an advantage player you need to be able to play perfect basic strategy and then memorize a group of plays (called indexes or index plays). Indexes are plays you make that don’t match basic strategy based on the card count.
Here’s an example:
You never take insurance when playing basic strategy. However, if the count gets very high (meaning the remaining cards have a high percentage of tens and aces) taking insurance can be the best play.
Unless you count cards (and know what you’re doing) you should never take insurance.
If you play the same place every time you can find a basic strategy chart that fits your game if one of our charts doesn’t fit.
The two charts I have on the site work for 98% + of blackjack games and players. If you’ve reached a point where you need more you’ve moved past basic strategy.
Don’t stress too much about finding the perfect basic strategy chart. Use either the one on this page or the one on our basic strategy page and you’ll be well ahead of the majority of blackjack players.
If you advance to the point where you need more than one strategy chart or one for a specific set of rules you’ve moved beyond the scope of this page. For the other 98% + of us print the chart above and start playing perfect blackjack strategy today.