What Is Perfect Blackjack Strategy?

Blackjack is one of the most popular games in a casino. It is easy to understand and is a game with one of the lowest house edges. This means that although the casino does have the advantage on the game, it is relatively small in comparison to other popular casino games such as slots and roulette.

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What Is The House Edge In Blackjack?

First of all, let’s explain what the house edge is.

The House Edge is the advantage, in a percentage form, that the casino has over the player in any particular game and is based on the mathematics of the game.

For example, if a casino game has a house edge of 5%, this means that for every £100 wagered on the game, the casino would make £5 profit with £95 being returned to the player as winnings. Each time £100 is staked however, it doesn’t mean that the player will receive £95 back every time. Sometimes it will be more and the player will be in profit and sometimes it will be less and the casino will win. However, on average, the casino would make £5 profit for every £100 staked.

In blackjack, the house edge is around 0.5%. However, the house edge can vary depending on the variation of blackjack which you are playing. The low house edge of 0.5% is also only achieved if you play with Perfect Blackjack Strategy. For whichever combination of cards that are dealt to you, there is a mathematically correct move to make to give you the best possible chance of winning. If you don’t play the correct move, the house edge will increase.

Thankfully, perfect blackjack strategy is widely available online and we’ve provided it in an easy-to-use downloadable image format.

Blackjack Strategy Chart

Below is the WhichBookie Blackjack Strategy Chart. This chart will show you the mathematically correct move to make based on your cards and the dealers up card.

The blackjack chart will tell you when to Hit, Stand, Split and Double to give you the best chance of winning by reducing the house edge to a minimum.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD OUR FREE BLACKJACK STRATEGY CHART
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If you play blackjack regularly using the perfect blackjack strategy chart, you will begin to memorise it and know the correct move to make in any situation without the need to look at the chart for each hand. However, until you are sure you know the correct move in every situation, we recommend that you keep a copy of the blackjack chart on your PC, phone or other devices so that it’s always at hand. You could even print the chart and pin it to your wall so that it is always in view when at your PC.

Click above to download the larger version of the perfect blackjack strategy chart and then right-click to save it to your device.

Perfect Blackjack Rules

The blackjack chart above should provide you with all of the information that you need but below, we’ve summarised everything in text which may help you memorise the correct actions to take.

The strategy advice below is based on a blackjack game where the dealer stands on a soft 17. However, we have also included a few additional rules for blackjack variations where the dealer hits on soft 17.

When To Split

  • Split Aces in ALL situations
  • Split 2s & 3s when the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7
  • Split 4s if the dealer shows a 4 or a 5
  • Never Split 5s
  • Split 6s when the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6
  • Split 7s when the dealer shows an Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7
  • Split 8s in ALL situations (yes, even against a dealers Ace!)
  • Split 9s when the dealer shows an Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9
  • Never split 10s

When To Double

  • Double a Hard 9 when the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6
  • Double a Hard 10 when the dealer shows any card other than an Ace or a 10
  • Double a Hard 11 when the dealer shows any card other than an Ace
  • Double a Soft 13 or 14 when the dealer shows a 5, 6 or 7
  • Double a Soft 15 or 16 when the dealer shows a 4, 5 or 6
  • Double a Soft 17 when the dealer shows a 3, 4, 5 or 6

When To Hit or Stand

  • Hit when you have a Hard 11 or lower in ALL situations
  • Stand when you have a Hard 12 and the dealer shows 4, 5 or 6
  • Stand when you have a Hard 13, 14 or 16 and the dealer shows a 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6
  • Stand when you have a Hard 17 or higher in ALL situations
  • Hit when you have a Soft 17 or less in ALL situations
  • Stand when you have a soft 18 unless the dealer has a 9, 10 or Ace
  • Stand when you have a Soft 19 or higher in ALL situations

Blackjack Surrender Strategy

Blackjack Surrender is a variation of blackjack which allows you to surrender your cards after they have been dealt in return for half of your stake back. If you are playing with this option, there are a few additional rules to follow to ensure that you keep the house edge to a minimum.

  • Surrender a Hard 15 if the dealer shows a 10
  • Surrender a Hard 16 if the dealer shows a 9, 10 or Ace (This doesn’t apply if you have a pair of 8s)
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Blackjack Rules For When The Dealer Hits On Soft 17

As mentioned, there are a few additional rules for blackjack games where the dealer hits on Soft 17. This is a less common variation of blackjack but it is still available.

  • Surrender if the dealer shows an Ace and you have a 15, 17 or pair of 8s
  • Double an 11 when the dealer shows an Ace
  • Double a Soft 18 when the dealer shows a 2
  • Double a Soft 19 when the dealer shows a 6

Should You Take Blackjack Insurance?

The above tips and chart show you exactly what to do in every situation based on your cards and the dealers up card.

But what about Insurance? Should you take it?

The simple answer is NO.

Taking insurance when the dealer is showing an Ace can sometimes be very tempting. Especially if you have a good hand which will be worthless if the dealer turns a 10. However, math doesn’t lie and it shows that insurance is a bad bet in all situations.

Blackjack has an overall House Edge of around 0.5% when using perfect blackjack strategy. However, placing a bet on Insurance has a House Edge of around 2% – 14%!

Example 1:

For simplicity, we will base this example on using 1 deck containing 52 cards.

You are dealt any two cards which are not 10s and the dealer is showing an Ace.

There are 16 cards which have the value of 10 remaining in the deck which contains 49 unturned cards.

This means that the dealer has a 16 in 49 chance of turning over a 10 to make Blackjack and there is a 33 in 49 chance that your insurance bet won’t come in.

Based on a £1 insurance bet stake, our returns would be:

  • Lose 33 times = -£33
  • Win 16 times = +£32

Therefore, placing a £1 insurance bet means that you will be down £1 every 49 times you place it. This may not seem like much but it equates to a 2% house edge.

Example 2:

We’ll do another example as the house edge of an insurance bet can increase dramatically if you are holding one or more 10s.

You are dealt any two cards with the value of 10 and the dealer is showing an Ace.

There are 14 cards which have the value of 10 remaining in the deck which contains 49 unturned cards.

This means that the dealer has a 14 in 49 chance of turning over a 10 to make Blackjack and there is a 35 in 49 chance that your insurance bet won’t come in.

Based on a £1 insurance bet stake, our returns would be:

  • Lose 35 times = -£35
  • Win 46 times = +£28

Therefore, placing a £1 insurance bet when you are holding two cards with the value of 10, means that you will be down £7 every 49 times you place it. This equates to a house edge of 14%+!

Blackjack Side Bet House Edge

Many blackjack tables, whether online or in a casino, allow you to place side bets. The most popular and common sidebets are:

  • Perfect Pairs
  • 21+3

The attraction to these side bets is that they have the potential of huge returns for a relatively small risk. However, are they a good bet?

No. They’re not.

The house edge of 21+3 ranges from 3.18% – 7.76% depending on the number of decks being used with the percentage increasing with fewer decks.

The house edge of Perfect Pairs ranges from 5.8% – 6.8% which again makes it an extremely bad bet.

Counting Cards In Blackjack

When playing perfect blackjack strategy, you are reducing the house edge to a minimum. However, no matter how you play, the house will always have the edge. This means that statistically, you will lose money over time. However, Card Counting is one method which makes it possible to decrease the house edge so much that it is actually the player which has the edge over the casino.

We have written an article on how to count cards in blackjack if you would like to read more about it but below we will explain how making a profit from counting cards is possible.

Counting cards in blackjack revolves around assigning a value to each card which is dealt with the aim of knowing how many high cards and how many low cards remain in the shoe.

When there are more high cards (Aces & 10s) in the shoe, more Blackjacks will be dealt which pay 3:2. The dealer is also more likely to bust when there are more high cards than low cards.

When there are more low cards in the shoe, less Blackjacks are likely to be dealt and the dealer is less likely to bust.

Therefore, betting with a higher stake when there are more high cards remaining, can result in an increased chance of profit and actually turn the edge in favour of the player.

How To Reduce The House Edge In Blackjack

Blackjack is often viewed as a casino game with an extremely low house edge which is one of the main appeals. However, this house edge is only achieved when making the right bets and choices during play.

Here are some tips to summarise how to reduce the house edge in blackjack to a minimum.

  1. Always follow the perfect blackjack strategy (see chart)
  2. Never take an insurance bet
  3. Never place side bets
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