When To Call It: The Key To Winning At Blackjack
Jul 9, 2014
Streaks of good luck, following your gut, horseshoes and lucky charms… none of these will help you win at blackjack. But here are a few tips that will.
Are you the type of gambler who likes to push his luck? Then blackjack is not for you. The blackjack table is not the right place to make rash decisions just because you’re “feeling lucky” or to start placing huge bets just to show off. Being impulsive won’t help you beat the dealer. In fact, it may end up costing you dearly.
If you are trying to look cool at the casino table, then try showing off your blackjack skills instead. This is not a simple game of chance, like roulette or craps. Winning at blackjack requires knowledge basic strategies and a lot of practice.
But once you get the hang of what basic blackjack strategy means and how you can use it to your advantage, you’ll be ready to bring down the house. And nothing looks better on a gambler than confidence.
Many would argue that the key to winning at blackjack is knowing when to call it, so here are a few tips.
Single-deck blackjack strategy
The most important rule you need to know here is that if you’re holding a card value of 17 to 21, the correct move is to stand. Always. Regardless of what the dealer is holding. Also always stand if you’re holding an Ace and 9 or two 10s.
The following chart explains when to hit or stand, according to the dealer’s upcard:
If you’re playing a blackjack rule variation where the casino allows doubling down after splitting pairs, then use the following chart:
4 to 8-deck blackjack strategy
If you’re playing at a casino where the dealer uses 4, 6 or 8 decks of cards, things are a bit different. First of all, you should always stand on a hard 17 or more. Soft hands can work to your advantage, but you should still always stand of soft 19s or more.
If you have a 18, you should hit against a dealer’s 9, 10, or A. Otherwise, the correct move is to stand. Always hit if you have a soft 17 or less, or a hand value of 11 (hard) or less. Stand on hard 12 against when the dealer has 4 to 6, otherwise hit. Also stand on hard 13 to 16 against, but only against a dealer 2 to 6, otherwise hit.
Always split aces and 8s and never split 5s and 10s. Split 2s and 3s, but only when the dealer shows 4 to 7. Split 4s only if doubling after splitting is allowed and the dealer shows a 5 or 6. If you have a pair of 6s, split against a dealer 3-6. Pairs of 7s should only be split if the dealer is showing 2 to 7 and 9s only against a dealer 2-6 or 8-9.
Last, but not least, here’s when you should double: do it on hard 9, if the dealer has 3 to 6. Also double hard 10, unless the dealer is showing 10 or A. Double hard 11 except against a dealer A. If you’re card value is soft 13 or 14, double against a dealer 5-6. With soft 15s and 16s, double if the dealer is showing 4 to 6 and if you have a soft 17 or 18, double against a dealer 3 to 6.