Effective Blackjack Strategies

USBlackjack.org is your source for the most effective blackjack playing strategies. These are proven methods to win at blackjack. Whether you’re playing in Las Vegas or from the comfort of your own home, these are the strategies that will bring you consistent success winning at blackjack.

We’ve divided the following information into 3 general sections: Basics (for US players new to the game), Advanced (for those who’ve been playing for some time), and Expert (players should have a strong grasp of blackjack for these strategies).

Basics: The Fundamentals of Blackjack Playing

Now that you know how the game is played, it’s time to move on to learning the fundamentals of effective playing. In Blackjack, whether it’s played online or at a land casino, there are 7 principles that should always be followed. These principles make up something known as Basic Strategy in blackjack.


The 7 Principles of Blackjack

1. Stand on 12 when the dealer shows a 6 or lower.
2. Stand on 17 when the dealer shows a 7 or higher.
3. Split your hand when you Ace-Ace or 8-8.
4. Split your hand with 7-7 when the dealer shows 7 or less.
5. Double down with 10 or 11 when dealer shows a lower card.
6. Hit on soft 17 or less, stand on soft 18 or more.
7. Never take Insurance or Even money

The reason that these principles are fundamental to playing successful blackjack is that they give players the best odds of winning under the circumstances. Again, these are principles that are backed by statistical data – following these rules give you mathematically-proven better odds. While following these 7 principles will not completely eliminate the casino’s advantage, it does bring that advantage down to a very manageable 1%.

Once you’re comfortable with the Basic Strategy, it’s time to move on to some other helpful strategies.

Advanced Strategy: Splitting the Hand

While Basic Strategy covers some instances where you should split your hand, it does not address every possible split in blackjack. Don’t worry, we’ve got the advice you need to become an advanced player. Know what to do – split or keep your hand – and make the right choice every time.

Key to Successful Splitting:


Player’s Hand
Dealer’s Up Card/What to Do
2′s 3′s, or 7′s
If Dealer shows 2-7, split. Otherwise hit.
4′s
If Dealer shows 5 or 6, split. Otherwise hit.
5′s & 10′s
Never Split – Stand on 10′s, hit on 5′s.
6′s
If Dealer shows 2-6, split. Otherwise hit.
8′s & Ace’s
Always split.
9′s
If Dealer shows 2-6, 8,9, split. Stand if dealer has 7, 10 or an Ace.

Use this table above and you’ll always make the decision that will give the best odds of winning the most money. Now that you’ve got the tools to master the split, it’s time to move on to the last area of strategy, the Expert Strategy:

Advanced Strategy: Betting Systems

There are different beliefs as to how effective a betting system can be when you play blackjack online. The systems that are presented here do not improve your chances of winning. Instead, they work to minimize the effect of a losing hand by manipulating betting amounts.

Martingale System: Double the Bet

By now you probably know that blackjack gives players about the best odds to win, compared to other casino games. However, just because players have better odds, doesn’t actually mean they are always going to win.

Here’s one strategy that is easy to understand and to use that is meant to eliminate the effects of losing hands on your bankroll. Whether you’re playing online or at a live casino, this progressive betting system has been show to work.

To put this strategy in action, you must double the amount of your bets after a loss. To keep your bets manageable, we recommend that you bet the absolute minimum on your first hand. If you win, you will simply continue betting with the same amount. However, when you do lose, you need to double the amount of your next bet. So, for example, if you start betting the minimum – let’s say $1 – after you have a losing hand, you’ll bet $2. If you win this hand, you can return to betting the minimum amount. If you lose this hand, you’ll double your wager again, this time to $4.

By doubling your bet after a loss, you are actually recouping the money that you lost, because you’re winning twice the amount on the next win. Just remember, after a successful hand, you should return to betting the minimum amount.

Blackjack Number Betting System

There might be people who claim that they’ve found a fool proof system or strategy that will let you win indefinitely. If you hear anything like that, run for the door – there’s no fool-proof, 100%-win method of playing blackjack. Here’s a system of betting that seems to be rather effective, called the Number System.

Here’s how to use this betting system:

Step 1: Write down a list of random numbers (feel free to make it as long as you’d like, but it must be over 5 numbers).

Step 2: On the first hand of play, use the first number and the last number that you wrote down in your list, and add them together. This sum will be the amount of your first bet.

Step 3: Now your course of action depends on whether you’ve won the hand, or not. In the case of a win, remove the numbers that you used from your list, and pick two new numbers. In the case that the hand is a loss, add the number that that was the amount of your bet to the bottom of your list. Use this number and the first number to determine your next bet amount.