Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack remains one of the most exciting games at the casino. The classic game is both simple to learn and complex to master. When you begin to become better at blackjack, you start to understand complicated betting strategies and the best ways to get a winning hand. As in most casino games, there are no guarantees or ways to ensure a win. You can use tips and strategies to improve your odds, though.

When to Double Down

In Blackjack, a player can double down, or increase a bet by up to 100 percent during a hand. There are some cases where a person is likely to win and doubling down is worth the risk. Non-Stop Blackjack For example, you should double down if your two cards total nine and the visible dealer's card is between a 3 and a 6. You should also double down if your cards total 10 and the visible dealer's card is any card other than a 10 or ace or if your cards total 11 and the dealer has any card other than an ace. When the dealer has a two card hand between a soft 13 and 17, it's also a good idea to double your bet.

When to Split

You can split your cards into two separate hands during a round. Always split when you're dealt two aces, to increase the chance of getting 21, or Blackjack. You should also split if you have two 8's. It's never a good idea to split a hand that has two 10's, two face cards or two 4s or 5s.

When to Hit

A player should choose to hit, or take an additional card, on a soft 17, especially if the dealer has a 10 visible. If you decide not to take an extra card when your total is less than 17, you're counting on the dealer having more than 21, or going bust. Always hit if you have a soft 13 through 17, and the dealer's visible card is a 7 or above. But, if you already have three cards or more, don't add another card if the total is a soft 13 through 17.


If the dealer's visible card is an Ace, you can decide to take insurance, or place a separate bet, in case the dealer ends up having blackjack. Taking insurance offers the player some protection. It can also protect you if you end up with blackjack during the same hand, since you end up with even money.

While there's no 100 percent way to guarantee a blackjack win, once you master basic strategies, you can start to see an improvement at the table.