BlackJack Strategy

Learn the Top Online Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack is one of the easiest casino games to master, but a good strategy is the key to winning big. Learn the best s blackjack strategies in our helpful guide below.

Caesars Casino

Caesars Casino

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DraftKings

DraftKings

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+. NJ/PA/WV/MI only. Deposit amount and match amount require 10x play-thru at different game contribution rates. Bonus issued as site credits that can only be used on DraftKings Casino. Casino credits eligible on select games. Eligibility restrictions apply. | Terms and conditions applies
Ocean Online Casino

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome package = 100% match bonus up to $500 + $25 no deposit bonus + 50 free spins. Bonus funds and free spins all have a 30x wagering requirement. Min deposit = $50. No deposit bonus funds + free spins expire after 48 hours. Matching bonus funds expire after 7 days. | Terms and conditions applies
BetMGM

BetMGM

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in PA, NJ, WV. Welcome offer = $25 no-deposit bonus, first deposit match up to $1,000 with a 15x bonus wagering requirement. Minimum $10 deposit. | Terms and conditions applies
Borgata Online

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome offer = $20 bonus dollars, 100% first deposit match up to $1,000 with a 1x bonus wagering requirement. Bonus expires after 14 days. | Terms and conditions applies
FanDuel

FanDuel

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | The Promotion will begin at 12:00 AM ET on July 11, 2022 and end at 11:59 PM ET on December 31, 2022 (the “Promotion Period”).  | Terms and conditions applies
Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ and MI. Welcome package in MI = 100% match bonus up to $1,000 with a 10x wagering requirement. Welcome package in NJ = 100% match bonus up to $1,000 + 200 free spins on 88 Fortunes Megaways, bonus funds have a 10x wagering requirement and free spins have a 1x wagering requirement. Min deposit = $30. Bonus funds expire after 30 days, free spins expire after 7 days. Games will contribute differently to the wagering requirements: Slot games: 100%. Table Games: 25%, Roulette: 25%, Blackjack: 25%, and Video Poker: 25%. | Terms and conditions applies
Betway

Betway

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, New players only, Welcome bonus - 100% match bonus up to $1,000. 30x wagering requirements. Min deposit = $10. Bonus funds expire after 7 days. Full terms and conditions apply. | Terms and conditions applies
PartyCasino

PartyCasino

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ, Welcome package = 100% match up to $1,000 with a 15x wagering requirement + 25 free spins with no wagering requirement. Min deposit = $10. Bonus funds expire after 30 days. Free spins expire after 7 days. No game restrictions, but games are weighted differently. | Terms and conditions applies
Wynnbet

Wynnbet

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+ only, new players only, bonus funds expire in 7 days, wagering requirements = wagering requirement is a multiplier of the Casino Bonus amount, ranging from 1x to 20x, T&C apply. | Terms and conditions applies
Bet365

Bet365

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome offer = 100% match on first deposit up to $1000 with a 20x bonus wagering requirement. Must make qualifying deposit of $10 or more. Bonus expires after 30 days. | Terms and conditions applies
Hard Rock

Hard Rock

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome package = 100% match bonus up to $1,000 with a 15x wagering requirement + 50 free spins with a 1x wagering requirement. Free spins expire after 24 hours. Bonus funds expire after 14 days. Min deposit = $20. Games will contribute differently to the wagering requirements: All Slots 100%, Table Games 20% and Video Poker 20%. | Terms and conditions applies
Unibet

Unibet

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in PA and NJ, Players in PA are eligible for a $30 no deposit bonus with a 1x wagering requirement. Players in NJ are eligible of a $10 no deposit bonus with a 1x wagering requirement. Players in both states are eligible for a 100% match bonus up to $500 with a 10x wagering requirement for PA players and a 25x wagering requirement for NJ players. Min deposit = $10. Bonus funds expire after 30 days. | Terms and conditions applies
888 Casino

888 Casino

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome package = $20 no-deposit bonus dollars, 120% match on first deposit up to $500 with a 30x bonus wagering requirement. Maximum $100 in winnings with no real money deposit. Bonus expires after 90 days. | Terms and conditions applies
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PokerStars

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | - Exclusive to new players in Pennsylvania. - The welcome offer runs up until December 31, 2022. - To unlock the $50 instant bonus, a player must opt-in via the Challenges area of their account before wagering a minimum of $1 on participating games during the promotion, regardless of any wins or losses resulting from the initial qualifying wager(s). - Players must be 21 years of age or older in order to participate and be physically located in Pennsylvania, US. - To receive the 200% deposit boost, a player must opt-in within 7 days of registering and make a deposit of at least $10 within 5 days of opting into the promotion. You must earn 2 redemption points per every $1 bonus awarded. | Terms and conditions applies
Twinspires

Twinspires

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, New players only, Welcome bonus - 24 hours of risk-free wagering up to $500 + 250 free spins on Starburst. Free spins are valued at $0.10 each. All bonuses will become invalid after a 24 hour window. Full terms and conditions apply. | Terms and conditions applies
HarrahsCasino.com

HarrahsCasino.com

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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ. Welcome package = $10 no deposit bonus + 100% match bonus up to $300 with wagering requirements of 5x on slot games, and 25x on all other games. Min deposit not specified. Bonus funds expire after 7 days. | Terms and conditions applies
SugarHouse

SugarHouse

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Live Casino Live Casino
$250 Bonus
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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in PA and NJ. 100% first deposit match up to $250 with a 1x wagering requirement. Min deposit = $10. Bonus funds expire after 30 days. | Terms and conditions applies
Virgin Casino

Virgin Casino

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$100 Risk-free bet
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Review 18+ | Play Responsibly | BeGambleAware.org | Begambleaware.org | 21+, Only available to new players in NJ, first deposit total net loss bonus up to $100, min. deposit = $10, bonus expires after 7 days, min. withdrawal = $10, void where prohibited by law. | Terms and conditions applies

A strategy guide is fundamental to any serious BlackJack player. BlackJack is a favorite game of many casino players, from newbies to very experienced old guard. The simplicity of rules – get as close as you can to 21 without going over – invites novices, while the advanced strategy and betting options keep experienced players coming to the BlackJack table.

Although the game is associated with the number 21, we think you’d do better to focus on the number 10. You key to winning BlackJack is in creating a strategy around the likelihood of drawing a card valued at 10. These are the most common cards in the deck, so statistically they deserve the most focus. 

What is the most important rule in BlackJack strategy?

Everyone focuses on the number 21 in BlackJack, which is the wrong focus. Secondarily, they focus on the ace, which is also wrong. 

As far as the number 21, your goal in BlackJack is not to total the value of your cards to 21. And don’t let the name fool you. The point of BlackJack is not getting blackjack.

The point of BlackJack is beating the dealer. Not other players. Not your personal best. Just the dealer.

Second, because of a fixation on blackjack, many players focus too much on the ace. Aces are great. They can be 1 or 11, and you need them to get blackjack. But tossing away winners because you’re taking a dumb chance on blackjack is a recipe for a short night of BlackJack. 

Focus on beating the dealer. Or, if you prefer, focus on not losing to the dealer. That is strategy rule #1.

Why are 10-valued cards so important in BlackJack?

Once you loosen up from your fixation on aces and blackjacks, you’re placed to start winning. And the key to winning in BlackJack is this:

The 10s are your friends.

In a deck of 52 cards (or in a software that’s replicating those 52 cards), you are most likely to get a card valued at 10. This includes:

  • 4 10s
  • 4 Jacks
  • 4 Queens
  • 4 Kings

So that’s 16 of the 52 cards. Getting two of those gets you a super strong 20. There are also 4 aces (which gets you blackjack, or 21), 4 9s giving you a strong 19, and 4 8s that get you 18. Therefore, if you’ve been dealt a 10 and neither the other players nor the dealers have any of these cards, there are 27 of the remaining 50 cards (dealer already has 2) that get you at least an 18.

An 18 is a strong hand in itself, and it’s difficult to beat without going bust. 

So you see why 10s are your friends. 

Application: Holding a hand of 10 points

The value of 10, or having a hand of 10 points, is statistically even more helpful than having a single 10-valued card in hand.

Let’s look at a scenario where you have been dealt 10 points. You’re holding two cards with a total value of 10 (we’ll say 7 and 3). 

When dealt a value of 10, you’ll definitely take a hit (obviously); nothing can hurt you and anything will help you. What are the likely odds in these scenarios?

If you’re dealt a 7 and 3, you’ve already got 2 of the 32 cards out of the way that won’t help you as much (the numbered cards, other than 10). This means 20 cards remain will give you either BlackJack or 20. And you should be able to see if other players or perhaps the dealer is holding any of those (although this depends upon whether your version of BlackJack requires that the dealer shows both her cards when dealing).

But an 8 or 9 would also get you a strong hand of 18 or 19. So in total there are 28 cards that could get you an 18 or better, and you can rule out your 7 and 3 as well as any other cards that you can see.

Holding 10 points, you’d still stand to draw any of the 10s or face cards and get 20. On the other hand, another player or the dealer may get these as well. This is part of the excitement of the game!

Easy Rules for BlackJack

The following are some rather dependable rules for playing BlackJack. We wish we could say that they’ll always win for you, but we can’t. We can say that they are statistically very likely. 

When Should You Double Down?

New BlackJack players love doubling down. They seem to enjoy saying the words, “Double Down!” so much that it offsets the loss the receive when they double down on bad bets!

You are, of course, free to double down whenever you darn well please. But these are some times when it is safest to double down (not 100% guaranteed, but odds are in your favor). 

Always double down on a hard 10 or 11 

First of all, a hard 11 means that it cannot change in value from 11. An ace is a soft 11 since it can also be 1 point. A hard 11 is any combination of cards whose sum is 11 that does not have an ace.

For example, if you have a 7 and 4, you should double down regardless of the dealer’s hand. Why? Again the likelihood of getting one of the 16 10-valued cards. BlackJack if you’re holding 11, and a very strong 10 if you’re already holding 10.

Of course if you see other players or the dealer holding 10-point cards, that will decrease your likelihood. But the general rule is, “Always double down on hard 10 or 11.”

Double down strategies when the dealer has low cards

You are also at a statistical advantage when the dealer has low cards. (In truth, low cards aren’t great news for anyone, but we’re doing this one at a time.) Let’s look at 3 strategies that are statistically advantageous for you.

Double down with 9 against dealer’s low cards

If you’re holding a hard 9 and the dealer is showing a 6 or lower, it’s considered a good bet to double down. If the dealer has a 10 in the hole (that is, the unseen card), she’ll be at 16 and will have to hit. Any card 6 or over would be a bust. If there’s a lower card in the hole, she’s unlikely to get a good hand. 

The 9 that you’re holding, however, gets you 19 with a 10, 20 with an ace, and stands to improve better without going bust than lower cards. 

Holding a soft 13-17 against dealer’s low cards

Whenever you’re dealt an ace, it’s good news because it can change value between 1 and 11. If you’re also dealt a 2-6 card (giving you a soft 13-17), you should double down if the dealer is showing a 5 or 6. You don’t want to stay with those cards as they would only win if the dealer busts, and they’re not terribly likely to at 5 or 6.

If you receive the statistically-likely 10, you’d reduce that ace to a 1-point card, and you’d get a hard 13-17. Probably not a winner, so you hope the dealer busts. But if you’re holding a 2, ace, and are dealt a 8, you get BlackJack, 7 gets you 20, and so forth. 

Should you double down with a soft 18?

If you’re dealt an ace and 7, it is tempting to stick with that soft 18. But statistically it might make more sense to double down since it’s soft. At least you know you can’t bust. 

If the dealer is holding a 3-6, chances are they’ll bust trying to beat you after you double down. If you draw a 10-point card and get that hard 18, the dealer will probably bust trying to beat you. A 3 would get you blackjack, and 2 renders 20, which is still a great hand.

When Should You Split Pairs?

Along with doubling down, splitting is one of the least understood topics in BlackJack. Splitting doubles your winnings, and there are times when it makes great sense to do it.

Splitting is smart, and there are statistically-reliable guidelines for when you should do it. To learn all you need to know about splittings, see our article, “When to Split Pairs in Blackjack: a Definitive Strategy Guide.”

Conclusion

As you see, basing your strategy around the statistic likelihood is the foundation of your Blackjack strategy. The likelihood that you or the dealer would draw that card steers your strategy (or it should!). 

It is key that you keep your opponent – the dealer – in mind as you’re playing. You should be mindful of other players only because the cards they showing indicate what is not likely to be in the deck. 

As you’re learning the strategies above, start out with the ones that are more or less unchanging: stick on a hard 18-20 and double down on a hard 10 or 11. The other rules depend on what the dealer is holding. Rather than just having some rules to memorize, if you study this guideline you’ll understand the logic behind those rules. 

When you’re trying to minimize the house edge, you want to make good decisions, and not make bad ones. Following this advice will get you playing your strongest.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Focus on beating the dealer. Or, if you prefer, focus on not losing to the dealer. That is strategy rule #1. And the key to winning in BlackJack is this: The 10s are your friends.
Always double down on a hard 10 or 11. Double down strategies when the dealer has low cards. If you're holding a hard 9 and the dealer is showing a 6 or lower, it's considered a good bet to double down.
Always double down on a hard 10 or 11! A hard 11 means that it cannot change in value from 11. An ace is a soft 11 since it can also be 1 point. A hard 11 is any combination of cards whose sum is 11 that does not have an ace.