The Best Blackjack Strategy and Tips to Win

A blackjack strategy can help online casino players reduce the house edge and win. Learn more about it in this comprehensive guide.

If you love playing online casino games in the Philippines, you’ve probably heard that the house always has an edge. Unfortunately, it’s true, and the casino will always have an advantage over the players. However, blackjack is the only game where players have a chance to beat the house. This is because blackjack is a skill-based game. So, you can apply a blackjack strategy to increase your chances of winning. 

But regardless of whether you play blackjack online or at a physical venue, the strategy is essentially the same. Of course, players should first know how blackjack works before applying a strategy. In this comprehensive guide, we take an in-depth look at the different blackjack strategies and tips you can apply in-game.

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Blackjack Card Counting 

Contrary to popular belief, card counting is not about tracking already dealt cards. Instead, you only need to have an idea of the value of the cards remaining on the deck. This allows you to alter the size of your bets and your style of play accordingly. The first step to card counting is learning the card values. So here’s how to do it:

  • 10, J, Q, K, and A are high cards and have a value of -1;
  • 7, 8, and 9 are neutrals and are worth 0; 
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are low cards and count as +1. 

Basically, high cards benefit the player, while low cards benefit the dealer. As the probability of high cards in the deck increases, the chances of the player winning increases. With every dealt card players need to use the values to either add, subtract, or do nothing to the tally. For example, if a 2 is dealt, players add 1 to the running count. If an 8 is dealt, then add nothing. And if there’s a 10, then subtract 1 from the running count. 

However, this only applies when you’re playing single-deck blackjack. When playing with multiple decks, you’ll have to adjust the running count to find the true count. To do this, you’ll need to divide the running count by the number of decks remaining. For example, if the running count is +3 and the remaining decks are 3, the true count will be 2. In a nutshell, this is the Hi-Lo card counting method – the most simple one.

If you apply card counting with a team, you’ll have a spotter who’s responsible for keeping track of the dealt cards. Instead of placing bets, the spotter will discreetly signal the big player to make large bets or take risks. Following the dealer and their decisions may be a fruitful strategy if you don’t know how to count cards. However, making decisions based on your own hand is always better.

Best Blackjack Strategy

The Most Common Blackjack Strategies

The purpose of applying strategy in blackjack games is to lower the house edge thus increasing your probability of winning. There are a few strategies you can apply to achieve this, but here are the most common ones:

Surrender

As the name suggests, surrender is a strategy that allows players to give up half of their bet when losing. So, players should surrender once they realize their hand has less chance of winning against the dealer. Basically, the surrender has two rules. The first surrender rule lowers the house edge by 0.62%. But the other one allows players to lower the house edge by 0.05% to 1%. However, with this rule, players can only toss away their hand after the dealer shows a ten or Ace. Here is a summary of the surrender strategy:

  • Surrender hard 5 to 7, 12 to 16, and 17 if the dealer has an Ace;
  • Surrender hard 15 and 16 if the dealer has a 9, 10 or Ace;
  • Surrender 14, 15, or 16 if the dealer has a 10 up; 
  • Surrender a pair of 8s if the dealer’s up card is a 9, 8, or Ace. 

Split

If you receive two cards with the same number, you can split them and play them as two separate hands. Once you split the identical cards, you will receive another card on each hand. So, you essentially get two chances to beat the dealer. But you could also lose both wagers. After splitting, you’ll be required to place your original wager on one hand and an equal wager on the new hand. Split is a great strategy, but it works when used with the right pair and at the right time. Here is a summary of the split strategy:

  • Split 6s if the dealer’s hand is a 6 or less; 
  • Split 7s if the dealer’s hand is a 7 or less; 
  • Don’t split 4s.
  • Split 3s if the dealer’s hand is a 4 or 7;
  • Split 2s if the dealer’s hand is 3 to 7;
  • Don’t split 5s if the dealer’s hand is a 9 or less; instead, double down;

Double

This strategy involves increasing the value of your original bet by 100% after receiving your first two cards. Usually, this is done in the middle of a hand, and in return, the player receives an extra card. Of course, it’s a risky strategy but can significantly increase your payout at a real money casino. It’s important to double down when you have an advantage over the dealer. Here is a summary of the double strategy:

  • Double soft 16, 17, or 18 if the dealer shows a lower card; 
  • Double 10 or 11 against the dealer’s lower cards;
  • Double hard 9 or 10 if the dealer’s hand has a total of 2 to 6.

Hit and Stand 

With this strategy, you have to know when to hit or stand. You can continue hitting until you go over 21 (bust) or stand (when you don’t take any more cards). Fortunately, there are a few rules that will guide you on whether to hit or stand. The general rule of thumb is that you should hit if you’re dealt 8 or less. You should also hit if the dealer has a 6 or lower. Other rules include: 

  • Hit if you have 11 and the dealer has an Ace; 
  • Hit if you have a 10 and the dealer has a 10 or Ace;
  • Hit with a total of 9 if the dealer has 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or Ace;
  • Hit if your hand has a total value of 5, 6, 7, or 8;
  • Stand with a total of 12 when the dealer has a 4, 5, or 6.

Other Blackjack Strategy Rules 

Of course, there are a few other blackjack rules you should learn to increase your winning chances. For example, consider adjusting when the dealer hits soft 17. Below, we look at some of the adjustments you should consider making. 

  • Double 11 if the dealer has an Ace; 
  • Double soft 18 if the dealer has a 2;
  • Double soft 19 if the dealer has a 6;
  • Surrender 15, 8’s, and 17 if the dealer has an Ace.
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Single-Deck Blackjack Strategy

Because single-deck blackjack has fewer cards, it’s easier to play. Of course, this also makes it a great choice for online casino beginners and those trying out a new strategy. With single-deck blackjack, it’s easier for players to know when to surrender, hit, split, stand, or double. Players have a higher chance in the next round if the dealer has a weaker hand (2, 4, 5, or 6). If the player’s hand is weak, they can choose to stand. In addition, if you have two identical cards, you can split them to increase your stake and payout.

Four and Eight-Deck Blackjack Strategy

It’s possible to create a strategy that applies to different multi-deck variants of blackjack, too. You simply need to take into account the number of decks. For instance, when playing the eight-deck variants of online blackjack, split the 8s and Aces. You should also hit hard 11s or less and double down soft 17 or 18 if the dealer has 3, 4, 5, or 6. But split 2s and 3s if the dealer has 4, 5, 6, or 7.

Quick Tips for Improving Your Blackjack Strategies

Besides using a good blackjack strategy, there are a few tips you can implement to improve your gameplay.

  • Play free online blackjack to hone your skills and try out different strategies before risking your hard-earned cash.
  • It’s also important to play your favorite casino game to boost your winning chances. Since you’re familiar with the game, it will be easier to apply strategy.
  • Learn to manage your bankroll. Simply put, responsible gambling is important in preventing addiction. So set a budget and stick to it. 

Conclusion

Blackjack is one of the few casino games where you can apply strategy to beat the house. Because it’s a game of skill, players stand to win against the dealer with a good strategy like card counting. In other words, it can significantly reduce the house edge and increase your winning chances. Other strategies include surrender, split, double down, and hit and stand. But beyond this, choosing a reputable online casino is also important to ensure the game is fair. So check out our casino reviews to find a trustworthy operator in the Philippines.

FAQ

It depends on the casino but most don’t welcome it as it reduces the advantage of the house.

There's no 100% proven method for winning blackjack. The card counting method only aims to lower the house edge.

Blackjack has a house edge of 0.6% to 1%. A good strategy can even beat the house, it depends how well you use it.

Yes. The strategy may vary depending on the variant you’re playing. However, the only difference is usually on decks.

Unfortunately, you cannot count cards very well if at all when playing online since the cards are shuffled by software.

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