Using the Blackjack Strategy Chart to Improve Your Chances of Winning


Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino games and it has a substantial element of skill in it. By learning to play this game well, you can drastically improve your chances of winning. It is therefore important to have a solid understanding of the rules and how to play the game.

In the game of blackjack you and the dealer are dealt two cards each. If your first two cards add up to 21 (an ace and a card valued at 10), this is a “blackjack” and you win. If you have a total lower than 21, or go over 21 in your second two cards, this is a bust and you lose your bet.

After you receive your first two cards, you can either choose to hit (request another card) or stand (stick with your current hand). The dealer then draws a card for their own hand. If their card is a ten, they must hit until their total is 17 or more. If their card is higher than 21 it’s a bust and they must pay all player’s bets, except for those who have blackjack.

The game also offers a double down option. If your first two cards are of equal value, such as a pair of nines or a pair of sixes, you can split them. This involves placing a second bet the same size as your original and playing each hand independently. Splitting aces and eights is always a good idea, as is splitting pairs of nines, sevens, and sixes against a dealer showing a five or six.

A player can also choose to surrender in certain situations. This is a bet that they will not beat the dealer’s hand and they will give up their initial wager. Often this will be a large sum, so it is important to know the rules before you make a decision to surrender.

Using the blackjack strategy chart is an effective way to help you understand when it’s appropriate to hit or stand. It’s a good idea to print out this chart and keep it with you while you play. This will help you stay on the right track and avoid making costly mistakes.

The blackjack strategy chart can be used for any game with the same rules. However, different casinos have slightly different rules. When you’re preparing to play, you must specify the number of decks being used, whether the dealer hits soft 17, if doubling after splitting is allowed, and whether the dealer peeks for blackjack (almost universal in the US). The Wizard of Odds has a calculator that lets you select these options and generate a specific strategy chart for your casino. You should review this chart regularly to ensure it still applies to the rules of your particular game.