Learn the best blackjack strategy

Follow the CasinoReviewsLand strategy to optimise your play and give yourself the best chance of winning.

The strategy on this page is based on Michael ‘The Wizard of Odds’ Shackleford’s ‘Basic Strategy,’ which provides the soundest possible model for betting optimisation in blackjack. Following our betting chart will not guarantee success, but it will mathematically optimise your play and help you avoid silly bets.

Hard and soft hands

This strategy makes reference to ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ hands:

  • A ‘hard’ hand either has no aces, or has aces that have to count as one point to prevent the hand busting.
  • A ‘soft’ hand contains at least one ace, which can still count as one or eleven points.

What’s the best strategy?

The following applies to 4-8 deck blackjack following standard, non-European rules (the UK and most online casinos fall under this category).

4-8 Decks, Dealer stands on soft 17

Online Blackjack Strategy blackjack table 1

4-8 Decks, Dealer hits on soft 17

Online Blackjack Strategy blackjack table 2

Online Blackjack Strategy blackjack table key

General points to bear in mind

These rules of thumb fall outside of the betting chart, but should inform the way you play:

  • Never take insurance money (side bets) when the dealer’s visible card is an ace.
  • If you can’t split, treat your hand as a hard total.
  • Always hit when you have three or more cards or if table rules don’t allow soft doubling, even if the strategy recommends doubling. However, you should stand on a soft 18.
  • With a hard 10 or 11, double if you have a higher hand value than the dealer, treating a dealer ace as 11 points. To be precise, you should double with 10 against a 2 to 9, and with 11 against 2 to 10.
  • Where the strategy says not to split, treat the hand has a hard total of 8, 10, or 20.
  • If surrendering isn’t allowed, then hit where the chart says to surrender.

The best casinos to try out the blackjack strategy

Put the strategy to the test with our top-rated casinos for playing blackjack.

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Lesson one: rules & card values

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Lesson three: blackjack variations