A guide to optimal blackjack strategy

The Sun
A guide to optimal blackjack strategy
Wild Casino

BLACKJACK is undoubtedly one of the most popular casino games. The simplicity of blackjack, as well as the potential rewards, makes it attractive to beginners and high rollers.

Popular online variants include classic, single deck, perfect pairs and Blackjack switch. However, there are no guarantees that you will make money.

On this page, we will explain how to play Blackjack, before outlining the potential strategies that can be used to get the better of online casinos. Wondering whether to use insurance or unsure if splitting 10’s is worthwhile, we cover all topics on this page

��‍��How to play blackjack

Blackjack is a classic card game that involves a player and dealer. The objective is to have the value of your hand as close to 21 as possible, without going bust. Games begin by the dealer dealing two cards to each player.

Two cards are also dealt to the dealer, with one remaining face up. Cards 2-10 are worth their value, while all face cards (Jack, Queen & King) are worth 10. In Blackjack, an ace can be worth either 1 or 11. 

You have a number of options as a player, hit, stand, double down and split. What you choose to do will depend on the cards you were dealt. Upon all players making their decision, the dealer’s face down card is revealed. Your hand will then be compared to that of the dealer. In the event that your hand is higher in value than the dealer’s, without going over 21, you will win! 

Like most casino games, there are some additional rules that you must be aware of. An example is that you will win automatically when being dealt an Ace and a 10-value card. Meanwhile, some online Blackjack games come with side bets, which pay extra when a particular combination is dealt.

��What is the difference between blackjack online and at brick and mortar casinos?

Some of you may have played Blackjack at your local casino. So, just how does this type of Blackjack compare with online versions?

Firstly, online Blackjack is significantly quicker. Cards are dealt in seconds, which will appeal to those pushed for time.

Meanwhile, Blackjack games on casino sites are hugely convenient. They can be accessed easily on all devices, while there is no need to wait to gain a seat on a table.

However, nothing can replicate the experience of visiting a land-based casino. Brick and mortar venues still attract many players, despite the emergence of online platforms. 

��The best online casinos for blackjack

The following are our favourite online casinos for Blackjack games in the UK: 

1. MrQ

Offering 20 free spins to new members, MrQ is home to both video and live dealer Blackjack games.

Variants include Atlantic City, European, Classic and Vegas Strip, with all being accessible on desktop and mobile. Multi Hand Classic Blackjack has an RTP of 99.91%! Meanwhile, the MrQ app can be downloaded on iOS and Android devices. 

2. Mr Vegas

With over 8,000 games in all, Mr Vegas is one of the most popular online casinos in the UK. Here, you will find Blackjack titles from top developers.

There are over 30 Blackjack games in all, including Classic, American, Caribbean, Lightning and 3D variants. Mr Vegas also offers a generous welcome bonus, worth 100% up to £200. 

3. The Sun Vegas

Launched in 2019, The Sun Vegas is another casino site that features a range of Blackjack games.

When signing up, you will be able to play European, Premium, Mega Fire Blaze, Age of the Gods, Single Hand, All Bets and other variants of Blackjack. A host of promotions are available too, along with loyalty points for every bet placed. 

While not offering the same variety as the casinos above, HotStreak still accommodates well for Blackjack players. Both live and video versions are found, while new members can take advantage of a welcome bonus worth up to £200.

HotStreak is also one of the few online casinos in the UK to offer a no deposit bonus, worth 10 free spins. 

5. Duelz

Boasting 10+ video Blackjack games, as well as live variants from Evolution Gaming, Pragmatic Play and other top developers, Duelz is another leading casino.

Games include Lightning Blackjack, Blackjack Vegas and Multi Hand Blackjack. Considering signing up? You can claim a bonus of up to £100 + 100 free spins when registering an account at Duelz. 

��Can you win money in blackjack?

Of course, it is possible to make money from playing Blackjack. However, it is important to note that there is a house edge, which puts the casino at an advantage. Despite this, if you can establish an effective strategy, you will have a chance of regularly overcoming the dealer.

Can you beat the house in blackjack?

Absolutely. While the house has an edge, the fact that cards are drawn at random means that you will regularly win. Software-based online Blackjack games use a random number generator to determine the result. 

��Can I count cards in online blackjack?

Blackjack and counting cards have long been associated. Some feel that this is the most effective way to make money from this casino game. It is a system that can be used in order to determine whether the player or dealer holds an advantage ahead of the next hand. You will bet more when you have an advantage. However, counting cards is difficult, especially when operating online. Many players have tried to use software in order to get the better of online dealers. However, this is prohibited and not something that we recommend. 

What is a blackjack chart?

In order to decide which decisions to make when playing, many turn to a Blackjack chart. Having been dealt your opening two cards and the dealer’s up-card is revealed, you will be able to view all possible actions. Based on games that use between six and eight decks, the chart below will help to ensure that you make the best decision each and every time you play.

What are the most important parts of a blackjack strategy?

We have already outlined the importance of formulating a Blackjack strategy. However, before selecting a system to use, it is important that you consider two factors in particular, which we have outlined below.

Learn the rules of the game

Before placing any real money bets on Blackjack, you must have mastered the rules. Going in blind will ultimately lead to disappointment. While being relatively simplistic in terms of its gameplay, there are specific rules that you must be aware of. 

Bankroll management

Remember that you should only ever bet what you can afford to lose. Successful players set themselves a budget and stick to it. Meanwhile, you will also need to learn when to walk away, while never chasing losses. Playing Blackjack is about enjoyment first and foremost.

��What is an optimal blackjack strategy?

Unfortunately, even the best Blackjack strategies do not guarantee success. However, it is important to have a system in place, rather than betting using a scattergun approach. An optimal strategy can be the difference between winning and losing, with the following being among the most popular.

Never split 10’s or 5’s

It is possible to split your hand, which sometimes doubles the winnings. However, when done wrong, you will lose even more. It is recommended to never split 10’s or 5’s. Splitting 5’s will give you 10, with the basic rules suggesting that you will gain a better hand when starting with 10, rather than 5. Meanwhile, splitting 10’s is also a no-no. This is because you have 20 already, a hand that will win in the vast majority of cases.

Always split aces and 8’s

However, you should always split both aces and 8’s. If you are dealt two Aces, you just have a soft total of 12. While this is not the worst hand, it is unlikely to win. Thus, splitting the Aces gives you the chance of forming two good hands. Should you get a 10-value card on top of an Ace, you will have Blackjack and a payout of 3:2. 

Always stand on 17

It is also advisable to stand on a 17, as this hand is generally strong enough already. Should you hit, you will likely go bust or not improve your total by very much. Meanwhile, depending on the variant, should the dealer score 17, they may be forced to take another card. 

When to double

Doubling down in Blackjack involves increasing your bet during a hand. Having doubled your stake, one additional card will be dealt. It is generally recommended to double down when your cards total 11 without an Ace or if you have a hard 9 or 10. However, avoid this option when your cards total over 11 or when the dealer has an ace. 

Should I use insurance when possible?

The idea of insuring a bet will appeal to many. This is because even if the dealer has Blackjack, you will be left with some of the money wagered. However, the best Blackjack players will tell you that insurance is not worth it in the long run. Insurance bets pay out at 2:1, with the maximum stake being half of your main bet.

Will using an optimal blackjack strategy guarantee winnings?

As we have stressed throughout this guide, there are no guarantees that you will make money from playing Blackjack, even when an optimal strategy is used. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not have a system in place. It just means that you should review your strategy from time to time, based on your levels of success.

Does a basic strategy work in all variants of blackjack online?

Given the increasing number of online Blackjack variants that are available, it can be difficult to find a strategy that covers them all. As such, it is important to read the rules of the specific game in full before deciding upon a system to use. We have outlined some of the tips to follow on this page already. 

James Fuller

James is an experienced copywriter with over a decade’s worth of experience in the iGaming industry. He is an avid sports fan, following football, tennis, Formula 1 and golf in particular.

Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chase their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed

For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.