Blackjack (also known as 21) can be played by everyone because of the simplicity of the rules. It is probably the most popular casino game worldwide. At the same time it is the game with the highest chances of winning for the player – if played correctly.
Basically, Blackjack is all about coming closer with drawing cards to 21 than the dealer does, without overbuying oneself.
Winning chances are generally higher the less card decks are used. This means that one finds the highest back payments (up to 100,15%) at the Single Deck Blackjack (only one deck of cards). Often, Single Deck is not offered, or it is excluded by the requirements for a bonus. Therefore, the below mentionend strategy is based on the standard game among the Blackjack versions, where 4 to 8 card decks are being used. Here, payouts are between 99.21% and 99.65% - all dependent on the version and casino software used.
The following strategy is also called the "Basis strategy". If you are proficient with it and follow it every time you play you are playing a perfect Blackjack, and you will then achieve the highest chance of winning. We recommend to print out the Blackjack scheme stated below (best in colour) and to always have it close at hand – at least until the scheme is fully memorized.
About the rules:
You are playing against the dealer and not against other players if you are at a multiplayer table. Therefore we just leave them out now, because they don't have any influence on this strategy. At first you are dealt two cards as well as the dealer is, but only one of his cards is upface. It is your decision how often you want to draw a card until you think you are close enough to 21, or until you have busted (when you have more than 21 on your hand). The dealer is obliged to draw until he has reached at least 17 and is not allowed to draw any more cards then.
If you have Blackjack (your first two cards are an Ace and a card with the value of 10) you are getting a payout of 3:2. If the total value of your cards is higher than 21, you bust yourself and lose the hand together with your stakes. This is also the case if the dealer is closer to 21 than you, although you didn't bust. If the dealer has Blackjack and you don't, you're also losing your stakes (but not 3:2!). If the total value of your cards is identical with the dealer's cards (also in the case of 2 Blackjacks), there is no winner and you are refunded your stakes. A Blackjack always beats a 21 which consists of more than 2 cards.
|Black Jack pays out 3/2 of your bet |
and is in average dealt 1 out of 41.4 times.
The different cards have the following values: Aces count 1 or 11, cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, and Jack, Queen, King are all worth 10. This means there are four times more cards with the value 10 (10, Jack, Queen and King) than there are with all other values. This fact is of great importance in context with the optimal strategy, what you will also discover in the Blackjack scheme later on.
The different options of acting (you find the according symbol in the below standing Blackjack scheme in brackets):
Stand (S) - Take no more cards
Hit (H) - Take another card
Double Down (D) - Double the stakes, take one more card and then stand
Split (P) - Splits your first 2 cards so you are now playing 2 hands. Automatically doubles your stakes.
It should be mentionend that the dealer will ask you if you want to buy insurance (insurance is available) if his upcard is an Ace. This means that you can insure yourself against the dealing having Blackjack. For this purpose you are betting an amount up to half of your original bet.
If the Blackjack then occurs, you are getting paid the double of your insurancy amount, but this is lost if the dealer however has not got Blackjack. It is a kind of parallel bet. But you should take notice of this: NEVER take such an insurance. It is just not worth it, because your chances of winning are bad regarding this. So always say No to it.
|Black Jack at Casino Webcam. Take special notice of the options in the bottom.|
Those were the rules. As said before, Blackjack is very easily played. To play Blackjack perfectly is also easy if you are using the following scheme. But a lot of people don't know this, and therefore you can often find people on Blackjack tables – online as well as in real casinos – who play very randomly and thereby worsen their chances of winning dramatically. Thus, have a look at the scheme to make it better.
The Blackjack scheme:
|Click on the Black Jack scheme |
to print out the Black Jack strategy.
You will find the scheme on the right. Click on it to open it (you should also print it out). We didn't develop it ourselves but it was created by mathematics who computed the optimal strategy by calculating the probabilities of all possible card combinations and their comparisons. The most frequently symbols were already shortly described above, and the last two, DH and DS, are:
DH: Double your stakes if possible (D), otherwise draw another card (H).
DS: Double your stakes if possible (D), otherwise stand (S).
To the left of the scheme you will see the value of your hand and in the top the value of the dealer's hand. With the dealer's hand only his upface card is important, because you don't see his other cards before you have finished your turn. The value of your hand states the total value of all your cards. If you for example are holding a 4 and a 5 in your hand you have to look in the line with a 9 on the left (4+5=9). When the dealer's card at the same time is a 2 you look at 9 and 2 and you find a H for hit (receive a card). Then another card is given to you, and let's assume you got a 7. You have now 4 + 5 + 7 = 16. You then look in the scheme for 16 and 2 (dealer) and find a S for stand, which means that you will stop on 16, and then let the dealer draw his cards.
If the total value of your cards is under 8 you should always draw an additional card (Hit). Is it 17 or above you should always stand.
If your hand contains an Ace and for example a 2, you should look in the scheme for A,2. If you then for example draw a 3 you look at A,5 (A,2 + 3).
When you have 2 cards with the same value, let's assume 7 and 7, you don't look at 14 (7 +7,) but at 7,7.
Theoretically, you don't have to understand the scheme but simply follow it.
Nevertheless, we want to give you an understanding of how the scheme works. We will explain this by an example: As already mentionened above, most cards have the value 10. Looking at the scheme you will notice that you should not draw another card if your hand has a total value of e.g. 12 with a simultaneous dealer hand of e.g. 5, which might appear odd on first sight, because 12 is not very high. But because of the fact that there are a lot of cards with the value of 10 the risk of busting (12 + 10 = 22) is too big, because there is at the same time a big chance of the dealer busting (5 + 10 + 10 = 25).
Therefore you should rather not draw another card and thereby minimize the risk of busting.
Maybe you are concerned of how you should ever learn the scheme by heart. Don't worry about that! You don't have to memorize it. But you will automatically remember parts of the scheme just after using it some time.
And now it only remains to say: Good luck at the Blackjack tables!