Strategy charts are essential for any blackjack player. Learn how to apply these tools to your gameplay and see the results in your winnings with Mr Blackjack.
The strategy chart is the most important and best learning tool when learning blackjack. Even after years of playing, many players will refer back to them from time to time. Learn how these simple charts can improve your skills straight away, and when you can use them in blackjack games with us.
A strategy chart or card is very easy to use. Across the top, you have the dealer’s up-card, and down the side, you have your hand total. Simply take the dealers up card, follow it to your corresponding square, and presto the chart will tell you what move to make based on what the math tells you to do in any given situation.
Players can find this strategy chart on OnlineGambling.com. Keep it by your side while playing to ensure you're deploying proper basic strategy. Most casinos allow players to use strategy charts right there on the table, as do online casinos, of course.
You might wonder why casinos would allow you to use a tool that helps you beat them more often. Keep in mind, players, that even with perfect strategy, the casino still has a very slight edge over you somewhere around 1-2%. It does not guarantee that you will win, but it does guarantee that you will play smarter, and therefore better.
The card is especially helpful when looking at the less obvious plays. For instance, what do you do with a 12 on a 2? Do I split 5s against a five up-card? The other tricky ones involve soft 18 against a dealer 10.
The strategy card tells us:
- To hit when you have 12 on a dealer's 2
- Splitting 5s against a five is a big no-no. Never split 5s. Always keep the 10.
- Soft 18 may seem like a stay because of the 18, but when up against a dealer Ace the math says to hit.
The obvious ones are easy to remember; scenarios like doubling 10 on a dealer 4 have a 60% winning probability. But the trickier hands we just mentioned only give you a 52% chance of winning. These are the hands a strategy chart is essential for to help you make a correct decision.
Some players ask how rule variations in blackjack can affect strategy charts. This can become very complicated, given all the combinations of rules available. The main takeaway players should remember is that if a casino is adding numerous rule variations to their blackjack tables, it is to increase their house edge.
Find out the common mistakes new players make when learning strategy, and if you're making these errors in your own blackjack games, with our next video.
What this lesson covers
- What strategy charts do
- How to read strategy cards
- How variations in blackjack rules affect the accuracy of strategy charts
- When players can use them in casinos
Meet Mr Blackjack
With a career spanning two decades, Mathieu Blake knows his way around a blackjack table. He's taught and entertained over 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel NeverSplit10's . In this series he'll take you through basic strategy, card counting, and bankroll management. Take a seat with Mr Blackjack and become a winning player.
- Can I bring a blackjack strategy chart to a casino?
Yes, casinos allow you to bring strategy charts to blackjack games.
- Why would casinos let players use these charts if it helps you play better?
Even with perfect blackjack strategy, the casino still has a 1-2% edge over players. Casinos know serious players spend more time at their tables, so there is little downside for the casino to allow strategy charts in their real money blackjack games.
- Do blackjack strategy charts work?
Players can trust these charts work, because they’re just visual tables based on the rules behind basic strategy. Instead of memorizing every rule, the table immediately tells you what move will give you the greatest blackjack odds of winning in any scenario.
- Where can I buy a strategy chart?
- What does Ds mean on a strategy chart?
It means ‘double if possible, otherwise stand’. Not all casinos allow doubling down, so strategy charts offer a second-best alternative for players.
- What does Rh mean on a blackjack strategy chart?
Rh means ‘surrender if possible, otherwise hit’. Like doubling down, not all casinos offer the surrender move. Strategy cards offer an alternative for these situations.
- What is the best blackjack basic strategy chart?
Most casinos use 6-8 decks and hit on soft 17 in their blackjack games. Strategy charts that incorporate these table rules are the best cards for players to use.