Blackjack has the distinction of being the number one casino game in both the online world and in physical casinos. There are all sorts of reasons for its enduring popularity, but one of the most important is that it is a game where it is easy to learn the basics but where learning more about blackjack strategy can really have an impact on your win rate.
Of course, there is a degree of luck involved too – after all, this is a game that is decided on the turn of a card. However, the mathematicians have calculated that just adopting basic strategy can take one percent or more off the house edge.
As the “house” in question, you might expect us to carefully guard any such strategy tips, but that is not the way we approach things at Mount Gold casino. Our priority is to help our players to have a great time and enjoy some online blackjack wins – that way, we know you will come back and visit us again!
So in that spirit, we will run through three fundamental aspects of basic blackjack strategy. These apply equally to automated tables or live dealer blackjack and to whether you play just for fun or at one of the high roller tables. We will assume you are familiar with how to play blackjack – if not, you should first refer to our blackjack rules guide.
There are three core decisions you make in a game of blackjack. We will examine basic strategy for each of them.
Decision one: Hit or stand?
This is the fundamental blackjack decision, so it is the obvious place to start in any blackjack strategy. It is also the one advantage you have over the dealer. He or she must hit on 16 or below and stand on 17 or more. You, on the other hand, have a choice, so use it wisely.
Your decision is based on the cards in your hand and also on the dealer’s upcard. This second aspect is something people often leave out of their blackjack strategy, but it is vitally important.
We will not go through all the mathematics here, but suffice it to say that many hours of statistical research have come up with the following optimum strategy chart. It is based on hard mathematics, and if you follow it, it will improve your win rate:
It might seem surprising that it sometimes makes sense to stand on 13, but the mathematics prove it beyond doubt.
Decision two: Splitting pairs
If you are dealt a pair, should you split them or not? Again, you need to look at the pair and the dealer’s upcard. Here is what the blackjack strategy experts have calculated about splitting pairs. This time, we won’t put it in a table, as that makes it look more complicated than it is in reality. The rules are simply this:
- Aces and 8s should always be split.
- 4s, 5s and 10s should never be split.
- For everything else (2s, 3s, 6s, 7s, 9s), only split when the dealer’s upcard is 7 or less.
Decision three: The double down
This is another case where the statisticians have done hours of research to bring us some very simple rules. The first is that you should only consider the double down if you have been dealt 11, 10 or 9. If you have, there is a rule for each:
- 11 – always double down
- 10 – double down when the dealer’s upcard is 4, 5 or 6
- 9 – double down when the dealer’s upcard is 4 or 5
Perfect your blackjack strategy at Mount Gold Casino
What we have discussed here is basic blackjack strategy – and we mean really basic. Each of these rules can be further refined once you have got to know them. For example, it is better not to split 2s if the dealer has a 2, and there are dozens of other tweaks you can make to improve your strategy. This way, you will take it from basic to advanced in no time.
At Mount Gold casino, we have more than 60 blackjack tables for you to try. It’s the perfect place to perfect your blackjack strategy and show our live dealers how it’s done! So step inside, choose a table and let’s deal the cards. Good luck!