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Mastering Blackjack: Rules, Strategies, and Utilizing Strategy Charts

Unlike most casino games, Blackjack offers a unique opportunity for players to increase their chances of winning by employing specific strategies. Interestingly, casinos not only allow but may also provide small strategy charts that guide players on the optimal moves for every possible situation. This guide wintips will delve into these strategy charts, explaining how to use them, why they are beneficial, and offering tips for utilizing them effectively at the Blackjack table.

Understanding Blackjack Strategy Charts

What is a Blackjack Strategy Chart?

A Blackjack strategy chart is a tool that outlines the basic strategy for playing Blackjack. For each possible hand, the chart indicates the best action to take. Although it might seem too good to be true, using these charts is entirely legal! Casinos allow players to consult these charts while making decisions because, despite the basic strategy lowering the house edge to below 0.5% if played perfectly, the casino will still win over the long run.

Variations in Blackjack Games

Not all Blackjack games at top online bookmaker are the same. Some use different numbers of decks, some offer higher or lower payouts for Blackjack, and some have rules where the dealer must stand on a soft 17 instead of hitting. Each variation requires a different basic strategy chart, as rule changes affect the optimal moves.

However, this does not render these charts useless. By using them at the table to play perfect basic strategy, players can maximize their chances of prolonging their bankroll, and who wouldn't want that?

How to Read a Blackjack Strategy Chart

Most Blackjack strategy charts are divided into four sections, similar to the chart example below. These sections cover hard hands, soft hands, pairs, and surrender options. The first two sections ("hard hands" and "soft hands") indicate how to play your hand against the dealer's upcard, the "pairs" section shows whether you should split your hand, and the "surrender" section advises whether to surrender your hand against the dealer's upcard.

Interpreting the Chart Symbols

In the first two sections, you will commonly see the following symbols:

H - Hit: Draw another card.

S - Stand: Keep your current hand.

D - Double Down: Double your bet and receive only one additional card.

For instance, if you are dealt a hard hand like 9-8 or a soft hand like A-5, locate your hand along the X-axis, find the column matching the dealer’s upcard, and perform the indicated action. Repeat this process until you are instructed to stand or your hand exceeds 21 points. Notably, strategy charts do not provide adjustments for hands higher than 17, as hands valued 18 or more should automatically stand.

In the third section, the symbols typically include:

Y - Yes: Split the hand.

N - No: Do not split the hand.

Y/N - Yes/No: Split only if the casino allows doubling down after splitting; otherwise, do not split.

This section only applies to pairs like 5-5, 8-8, or A-A. If your hand should be split, it becomes two separate Blackjack hands. Once split, refer to the first two sections to continue playing each hand.

In the fourth section, you might see:

SUR - Surrender: Surrender your hand.

N - No: Do not surrender your hand.

This section applies only if the casino offers late surrender, allowing players to surrender their hand at the cost of half their bet. If not available, skip this section.

Order of Actions in Blackjack

Like a mathematical equation, Blackjack actions have a specific order to follow:


If available, surrender should be the first action considered after receiving your initial two cards. Once another action is taken, surrender is no longer an option, which is why it comes first.


Next, consider splitting if you have a pair. This option requires an additional bet and splits the hand into two separate hands, each receiving a new card. Some casinos allow re-splitting if another pair is dealt.

Double Down

After deciding on splitting, the next action to consider is doubling down. This is often a good move when the player’s total is 10 or 11 against a weak dealer upcard. Doubling down doubles your bet, with the potential to win a larger payout.


Finally, decide whether to hit or stand. Always refer to the strategy chart to ensure you are making the best possible move.

Tips for Using Blackjack Strategy Charts

Verify the Chart Against Your Game

Ensure the strategy chart matches the specific Blackjack game at the best betting site in nigeria you are playing, as not all charts apply universally.

Remember the Order of Actions

Always consider surrender and split options first, as these actions cannot be taken after hitting.

Take Your Time

There is no time limit in Blackjack, so take your time to find the correct action. Rushing can lead to mistakes.

When in Doubt, Check the Chart

Do not hesitate to consult the chart at the table. It is better to ensure you are making the best decision rather than worrying about what others think.


Blackjack is a game of strategy and chance where players can significantly improve their odds by using strategy charts. These charts guide players on the optimal moves in various situations, helping to reduce the house edge and prolong their gameplay. By understanding how to read and apply these charts, players can enhance their Blackjack experience and increase their chances of winning. So, take your time, consult the chart, and make informed decisions to master the game of Blackjack. Happy playing!

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