Proper Blackjack Strategy

With the proper blackjack strategy, the house advantage on the game can be reduced to nearly zero. The strategy isn’t too difficult to learn but you’ll probably want to practice it at home on the computer before trying it out at a live casino.

The strategy card listed below will help you make the right decision every single time. In the beginning you’ll have to refer to this card often but eventually the decisions will come to you naturally. Certain patterns will emerge and before you know it, you’ll know what to do in every situation without thinking about it.

Blackjack strategy has been perfected over the years thanks to a close mathematical analysis of the game. Everything from the odds of certain hands being drawn to the odds of going bust when drawing have been calculated in order to determine the best possible move in every scenario.

The thing to remember about blackjack strategy is that nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes you’ll win while using this strategy and sometimes you’ll lose. The house still has a slight advantage but if you use this strategy, you’ll win more often than you would have otherwise.

Blackjack Strategy Card

The vertical column on the left represents your hand total and the horizontal column along the top represents the dealer’s up-card. Find where your hand and the dealer’s hand intersect and then follow the advice listed in the box.

This strategy card was created specifically for games in which the dealer stands on soft 17. That rule is the best one for the players so it’s the one we recommend you play when given the choice.

Blackjack Strategy Card

Five Card Charlie Strategy

Some casinos have a special rule that gives players an automatic win if they are able to achieve a five card hand without going over 21 points. Some of these casinos even pay a bonus to players who catch Five Card Charlies. If you play at a game that uses the Five Card Charlie Rule, keep these points in mind.

When to Hit

  • You have 3 cards that total to 12 or less
  • You have 4 cards that total 15 or less
  • You have a soft 12 – 17
  • Any time you have 4 cards with an ace
  • You have a soft 18 and the dealer is showing 9, Ten or Ace
  • You have 4 cards that total 16 and the dealer is showing anything but a 4,5 or 6
  • You have a soft 18 with three cards and the dealer is showing 2-8

Information was gathered from to assist in the Five Card Charlie Strategy section on this page.

If you are ready for more in depth strategy, take a look at our blackjack card counting section.