Win at Blackjack with the best mathematical odds

July 20th, 2008

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and is played by millions of players the world over. Players have always sought a method or strategy that offers them the best chance of success. Because of the random way in which cards are dealt in Blackjack, sustained winning and losing streaks do occur and while playing Optimal Strategy Blackjack is no guarantee of success, it does offer the best odds over a sustained period of time.

The table below shows you Optimal Blackjack Strategy (how to play the best mathematical odds). Depending upon which cards you hold and the value of the dealer’s face-up card there are courses of action you can take which are considered to be statistically the most advantageous way to play.

A “hard number” is one which is made up of two cards not containing an Ace. A “soft number” is one which contains an Ace and has two potential values. For example, if you have A-5 then you have either 6 or 16, giving you more options than if you have 10-6 to make 16.

Blackjack Strategy Table 

















 Best Odds Blackjack Play




Opimal Blackjack Strategy recommends that you should not split 10s, that you should look to double down when you have eleven, against anything other than a dealer’s Ace, and that you stand with 12 against a dealer’s 6. This may not be the way that you usually play, but it has been mathematically determined to be the best way of increasing the odds in your favour.

Here are some basic Blackjack tips professionals think you should always adhere to;

– Always split Aces, except when the dealer is showing an Ace
– Do not split a pair of 5s
– Stand on a hard 13 through to 16 if the dealer is showing a 6 or lower
– If the dealer is showing a 4,5 or 6 you should stick on 12
– You should always continue to hit until you have 17 or better if the dealer is showing a ten
– Always stand once you have a hard 17 or higher. The odds of you not busting are far too low for it to be worth the risk
– Always stand when you have A-8 or A-9

Hard and soft – tricky seventeen:  A lot of players find 17 a difficult number in Blackjack. It is always sensible to stand on a hard 17, but here we demonstrate the same is not the case with a soft 17 (an ace and a six). Though 17 is a good hand, you have the chance to improve your holding without the fear of busting.

Drawing any card with a 10 value will mean you still have 17, while an Ace, 2, 3 or 4 will improve it. That leaves only a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 to weaken your hand. As you can see, eight cards either improve or maintain the strength of your hand and only five weaken it. This means that soft 17 is sometimes a good time to Double Down.

Play your hand, not your stake: Whether you are following optimal strategy or your own system, most players agree that it’s important to make decisions based on your cards and not the value of your stake. For example, if you’ve been dealt 14 and the dealer is showing a 10 then the optimal strategy is to hit and take another card.

However, if a player is playing too high a stake for the size of their bankroll they will often stand, because they don’t want to risk busting their hand. If you find yourself in this position it might be a good idea to make your stake a little smaller.

Doubling Down: Playing a stake which is out of their comfort-zone can also cause players not to take full advantage of the “Double Down” option. Doubling Down enables the player to gain full value when they have a good situation. If a player’s original stake is too large, they are often discouraged from making the Double Down, and are unable to gain that value.

Splitting pairs: In contrast to the reluctance players sometimes feel to Double Down, they are often too keen to split pairs of 10 value cards. If the dealer is showing a 5 or a 6, the player tends to think they have an easy chance to win two hands.

However, why would you want to break up one of the best Blackjack hands you can be dealt, and risk making two worse hands? There are many times when you should split your paired cards but when you are dealt 20 it is a good idea to stand every time.

The most popular online casinos for Blackjack: (And where we like to play Blackjack)

Click to visit this popular UK owned casinoBet365 Casino (Fast-play standard single player, 3-player and 5-player Blackjack games, no USA players)

Click to go to popular Microgaming Blackjack casinoBlackjack Ballroom Casino (39 Blackjack variants, stylish single-deck through to eight deck games, US OK from 39 States)

Click for Bodog Casino - fast, fun, fair Blackjack playBodog Casino (No download Flash Blackjack or download for more game options , US players welcome too)

Our current favorite Blackjack game: High Streak European Blackjack Gold at Blackjack Ballroom. The High Streak Bonus wins pay up to 10 to 1 for a winning streak and the game is almost photo realistic.

Entry Filed under: Blackjack,Gambling News

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