Best blackjack tips - how to win blackjack online

Blackjack is a simple game to play, but becoming a winner takes time, patience, skill and of course the right knowledge. In this guide on the best blackjack tips we’ve included fundamental strategies that will reduce the house edge drastically, as well as advanced playing techniques and much more.

Why Use Our Blackjack Playing Strategy

Before we get into specifics when it comes to our blackjack tips, we’d like to take a moment to tell you a little bit about us and why you should trust our blackjack guide.

We’ve been in the online gaming industry since the birth of the Internet and have close to 25 years’ experience in reviewing casinos, their games and the software providers behind them. During this period we have won several awards, one of which was “Casinade“ for our unbiased approach to reviewing casinos and another was for having the most comprehensive reviews on the Internet.

Our team consists of iGaming experts, mathematicians, statisticians and avid casino players who have put in countless hours of research, testing and experience to be able to provide players with accurate information on winning at blackjack. All of our information is kept up to date and, where possible, we provide links directly to the developer's demo versions of the games so that you can practice and test our online blackjack strategy for free.

The Best Blackjack Tips at a Glance

The following bullet points highlight the key aspects of our complete blackjack strategy guide below. These are the most important things to remember when attempting to master how to beat blackjack:

  • Blackjack is entirely random and mostly dependent on luck. However, by employing a sound blackjack strategy based on basic mathematics you can influence your luck to some extent.
  • Learn when to hit, stand, double down or split using a blackjack chart.
  • Always follow the house rules and contributions.
  • Never use a blackjack system (e.g. Martingale, Paroli, etc.) as the odds of going on a winning streak are slim and you risk breaking the bank.
  • Use an online blackjack cheat sheet until you feel confident enough to memorize the correct moves.
  • Practice for free at the demo blackjack versions provided by the software developers.
  • Set a budget before you start playing and stick to it no matter what happens.
  • Don’t drink too much when playing as good judgement becomes impaired.
  • Play at reliable and licensed online casinos offering fair and tested blackjack games powered by trusted software providers.

Why Use a Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart?

A blackjack strategy table shows you exactly what move to make depending on the cards you’ve been dealt and the dealer’s face-up card. By following these guidelines you’ll be able to reduce the house advantage significantly, from over 6% with an irrelevant strategy to less than 1% when applying the correct decisions at all times. Keep in mind that you’ll only be dealing with soft or hard hands in theory and not in practice. In practice, you’ll simply use a strategy chart to determine whether you should take insurance or not. The chances of two aces being dealt to you, resulting in a situation where your hand is considered a soft total, is very small.

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Once you’ve memorised the various moves and their respective situations, you’ll be able to use them automatically without even thinking about it – this is called table play and is essential if you wish to become a successful card counter. Using a blackjack basic strategy chart will also help you distinguish between favorable, unfavorable and marginal situations, enabling you to decide on the optimal move each time. However, keep in mind that blackjack is a game of chance and nothing can guarantee a win.

After you’ve gotten the hang of blackjack basic strategy, you could try moving on to a ‘basic with composition dependent’ strategy. This type of strategy chart includes the dependency on the high or low cards which still allows for fast plays and decisions. After that stage you could attempt to learn an advanced strategy such as a ‘basic with departure point dependent’ system, which requires frequent calculations and doesn’t allow for quick plays. This method is often used by card counters who alter their strategy according to the composition of cards already dealt from the shoe.

Hit or Stand? It Depends on the Cards

One of the most important factors when deciding on your next move is being able to distinguish between good and bad hands. Experienced players will know instantly whether they need to hit or stand and this only comes with plenty of practice. However, by using a basic strategy chart and putting the theory into action, you’ll be able to improve your instinct and develop a sixth sense for making the right decisions in any given scenario.

Using the blackjack strategy chart below, we’re going to look at a few examples to see just how much of a difference having a good hand versus a bad hand makes:

Let’s assume we’re using the chart above and have been dealt a six and a seven for a total of 13, while the dealer is showing a king (with an ace as his hole card). According to the chart our best option would be to draw another card, or in other words hit. However, what if we’d been dealt an ace and a ten instead? In this case our total would be 20, which the chart indicates is a stand situation. As you can see, simply changing one of the cards has turned a bad hand into a good hand, and knowing the right time to hit or stand is imperative if you want to master blackjack.

If you examine the chart you’ll notice that there is a section for when you have a soft 17 or higher. A soft hand is when your hand contains an ace, which can count as 11 or 1. According to blackjack basic strategy, you should always stand when you have a soft 18 or 19 and hit if your hand is a soft 17 or lower. Should you hold a soft 17 with a six and an ace (seven or bust) and the dealer shows a nine (which gives him a possible 19), it is still better to hit, despite the fact that your hand can break. The reasoning behind this is because a pair of splits nines will also totall 18, giving you a better chance at beating the dealer.

When to Double Down in Blackjack

Doubling down is a powerful betting strategy that most variants of offer. It allows you to make one additional card per hand, by drawing one further card, but you’re stuck with whatever hand you have after that – there shall be no hitting nor standing back! You’ll need to place an additional equal bet to double the value of the current round and you cannot add further bets or betray lack of confidence by increasing your wager. Doubling down is a powerful tool which can give you the upper hand under certain circumstances, and knowing when to double down in blackjack is vital.

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The following examples illustrate when to double down in blackjack and when not to:

Even though the chart indicates that you shouldn’t take insurance when you have a total of 20, that doesn’t mean it is never the right decision – there will be times when taking insurance is the correct call and going against a basic strategy could pay off. The same goes for doubling down and splitting, the charts act as a guideline indicating the best time for these moves based on mathematical probabilities. Each game presents new opportunities and while solid strategies will narrow the odds in your favour, there will always be elements of chance involved.

What is Surrender in Blackjack?

A surrender in blackjack refers to when the player gives up half of their bet and forfeits the round. This option is not available at all online or land-based casinos, but at those that do offer it, there are two different types of surrender: early or late. Early surrender allows you to wave the white flag before the dealer has checked for a blackjack (by looking at the hole card) and late surrender is after he or she has done so. Most casinos that support this rule implement the late variant. We do not recommend staying at a table simply to make use of the surrender feature; if the rule isn’t there you must play according to the available options you have been dealt.

When consulted, a blackjack basic strategy chart will indicate when to surrender in blackjack. While this option may seem trivial, it can actually reduce the house edge considerably if used correctly. Keep in mind that this move is only available in the first round of play and only if you feel your hand has a weak starting total and the dealer is showing an ten or an ace. Since early surrender is such a rare find, we won’t be covering a special tip and action for this scenario. Instead, we’ll focus on late surrender and how to use it effectively.

In the example image above, you can see two scenarios of when to surrender in blackjack according to a basic strategy. The top instance shows you holding an eight and a five for a total of 13, while the dealer is showing an ace. Since a blackjack is possible, the smart play would be to surrender if the option is available with both late and early surrender reducing the house edge to less than 0.3%. If early surrender is the only option available to you, then you should take it as the probability of the dealer having a blackjack is higher than if he didn’t have an ace as his hole card.

The bottom instance demonstrates a situation where you hold a sixteen with a six and a ten. Once again, the dealer is showing an ace, indicating the possibility of a blackjack. Many players might be tempted to hit in this instance, but according to blackjack surrendering strategy, you should give up if the option is available. Late surrender will result in a house edge of 0.4%, while early surrender will lower it to 0.2%. If surrender isn’t an option, hitting is your next best bet, but bear in mind that your current hand already contains an ten, signalling that another big card could be disastrous.

Blackjack Tip: Splitting

Splitting pairs is an excellent means of turning a potentially losing hand into two promising hands. However, this option also comes at a cost, as you’ll be required to place an additional equal bet to participate. Every online blackjack guide will mention splitting as a method to lower the house advantage, but by how much will depend on the pairs you’re able to split as well as the cards the dealer is showing. Knowing when to split in blackjack is crucial if you wish to maximise your winnings and minimise losses.

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The following table highlights which pairs you should split and which you should avoid splitting:

Keep in mind that every round is unique and while our tips on how to beat blackjack can assist you in improving your odds, there will always be an element of chance involved. Even though fours and sixes traditionally fell into the category of pairs to avoid splitting for, a study conducted in 2011 by Jonathan Bober and John W. Patterson, revealed that experts actually come out slightly ahead when splitting in such instances.

Additionally, you could take things up a notch and try the D’Alembert strategy on select tables. This tactic involves increasing your bet by one unit every time you sustain a loss, while decreasing it by one if you manage to win. Only use this technique once you’ve mastered the blackjack basic strategy chart and even then, approach it with caution.

Top 10 Blackjack Tips

There are many facets to mastering the art of winning at blackjack and knowing is only half the battle. You’ll also need to apply these skills appropriately and quickly in order to succeed. To help you along the way, we’ve compiled our top 10 blackjack tips that will have you playing like a pro in no time.

  1. Learn the Rules: Before you start implementing any tactics or strategies, you need to know the basics inside and out. Study the rules and understand how the game works.
  2. Practice for Free: Once you’ve got the rules down, practice playing for free. Take advantage of demo games to familiarise yourself with the flow of the game and experiment with different strategies.
  3. Use a Strategy Chart: A basic strategy chart acts as a guide to help you make the best decision in any given situation. Refer to it often and let it guide your choices.
  4. Set a Budget: Always set a limit on how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Never chase your losses or gamble with money you can’t afford to lose.
  5. Play at Favourable Tables: Different tables have different rules and conditions. Look for tables with favourable rules, such as low house edges and the option to surrender or double down.
  6. Count Cards: Card counting is a more advanced strategy, but it can give you a significant advantage. Practice card counting and look for tables that allow it.
  7. Be Confident: Trust in your skills and your strategy. Don’t second-guess yourself or let doubt affect your decisions.
  8. Stay Focused: Blackjack requires concentration. Avoid distractions and stay focused on the game at hand.
  9. Enjoy the Game: Remember that blackjack is a game and should be enjoyed. Have fun and don’t take losses too seriously.
  10. Walk Away Winning: Know when to quit while you’re ahead. Don’t push your luck and risk losing your winnings.

Advanced Blackjack Strategies

While the will prepare you for most scenarios, there are more advanced methods employed by professionals when playing the game. These practices require a firm grasp of the fundamentals as well as lots of practice in order to execute them successfully. Let’s take a closer look at some of these techniques and how they work.

Blackjack Counting Cards

Card counting is one of the oldest and most popular advanced blackjack strategies. The concept is simple: keep track of the cards that have been dealt, so you know what cards are left in the deck. By counting cards, you can gain an advantage over the casino and increase your chances of winning.

The basic idea behind card counting is to keep a running tally of the high cards (10s, jacks, queens, kings, and aces) that have been dealt. But it’s a little more complex than that, as you also need to keep track of the low cards as well. Here’s a simplified version of the Hi-Lo card counting system:

  • +1 for each 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 that is dealt
  • – 1 for each 10, jack, queen, king, and ace that is dealt
  • No change for 7, 8, and 9
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At the beginning of the shoe, you would set your count to zero and begin keeping track. As the dealer deals cards, your count will go up or down depending on the values of the cards that are exposed.

Once you have a positive count, it means that there are more high cards left in the deck. And since you have a better chance of getting blackjack with high cards, you should increase your bets and take advantage of this advantage. Conversely, if you have a negative count, there are more low cards left, and you should decrease your bets accordingly.

It’s important to note that card counting is a team sport. You’re not supposed to signal your count to other players, but rather use it to make decisions for yourself. Your partner (usually your spouse) will also be counting cards and you’ll both know when it’s time to increase or decrease your bets.

To summarise, here are some blackjack counting cards tips:

  • Learn a simple card counting system like Hi-Lo
  • Practice counting at home before trying it in a casino
  • Start small and gradually increase your bets when you have a positive count
  • Work as a team with your partner to maximise your advantage
  • Stay focused and disciplined while counting

Blackjack Shuffle Tracking

Another advanced strategy is shuffle tracking. Unlike card counting, which focuses on individual cards, shuffle tracking follows groups of cards as they move through the shoe. The idea is to identify sections of the deck that are rich in high cards and bet heavily when they reach the end of the shoe.

Shuffle tracking requires a keen eye for spotting patterns and an understanding of how cards behave during play. You’re essentially looking for clusters of high cards that haven’t been shuffled out of their position in the deck.

Here’s how shuffle tracking works:

  • Observe the way cards are being dealt and grouping together based on their values. For example, you might notice that all the 10s are sticking together and never getting mixed up with the 2s.
  • Identify sections of the deck that contain a high concentration of high cards.
  • Bet heavily when these sections reach the end of the shoe.
  • Adjust your bets and sections as needed based on how the deck is shuffling.

Shuffle tracking is a highly technical strategy that requires a deep understanding of card handling procedures and the ability to read dealer shuffling habits. It’s not something that can be learned overnight, but if mastered, it can provide a substantial advantage to the player.

Here are some shuffle tracking tips:

  • Observe carefully and look for patterns in the way cards are dealt and shuffled.
  • Focus on sections of the deck rather than individual cards.
  • Be adaptable and adjust your sections as needed.
  • Practice, practice, practice to hone your observation skills.
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Blackjack Cheat Sheet – Printable PDF

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, having a handy blackjack cheat sheet can come in very useful indeed. Our printable PDF features all the key points including when to hit, stand, double down and split in blackjack. Simply download the document, print it out and take it with you anywhere you go.

Play Blackjack at the Best Casinos

Now that you’re armed with all our blackjack secrets, tips and tactics, it’s time to put your learning into practice. But where’s the best place to play? Well, we’ve reviewed dozens of and picked out the very finest. These operators excel in every area, from exciting blackjack games to top-notch security and service. Plus, all the recommended brands hold international gambling licenses, ensuring that you’ll enjoy a safe and secure gaming session.

If you Want to Play Blackjack Right Now, Here Are Our Top Recommended Casinos:

Join a Blackjack Tournament

For those of you who don’t know, a blackjack tournament is a competitive event where players compete against each other rather than the house. It’s like a regular blackjack game, but with a time limit and a fixed bankroll. The player with the most chips at the end of the tournament wins the pot.

Tournaments are a great way to test your skills against others and win some extra cash while doing so. They’re also less intimidating than playing against the house, as you’re not under constant pressure to beat their deal. Instead, you can focus on making the best decisions possible within the time limit.

Here are some benefits of joining a blackjack tournament:

  • Compete against other players instead of the house
  • Test your skills in a competitive environment
  • Win cash prizes without having to risk your own money
  • Meet other like-minded individuals
  • Add an extra layer of excitement to your blackjack games

If you’re interested in participating in a blackjack tournament, we suggest checking with your favourite online casino to see if they offer any upcoming events. Some casinos host regular tournaments, while others may have special events from time to time. Keep in mind that entry fees and prize pools vary, so be sure to read the rules and regulations carefully before signing up.

Winning at Blackjack Infographic

To wrap up our blackjack guide, we’ve created an infographic highlighting all the key tips and tricks you need to know. From basic strategy charts to advanced techniques like card counting and shuffle tracking, this handy visual aid provides a quick and easy reference for winning at blackjack. Whether you’re a novice player or a seasoned pro, our infographic will help you boost your game and increase your chances of success. Feel free to share it with your friends and fellow card enthusiasts.

Winning at Blackjack [Click to enlarge]

Frequently Asked Questions on Blackjack

Winning at blackjack is all about making the right decisions at the right time. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you fine-tune your gameplay. From basic strategy to card counting and beyond, these questions cover all the key topics you need to know to become a blackjack expert. So, check out our FAQ section and take your game to the next level.

📑 Where can I find a blackjack strategy chart?

A basic blackjack strategy chart acts as a guide to help you make the best decision in any given situation. It tells you whether you should hit, stand, double down, or split based on your current hand and the dealer’s upcard. You can find many free charts online or in strategy card form in our blackjack guide. Practice using the chart to strengthen your blackjack gameplay.

👌 What is the best Blackjack Strategy?

The best strategy for blackjack depends on your level of expertise and how much time you’re willing to invest in the game. For beginners, we recommend starting with a basic strategy chart which provides a simple yet effective way to make optimal decisions. As you progress, you can move on to more advanced techniques like card counting or shuffle tracking.

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🔝 Which blackjack tips are the most important?

There are many helpful tips for winning at blackjack, but some stand out more than others. Here are our top three blackjack tips:

  1. Always follow the basic strategy – This proven method reduces the house edge and gives you the best possible chance of winning.
  2. Manage your betting units – Set a budget and stick to it. Never chase your losses or bet more than you can afford.
  3. Practice, practice, practice – The more you play, the better you’ll become. Take advantage of free blackjack games online to hone your skills.

👍 Is there a blackjack guide to winning?

Yes, our blackjack guide covers everything you need to know to improve your chances of winning. From basic strategy to advanced techniques, we’ve got you covered. We also provide tips on how to use blackjack cheat sheets, when to join a tournament, and where to find the best online casinos for your favourite game.

🤔 How to beat blackjack?

Blackjack is a game of chance that cannot be beaten in the long run. However, there are ways to minimize the house edge and increase your chances of winning. Using a basic strategy chart is the most effective method for reducing the house advantage. Additionally, card counting and shuffle tracking can provide a long-term advantage, although they are more complex techniques that require practice and discipline.

🤑 Can I use blackjack tips to win real money?

Absolutely! Implementing tips and strategies can definitely enhance your gameplay and increase your chances of winning real money. Just remember to always gamble responsibly and adhere to budget limits.

More Great Guides for Casino Games

That brings us to the end of our blackjack guide. We hope you’ve found it informative and useful, and that you’ll be able to apply these tips and techniques to your own gameplay. Winning at blackjack is not impossible, but it does require knowledge, skill and a dash of luck. So, put our blackjack cheat sheet to good use, practice your card counting skills, and who knows… You might just land that coveted blackjack hand.

If you enjoyed our blackjack tips, why not check out our other casino game guides? We’ve got comprehensive resources on all your favourite games, from roulette and baccarat to slots and more. Our goal is to provide you with the best information and tools to enhance your gaming experience and help you win more often. Thanks for choosing us as your go-to source for online gambling guidance. Good luck, and happy gaming!

References & Further Reading

  • Lodewijk M. et al. (2019, March 29). Counting Cards Is Not Illegal. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from
  • Michael Shackleford. (2021, February 8). Do You Tip the Dealer after You Win Big at Blackjack? Retrieved June 2, 2023, from
  • Richard Mueller. (2014, January 3). The Surrender Decision in Blackjack. Retrieved June 2, 2023, from
  • Blatter, H. (1997). Playing the Player: Exposing Rapid Counting. Journal of Gambling Behaviour, 13(3), 173–188. Https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-997-0038-z
  • Gainsbury, S., & Griffiths, M. (2015). Superstitions and Rituals Among Gamblers: Implications for Treatment. Australian Psychologist, 51(2), 127. Https://doi.org/10.1111/auso.12105