15 of the Best Blackjack Strategies

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Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN ON A HARD 11

You’ll always win more money if you double down on hard 11 against any dealer’s upcard vs. hitting in all games, with one exception.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS SPLIT A PAIR OF 8s AND ACES

Aces regardless of what the dealer’s upcard is. Many players won’t split with a pair of 8s when the dealer’s upcard is a 9, 10.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

NEVER SPLIT A PAIR OF 5s OR TENS

A pair of 5s is also a hard 10 and you are always better off taking a one-or-more-card draw to a 10 than splitting the 5s.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS HIT A HARD 12 AGAINST A DEALER’S 2 OR 3 UPCARD

This is a situation where most players chicken out and stand on their 12 because they fear busting. 

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS HIT ACE-7 (SOFT 18) WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS 9, 10, OR ACE

Players mistakenly believe that totals 18 is a sure win, which is why they stand on soft 18.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN ON 10 WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS 9 OR LESS

Two-card 10 against any dealer’s upcard of 9 or less, which is why doubling down is your best strategy

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

IF THE RULES SPECIFY THAT DEALER MUST HIT SOFT 17

You are playing an H17 game, the above three doubling strategy changes you should make vs. the same game with S17. 

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN A-2 THROUGH A-7

The range of dealer’s upcards where you should double down with soft 13 through 18 varies depending upon the number of decks.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS STAND WITH A PAIR OF 9s WHEN THE DEALER’S UPCARD IS A 7 

The dealer will have a ten in the hole since there are four times as many ten-value cards in a deck.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

ALWAYS SURRENDER HARD 16 AGAINST A DEALER’S 9, 10

A hard 15 and 16 are two of the worst hands in blackjack, especially when the dealer is showing a strong upcard.

Henry Tamburin Ph.D

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Henry Tamburin Ph.D