Blackjack Strategy Charts

Blackjack charts provide specific strategies that will increase your edge. This article has several useful charts and a guide on using them.

Blackjack charts provide the means to memorize the basic strategy to get the upper hand against the house. Other graphs can show you the right blackjack action in specific scenarios. Because of blackjack's popularity, numerous authors and mathematicians came up with these charts.

This article covers the different blackjack charts to help you decide whether they can improve your game or not. 

Blackjack Chart Maker

Use our blackjack strategy chart generator to create Hard, Soft & Pair charts specific to your game's settings.

Remember that blackjack offers the fairest odds of all gambling games. However, to be competitive, you must ensure you use a set of strategy charts that are computed for the specific rules of the blackjack game you are playing. Our blackjack chart calculator allows you to tailor its inputs such as:

  • the number of decks,
  • whether the dealer hits or stands at 17,
  • surrendering,
  • doubling,
  • resplitting, and
  • insurance.

Our blackjack chart generator also allows you to pick a specific strategy to run the calculations (see Github repository for details):

  • Simple
  • Advanced
  • Exact Composition
  • BJC Super Easy
  • BJC Simple
  • BJC Great

Blackjack Charts 101

Blackjack chart

What Is It

A blackjack chart contains recommended actions for specific hands. Charts usually have the player's hole cards and the dealer's upright card. Lined up across the rows and columns are blackjack options, such as hitting or staying.

These charts follow a blackjack strategy that considers the blackjack odds of winning with a specific hole card against the dealer's revealed card. Blackjack charts can drop the house edge to 0.5% if followed properly.

What Should Be On It

Every blackjack chart should show the dealer's upright cards, the player's hole cards, and the recommended action a player should take. The steps shown in each chart are actions that grant you higher blackjack odds of winning that specific hand. For example, if you are playing a hard 15 against a dealer with an upright six card, staying in your hand is the preferred choice to avoid going bust while allowing the dealer to go bust. 

Another critical piece of information on all blackjack charts is to the table's setting. There are blackjack tables where the dealer draws from a 3-deck shoe or an 8-deck one. Other tables may have the option for you to surrender your hand and get back half of your bet. The surrender option is not available in all blackjack tables.

Specific table settings have different blackjack odds for sure hands. These settings are where particular actions have better chances of winning. If you cannot surrender with these sets of hands, the best option is to stay and avoid going bust. 

How To Read a Blackjack Strategy Chart

Reading a blackjack chart is simple when you know the standard terms of the game. Starting with the hard hands, which do not contain an ace. If you get a hard 7, this could be 3 + 4, while an H 12 consists of 6 + 6 or K + 2

Soft hands contain an ace card. A blackjack ace is valuable since it can be a 1 or an 11. If you are to read the charts, these are just an ace + a specific card. An ace + 2 is also an A + 2 while an ace + 7 is a A + 7

The dealer's revealed card is in every chart, which you can see at the top. By aligning the dealer's card to your hand on the chart, you will see the proper action to take in each blackjack game. 

Regarding actions, your most common options are to hit (draw one or more cards) or stand (end your turn). There are only a few situations where "double" grants you a chance to increase your bankroll. A unique "double" action lets you draw a single card and double your bet. Finally, there is the surrender option, where you can surrender your hand and get back half of your bet. 

You will notice that there are indications within each charting regarding when you should stop hitting in a blackjack game when. This means that you need to follow the next step of the chart indicated by the value of your three-hole cards. Let us say you have a 2 and 3 to form a hard 5 hand. Drawing a 10 will get you a hard 15 when you hit. Since you have a hard 15, you follow what is the recommended action on the chart for this hand against the dealer's revealed hand.

How To Memorize Charts

Memorizing a chart is not as hard as you think. It all comes down to knowing when you should double down. Let us use a 3-deck chart for hard totals as an example. Every time you get a hard 11, you double your bet. You hit when you get a hard 10, and the dealer has a 10 or an ace. When you get a hard 9, you only double in four scenarios, while the rest are about hitting to lower the risk of losing most of your bankroll. 

Once you remember when to double, you hit for every scenario where you have a hard 8 or lower. When you get a hard 17 or hard 18, you mostly stand or surrender when the dealer has an ace. Depending on the opponent's cards, these hands require you to hit, stand, or surrender. 

We now go over how to memorize the essential parts of any blackjack chart. Committing the actions to memory comes down to just practice, and there are plenty of ways you can go about this. An excellent example of this is free social blackjack games. You can find these games in mobile app stores or social media sites that let you play online games. Social blackjack simulates the games without having to stake your money. It is important to note that this will not affect an actual game since social blackjack utilizes an RNG algorithm to determine what cards to draw. 

Use an actual deck of cards to play a practice session to get a feel of a specific table setting where a croupier or dealer draws cards from an 8-deck or 6-deck shoe. Not only will this help you memorize the actions for particular hands, but you can also see your blackjack odds of winning these hands. Learning and implementing the basic blackjack strategy takes as long as memorizing a chart.

Top Blackjack Charts

3-Deck Blackjack Chart/ Late Surrender/ Dealer Peek

Utilizing a single-deck strategy is nearly impossible since a blackjack table with a 1-deck shoe is incredibly rare among modern casinos. The lowest deck number certain casinos are willing to offer tables with 3-deck shoes. Tables with as few as possible are mostly sought after by card counters. These tables allow players to follow most card counting systems such as the Hi-Lo method. Fortunately, you do not need to think about counting cards by studying the following charts.

3-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
3-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart
3-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
3-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart

6-Deck Blackjack Chart/ Late Surrender/ Dealer Peek

Nearly all physical casinos use a six-deck shoe, giving the house a slightly higher edge. A blackjack pays a player 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 if they get a natural blackjack hand. Increasing the number of decks lowers the rate of natural blackjacks to decrease the player's edge. You can still boost your odds of winning by using the following charts for this type of table. 

6-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
6-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart
6-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
6-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart

8-Deck Blackjack Chart/ Late Surrender/ Dealer Peek

8-decks are a natural deterrent against card counters. Having more decks in a shoe makes it hard for counters to grasp the running edge well. In addition, an 8-deck shoe significantly lowers the chances of a natural blackjack for you. To get the edge over the house, we have the following blackjack chart for this type of table.

8-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
8-Deck Hard Totals Blackjack Chart
8-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart infographic
8-Deck Soft Totals Blackjack Chart

Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart in Text

If going through charts makes it hard for you to memorize those actions, we break down the basic blackjack strategy into a simple text format below. This strategy works for most types of tables that allow you to surrender. 

Stand

  • Soft 20 or A 9 stands
  • Soft 18 or A 7 against dealer's 9, 10, Ace stands
  • Hard 20 or J K stands
  • Hard 19 or Q 9 stands
  • Hard 18 or 9 K stands
  • Hard 17 or K 7 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace stands
  • Hard 16 or Q 6 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 stands
  • Hard 15 or K 5 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 stands
  • Hard 14 or J 4 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 stands
  • Hard 13 or Q 3 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 stands
  • Hard 12 or 8 4 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 stands
  • 10 pair or 10 10 stands

Hit

  • Soft 3/13 or A 2 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Soft 4/14 or As 3 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Soft 5/15 or A 4 against dealer's 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Soft 6/16 or A 5 against dealer's 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Soft 7/17 or A 6 against dealer's 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Soft 8/18 or As 7 against dealer's 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Hard 5 or 2 3 hits
  • Hard 6 or 4 2 hits
  • Hard 7 or 3 4 hits
  • Hard 8 or 5 3 hits
  • Hard 9 or 3 6 against dealer's 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Hard 12 or 7 5 against dealer's 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Hard 13 or K 3 against dealer's 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Hard 14 or Q 4 against dealer's 7, 8, 9, 10, and Ace hits
  • Hard 15 or 10 5 against dealer's 7, 8, and 9 hits
  • Hard 16 or J 6 against dealer's 7 and 8 hits

Double

  • Soft 3/13 or A 2 against dealer's 5 and 6 doubles
  • Soft 4/14 or As 3 against dealer's 5 and 6 doubles
  • Soft 5/15 or A 4 against dealer's 4, 5, and 6 doubles
  • Soft 6/16 or A 5 against dealer's 4, 5, and 6 doubles
  • Soft 7/17 or A 6 against dealer's 3, 4, 5, and 6 doubles
  • Soft 8/18 or As 7 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 doubles
  • Soft 9/19 or A 8 against dealer's 6 doubles
  • Hard 9 or 3 6 against dealer's 3, 4, 5, and 6 doubles
  • Hard 10 or 7 4 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 doubles
  • Hard 11 or 9 2 doubles

Split

  • Ace pair or A A split
  • 9 pair or 9 9 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 9 split
  • 8 pair 8 8 split
  • 7 pair or 7 7 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 split
  • 6 pair or 6 6 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 split
  • 4 pair or 4 4 against dealer's 5 and 6 split
  • 3 pair or 3 3 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 split
  • 2 pair or 2 2 against dealer's 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 split

Surrender

  • Hard 15 or 10 5 against dealer's 10, and Ace surrenders
  • Hard 16 or J 6 against dealer's 9, 10, and Ace surrenders
  • Hard 17 or K 7 against dealer's Ace surrenders

Blackjack Charts: FAQ

Why should you consult blackjack charts?

Actions taken within these charts are estimated to increase your odds of winnings and lowering the house edge while playing blackjack. These charts also include opportunities to double your bets since the risk of going bust or losing to the dealer is low during specific scenarios. Following these charts can help you make money playing online blackjack.

What does it mean to surrender in a blackjack chart?

Surrendering is where you give up your hand and take back half of your bet. This action helps you get out of a tough spot where your hand is likely to go bust or get beaten by the dealer.

What should I do if I cannot surrender in a blackjack chart?

If a table does not allow you to surrender, your best alternative is to hit. While the blackjack odds of going bust is higher when hitting with a hard 15 or higher, you still have a chance of getting a card that improves your hand.

Why are there different blackjack charts? 

Specific charts address the number of possible card combinations available in tables that use different decks in their shoes. In addition, there are separate charts for hard and soft hands or hands without and with Aces. These charts provide actions that give you better blackjack odds of winning specific scenarios.

How are 3-deck blackjack charts different from an 8-deck blackjack chart? 

In this game, natural blackjacks have a higher chance of occurring when a few decks are in play. Players and dealers have a fair chance of a blackjack hand with a single to a 3-deck shoe than an 8-deck shoe. Separate charts provide profitable actions when a specific player and dealer's hand is affected by the number of decks.

What is the difference between "Double" and "Double (Stand)" on the charts? 

For specific tables where you are not allowed to Double, the alternative is to hit for these hands. Meanwhile, you stand when a particular scenario recommends you to double, and this option is not allowed.

Why should you always split a pair of aces and stand with a pair of 10s?

You should always split Ace pairs since they have a good chance of becoming natural blackjacks. Even if you did not get a blackjack, you would get two soft hands with better opportunities to double your bet. Splitting 10s will only get you two hard hands. You are better off standing with a 20 to win a hand than to split them and make two losing hard hands.  

How would you know which blackjack chart to use? 

You only need to know the number of decks a table will use. Even if the table does not allow you to surrender, you can replace that action with a "hit."

Why are there two separate blackjack charts for soft and hard hands?

Soft hands have numerous opportunities to double your bet since you will never go bust with most of these scenarios, such as a soft 17, 18, or 19. Meanwhile, hard hands will likely go bust if you hit with a hand of 14 or more. These scenarios are why hard-hand charts mostly tell you to hit and stand.

Can you print a strategy card and take it with you to a casino?

Casinos allow strategy cards on their blackjack tables. For them, these cards encourage players to keep spending more money on their blackjack tables.

Can you use strategy cards with live dealer blackjack games?

Blackjack strategy cards are compatible with live dealer blackjack games that draw from a regular shoe and not a CSM device. Take note of the number of decks a live dealer has and use the appropriate chart for your game.

When appropriately used, blackjack charts can improve your game by finding opportunities to increase your win rate while lowering your losses. Memorizing these charts is not as complicated as many think. You can utilize games or software to simulate every scenario in these graphs, helping you commit the blackjack charts into memory.

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