Blackjack strategy

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A simple 3 stage Blackjack strategy

The 'perfect' Blackjack strategy has to cover every possible combination of cards. This quickly becomes hard to remember, especially under playing conditions.

What this simplified strategy does is give you a basic strategy, suitable for most hands you'll encounter, then takes you step by step to a more advanced level, until you're playing like a pro.

NB if you're new to Blackjack, it would be worth taking time out to read the following article: How to win at Blackjack - and why most players lose!

Once you're familiar with the strategy, check out the foot of the page for our recommendations of where to play - or practice your new-found skills on our free play Blackjack! (UK players must be 18+ - age verification required)

Casino School

Three stage Blackjack Strategy

Stage 1 - a basic strategy for most hands that will minimise risk

Stage 2 - add in the option to Split pairs where appropriate

Stage 3 - add in the option of Doubling Down if the opportunity arises

Basic rules

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Aces should be treated as 1, except with 7, 8, and 9 when they equal 11.


A, 6 is always 7
A, 8 is always 19

Player score is the total of all cards in your hand, not just the first 2, so the same rules apply to

7 and 6,
5, 4
and 4
A, 4
and 8

all of which should be treated as 13.

Stage 1 - Beginner's Blackjack strategy

Player score Action
3 to 11 HIT
12 to 16 HIT if dealer > 6, otherwise STAND
17 to 20 STAND
Exception: A, 7 HIT if dealer > 8, otherwise STAND

Stage 2 - Intermediate Blackjack strategy

As the beginner's strategy, with the addition of the Split on a pair

Player score Action
except 4s, 5s and 10s
PAIR of 4s HIT
PAIR of 5s HIT if dealer has 10 or A,

Stage 3 - Advanced Blackjack strategy

As the intermediate strategy, but with Double Down on 9, 10 and 11

Player score Action
9 DOUBLE DOWN if dealer < 7
10 DOUBLE DOWN if dealer < 10

The best casinos for Blackjack

Check out the casinos below for the best Blackjack games currently available.

Online Blackjack guide

Blackjack is the most popular game in the casino, and for good reason - it's simple to learn, but offers experienced gamblers the opportunity to refine a strategy that could give them the edge over the casino.

In order to take you from beginner through to High Rolling Blackjack player, we've put together a comprehensive Blackjack guide, that tells you everything you need to know:

Blackjack basics

A simple guide to playing Blackjack. An explanation of the rules, counting system and betting options - Hit, Stand, Double, Split, Surrender, Insurance etc.

This Blackjack Basics guide is designed to get you up and playing in as short a time as possible.

Blackjack variations and side bets

Casinos offer a multitude of Blackjack variations, each with a subtle twist on the standard game. They have also introduced side bets, optional bets that can win even when the main hand loses!

We've detailed all the major variations and side bets in this separate guide. Once you're familiar with the basic game, you can choose a variation that gives you exactly what you want!

How to win at Blackjack

New Blackjack players often think that the object of the game is to get a points total as close to twenty one as possible. It isn't.

To win at Blackjack, you just have to beat the dealer - and you can do this with a points total of nineteen, fifteen or even twelve.

Play Blackjack for free

Practice your new-found Blackjack strategy skills on this free play game which you can play without downloading, on your mobile, tablet or desktop.

You'll get 2,000 play money credits and as long as you want to practice!

Blackjack with Live Dealers

Live casino Blackjack

Once you've familiarised yourself with the rules of Blackjack on the free play Practice game, why not try playing with real Live Dealers? It's the most authentic casino experience you can get, without leaving your home!

At our Live Casinos, you can always find a table to play at (or Bet Behind!) and place bets from as low as £1, right up to £5,000!

Read through the articles above, practice until you feel coonfident, then head over to one of our casinos and play Live Blackjack now!