What is a Blackjack Strategy Chart?

Simply put, a blackjack strategy chart details basic strategy for blackjack players. Since there are different variations of blackjack, there are also slight variations to the different basic strategies that players can use. This is represented in the various strategy charts. This article will provide you with a commonly used blackjack strategy chart and explain how you can understand and use the chart effectively in your blackjack game.

Using a Blackjack Strategy Chart

A blackjack strategy chart is a simple chart that displays the correct move that a player should make based on the player’s hand of cards and the dealer’s face card. The basic moves allowed in blackjack are Stand, Hit, Double Down, Split and Surrender. Learning basic strategy is as simple as memorizing all the possible card scenarios and the moves to make for each one.

Analyzing a Blackjack strategy chart may seem complicated if you are new to the game, but it’s actually quite simple. Typically in the far left column, the value of the players hand will be listed. The dealer’s face cards will then be listed across the top of the chart. The remainder of the chart is filled with all the possible moves that the player can make.

Often blackjack strategy charts will list the player’s moves using letters and color-coded boxes. The colors make it easier to distinguish each letter. Most charts use the first letter or two from each word to signify the move that the player should make (e.g. H = Hit, S = Stand, D = Double Down, Sp = Split, Su = Surrender). Not all charts are the same though.

The chart on the right details basic strategy for a game of blackjack with the following common rules:

1.    4 to 8 decks
2.    Dealer stands on soft 17
3.    Double down on any 2 cards
4.    Double down after split allowed
5.    Only original bets lost on dealer blackjack
6.    Late surrender

Is a Blackjack Strategy Chart Effective?

There is no doubt that following a blackjack strategy chart will improve your chances at the tables. It won’t however guarantee you will win at blackjack. Even if you follow basic strategy perfectly, you will still win less than 50% of the time in the long run.

You can find a number of different blackjack strategy charts on the internet for free use. Obviously if you are going to a casino, you’ll have to memorize the charts. For online casinos in Canada or the UK, you can refer to them as you are playing.