Blackjack Cheat Sheet


To be successful in Blackjack, players are going to have to play the odds. Great players can see any hand and quickly decide whether to hit, stand, double down or split. Follow this guide to learn about odds and you just might be the one quickly making decisions when at the blackjack table.

Hit:

The cornerstone of blackjack, taking one or more additional cards on your path to 21 can be an often nerve-wracking experience. Using basic strategy, however, choosing the right time to hit is a bit simpler than you may think. For instance, you should probably hit if:

  • Your hand totals 5-8 and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 9 and the dealer shows a 2,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 10 and the dealer shows a 10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 11 and the dealer shows an ace
  • Your hand totals 12 and the dealer shows a 2,3,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 13 and the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 14 and the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 15 and the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand totals 16 and the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand has an ace and a 2 or 3, while the dealer shows a 2, 3,4,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand has an ace and a 4 or 5, while the dealer shows a 2,3,4,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is an ace,6, while the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is an ace, 7, while the dealer shows a 9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is a 2,3, while the dealer shows an 8,9,10, or ace
  • Your hand is a 4,4, while the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is a 5,5, while the dealer shows a 10 or ace
  • Your hand is a 6,6, while the dealer shows a 7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is a 7,7, while the dealer shows an 8,9,10 or ace

Double Down:

Though one of the bolder plays you can do at the blackjack table, players can opt to double the original bet and in exchange for a single additional card from the dealer. Although a risky strategy, players that know when to double down can maximize their earning potential. You should consider doubling down when:

  • Your hand totals 9 and the dealer shows a 3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand totals 10 and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9
  • Your hand totals 11 and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10
  • Your hand totals is a 2,3 and the dealer shows a 5 or 6
  • Your hand is an ace and a 4 or 5, and the dealer shows 4,5 or 6
  • Your hand is an ace and a 6, and the dealer shows a 3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand is an ace and a 7, and the dealer shows a 3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand is a 5,5, and the dealer shows 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 or 9

Stand:

Not the most exciting play, standing is nonetheless a necessity for a blackjack player. Don’t let the passive nature of the move fool you, however. Standing can be tough. Sometimes you need to let the dealer bust, and sometimes you just don’t want to bust yourself. Keeping that in mind, you’ll want to forego additional cards when:

  • Your hand totals 12 and the dealer shows 4,5 or 6
  • Your hand totals 13,14 and the dealer shows 2,3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand totals 15 and the dealer shows 2,3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand totals 16 and the dealer shows 2,3,4,5 or 6
  • Your hand totals 17-20 and the dealer shows 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is an ace, 7 and the dealer shows 2,7 or 8
  • Your hand is an ace and an 8 or 9, while the dealer shows 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • Your hand is 9,9, and the dealer shows a 7,10 or ace
  • Your hand is 10,10, and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace

Split:

When your cards are the same, you can opt to place a second bet in the same amount as your original bet and play each card as a separate hand. You’ll want to consider splitting when:

  • You hold a pair of 2s or 3s and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6 or 7
  • You hold a pair of 4s and the dealer shows a 5 or 6
  • You hold a pair of 6s and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5 or 6
  • You hold a pair of 7s and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6 or 7
  • You hold a pair of 8s and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace
  • You hold a pair of 9s and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6, or 7
  • You hold a pair of aces and the dealer shows a 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or ace

Odds of Busting

When the dealer has a five or six, his or her chance of busting is the greatest. On the other hand, if you have 16 you aren’t fair that much better. If the dealer has specific initial cards, his or her chance of busting are as follows:

  • Ace: 11 percent
  • Two: 35 percent
  • Four: 40 percent
  • Five: 43 percent
  • Ten: 21 percent
  • Eight: 24 percent
  • Six: 42 percent

Insurance:

If the dealer’s first card is an ace, you can chose to insure your bet. Insurance will usually cost half of the original bet. If you win the insurance bet and lose the hand, you will come out even in the game.