If you are new to the game of blackjack then one of the best ways to start out is by familiarizing yourself with the basic strategy of the game. Basic blackjack strategy charts can help make it easy to learn the basics of when to hit, when to stand, when to double down and when to split pairs in any situation.

Basic blackjack strategy charts are tables that list possible hand values on one axis and possible dealer upcard values on the other axis. Based on the value of your hand and the value of the dealer's upcard you can easily determine which move you should make. Strategy charts are based upon a number of factors including the probability of the dealer busting or getting blackjack, the probability of the player busting or getting blackjack and a number of other factors.

You will see from looking at a basic chart that there are several hands that have easy and straightforward decisions that you should make every time. For instance, when you are dealt a hand worth a hard total of 17 through 21 (not including an Ace) you should always stand. On the other hand, when your hand is valued at 5, 6, 7 or 8 you should always hit. It doesn't matter what upcard the dealer is showing, you should always stand or always hit in these instances.

Other decisions are not so black and white. For instance, when you have a hand with a value of 12 blackjack strategy charts will tell you to hit on everything except when the dealer is showing a 4, 5 or 6, in which case you should stand. The reason for this is that the dealer is likely to bust when he shows a 4, 5 or 6. By studying basic strategy charts you can learn the best decision to make in any hand of blackjack.

Your hand | Dealer's face-up card | |||||||||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | A | |

Hard totals (excluding pairs) | ||||||||||

17-20 | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S |

16 | S | S | S | S | S | H | H | SU | SU | SU |

15 | S | S | S | S | S | H | H | H | SU | H |

13-14 | S | S | S | S | S | H | H | H | H | H |

12 | H | H | S | S | S | H | H | H | H | H |

11 | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | H |

10 | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | H | H |

9 | H | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | H | H | H | H | H |

5-8 | H | H | H | H | H | H | H | H | H | H |

Soft totals | ||||||||||

2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | A | |

A,8 A,9 | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S |

A,7 | S | Ds | Ds | Ds | Ds | S | S | H | H | H |

A,6 | H | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | H | H | H | H | H |

A,4 A,5 | H | H | Dh | Dh | Dh | H | H | H | H | H |

A,2 A,3 | H | H | H | Dh | Dh | H | H | H | H | H |

Pairs | ||||||||||

2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | A | |

A,A | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP |

10,10 | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S | S |

9,9 | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | S | SP | SP | S | S |

8,8 | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP |

7,7 | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | H | H | H | H |

6,6 | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | H | H | H | H | H |

5,5 | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | Dh | H | H |

4,4 | H | H | H | SP | SP | H | H | H | H | H |

2,2 3,3 | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | SP | H | H | H | H |

The above is a basic strategy table for 3 or more decks, dealer stands on soft 17, double on any 2 cards, double after split allowed, dealer peeks for blackjack, and blackjack pays 3:2. Key:

**S**= Stand**H**= Hit**Dh**= Double (if not allowed, then hit)**Ds**= Double (if not allowed, then stand)**SP**= Split**SU**= Surrender (if not allowed, then hit)