Blackjack Strategy: Complete Guide | LeoVegas

Blackjack Strategy Guide

As one of the defining card-based table games in worldwide casino gaming, blackjack enjoys a long and decorated history as one of the most popular and widely played card games. Today, we will look at some blackjack strategies that players use to give themselves a better opportunity to put the odds in their favour. However, it’s important to note early on that there’s no way of implementing a blackjack strategy that will guarantee you a win.


Blackjack Basic Strategy

Basic blackjack strategy covers several different components. It is always a wise move to start by understanding the basics of the game, and once you have a firm grasp of the basics, rules, and some of the strategies that top players implement, you will be familiar with what to look for.

Start by Learning the Rules

As far as card-based casino games are concerned, blackjack is one of the simpler games to understand. Ultimately, you’re playing against the dealer. Although the house always has an advantage, blackjack has better odds than other casino games, such as roulette, regardless of the casino game you're playing.

You and the dealer are dealt two cards each, and the goal of the game is to get as close to 21 without exceeding it. If you go over 21, you go bust. A blackjack is when you are dealt 21 as your first hand, which would usually include an ace and any other card that is equal to 10.

In blackjack, an ace can act as either 1 or 11. So, sometimes you will have flexibility if an ace is drawn out in your opening hand. These types of hands are referred to as “soft” hands simply because their value is technically not set in stone, or ‘hard’. If your opening hand doesn’t include an ace, this is referred to as a “hard” hand.

How to Read a Basic Blackjack Strategy Chart

There are dozens of different outcomes and different ways to leverage your opening hand. Blackjack's basic strategy is as much about managing risk as it is about understanding the mathematical probability that your hand is better than the dealer’s hand and making an effective play.

In blackjack, there are four actions you can utilise to give yourself the best pathway to victory. You can either hit, stand, split or double down. As we touched on, a soft hand includes an ace, which can act as a 1 or an 11, splitting the hand so that you have two attempts at beating the dealer with your flexible card is something that a lot of blackjack players will attempt. Striking while the iron is hot in blackjack can allow you to take advantage of a strong hand, but it can also increase your losses if the dealer has a better hand, so you must always approach a split with caution.

Another strategy that can increase your returns (and losses) is to double down. You need to ensure you are at an advantage with your hand. As you can see, it’s a good idea to implement this strategy during specific hands, so familiarising yourself with the basic strategy chart is an efficient way to utilise the most effective blackjack betting strategy.

Simple Blackjack Strategy

If you have a particularly strong hand, the best strategy is to stand, and if your total is 17 or over, it is strongly advisable to do so. Conversely, if you have an opening hand of less than 10, this is an obvious point where you take another card (hit).

A general rule of blackjack is that an 8, 9 or 10 can be a strong starting point. If you land an ace, then it is ideal, as you have the flexibility of using it as a 1 or 11. The grey area is when your blackjack hand holds a value of between 12 and 15. It can be risky to hit on any of these numbers, but you will likely lose this round if you stick.

It is crucial to understand the likelihood of this and play with it in mind, managing your risk as you move. No blackjack strategy will be beneficial if you don’t have effective risk management, which we will be discussing later in more detail.

No Bust Blackjack Strategy

No bust blackjack is one of the simplest ways to manage the possibility of the dealer going bust before you do. The example we used at the end of our last section perfectly illustrates this point. If you have 14 and don’t want to risk taking another card in case you go bust, and the dealer has 10, then the no bust strategy means that the dealer must hit, and you’re essentially gambling on whether the card they draw will send them bust instead of you.

This can be a risky method and not very effective, and a lot of players will decide to come out swinging instead and take another card.

Blackjack Betting Strategies

Other strategies are more diverse and might be slightly more difficult to follow. Some of these strategies can be applied across a range of different casino games too, and they aim to apply a more mathematical strategy than blackjack theory. While understanding the mathematics of blackjack can be far more beneficial than in other card-based casino games based on pure luck, such as baccarat, the impact of using these strategies is incredibly minimal, and nothing will guarantee you turn a profit from your hand.


The Martingale system is a controversial blackjack strategy. The whole idea of this strategy is that you continue to double your bet if you lose so that you eventually break even. We wouldn’t recommend implementing this strategy as there is no theory behind it, and it can result in you losing your money very quickly until you have nothing left. Some critics have argued that the Martingale method is just a roundabout way of chasing your losses, and it’s difficult to disagree with that analogy.


Fibonacci is a name that is untouchable in the field of maths. As one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, there are still elements of his theory that are applied today, over 1,000 years after his existence. Of course, when Fibonacci was around, blackjack didn’t even exist as a game. However, by applying some of his theories to blackjack, some gamblers believe they have unlocked the key to safely navigating a blackjack session and avoiding a loss.

The Fibonacci strategy bears a striking, worrying resemblance to the Martingale method. The only slight difference is that the Martingale method involves constantly doubling your last bet until you cover your loss — if you don’t lose all your money first. The Fibonacci strategy is equally as chaotic, but it tones it down slightly and utilises the last two bet values.

A Fibonacci sequence would be 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 etc. So, if you bet €10 and lose, the Fibonacci blackjack betting system dictates that you should bet €20 if you lose, then €30, then €50, and so on.

As you can see from our relatively simple example, this is a turbulent strategy to use, and it essentially works against all the conventional rules of responsible gambling. There is also no way of guaranteeing that this method will pay off.


The law of equilibrium is the focal point of the D’Alembert betting strategy and draws on some aspects of the Martingale strategy, but is a slightly more risk-averse approach. This strategy involves raising your bet by one whenever you lose and lowering it by one if you win. The idea is that the hands will balance themselves out, and you will be able to ride the crest of a wave as evenly as you can. However, there’s no equilibrium theory in blackjack; gamblers can and have lost 20 or 25 hands in a row.


A parlay bet is another high risk blackjack betting strategy that involves taking advantage of a considerable run of form. If you bet €10, and you win; you bet the same, including the winnings. If that wins again, you will bet €40, with the stakes increasing each time you win. Again, this is a strategy that clearly falls into an all-or-nothing system, which is not a system that anyone with sensible, responsible gambling practices in place would implement.

Blackjack 2-1-2

A 2-1-2 bet works in a similar way to the D’Alembert bet. However, the one key distinction with this blackjack strategy is that you bet a smaller amount instead of making a higher bet if you win. If you win again, you use the same methodology as the D’Alembert and bet higher.

As a basic example, if the first bet is winning one of €20, you lower the bet to €10, and if you win again, you up your bet once more to €20. This differs depending on the amount you initially start with, but this is the basic principle.

Blackjack 1-3-2-6

The 1-3-2-6 method is a set of four bets whereby you place your first bet, again, let’s say €10. If your bet loses, you triple the amount to €30; if it loses again, you bet €20, and then you go all in with your final large amount of €60. While there’s clear potential to make your money back, it should be fairly obvious how dangerous this particular blackjack betting system is, and it’s definitely not the type of move that a player would incorporate if they were looking to manage their risk effectively.

Blackjack Card Counting

Card counting is one of the most discussed strategies, as it has sometimes worked for players looking to gain an advantage over house odds. Card counting involves a highly complex set of probabilities. It requires an incredible amount of memory muscle, and remembering which low cards have been drawn out in the game to determine whether the player or the dealer has the better hand. Casinos have effectively wiped out this risk by combining multiple decks of cards. If you’re found to be card counting, you will often be barred from the casino, so it might not be the best idea to try and implement this blackjack strategy.

Advanced Blackjack Strategy

There’s not a one size fits all approach to blackjack advanced strategy, and although some players might be more adept at how certain aspects of the game work, it’s all about knowing when to put your foot down and when to hold back. It’s wise to familiarise yourself with when to hit, stick, split or double down – and once you understand when to use these four methods most effectively, you can piece together a far more effective strategy.

Blackjack Bankroll Management

Regardless of the casino game you play, effective bankroll management is vital. You could read up on effective blackjack management systems for hours on end, but it's a pointless task if you don’t know how to mitigate any possible losses properly.

Effective risk management can include several basic methods to keep your gambling engaging and manageable. For instance, betting a small amount you can afford to lose and setting up time limits are just two incredibly effective ways to manage your risk. However, if you believe you are developing an issue with your gambling, you should reach out to somebody who can help you.


Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in casino gaming, and it has maintained strong popularity and a passionate fanbase for decades. Even the inception of online gambling didn’t do much to slow it down. With more ways to gamble than ever and more content to educate yourself on how it works, online casinos are benefitting from a sharp spike.

Although a gambling strategy guide can help you understand lesser-known aspects of the game, no strategy is going to give you an advantage over the house. As long as you’re able to commit that to memory early on, you can enjoy the game as a bit of fun, which should be the only intention.