Blackjack Chart: A Comprehensive Guide to Using a Blackjack Chart

In the world of casino gambling, few games offer the same level of excitement and potential for strategic play as blackjack. Also known as 21, blackjack is a game that combines elements of skill and luck, making it a favorite among both casual players and seasoned gamblers. One of the keys to success in blackjack is understanding and implementing basic strategy, and a crucial tool for doing so is the blackjack chart. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about using a blackjack chart to improve your game, from the basics of blackjack strategy to advanced techniques for maximizing your chances of winning.

Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

Before we dive into the intricacies of blackjack strategy and the use of a blackjack chart, let’s start by reviewing the basics of how the game is played.

blackjack chart

Objective of the Game

The objective of blackjack is simple: beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Players compete against the dealer, not against each other, making it a game of player versus house.

Card Values

In blackjack, the value of each card is as follows:

  • Number cards (2 through 10) are worth their face value.
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are each worth 10 points.
  • Aces can be worth either 1 or 11 points, depending on which value benefits the player’s hand the most.


The game begins with each player and the dealer receiving two cards. Players’ cards are typically dealt face up, while the dealer receives one card face up and one card face down (the “hole” card). Players then have several options:

  • Hit: Take another card from the dealer.
  • Stand: Keep your current hand and end your turn.
  • Double Down: Double your original bet and receive only one more card.
  • Split: If your first two cards are of the same value, you can split them into two separate hands, each with its own bet.

After all players have finished their turns, the dealer reveals their hole card and must hit until they reach a total of 17 or higher. If the dealer busts (goes over 21), all remaining players win. If the dealer does not bust, the hands are compared, and the player with the higher total wins.


If a player is dealt an Ace and a 10-point card (10, Jack, Queen, King) as their first two cards, they have achieved a blackjack. This is the strongest hand in the game and typically pays out at 3:2 odds.

The Importance of Basic Strategy in Blackjack

While blackjack is a game of chance, it also involves a significant element of skill. By using basic strategy, players can make mathematically optimal decisions based on their hand total and the dealer’s upcard. Basic strategy is not a guaranteed way to win every hand, but it does provide the best statistical chance of success over the long term.

What is a Blackjack Chart?

A blackjack chart, also known as a blackjack strategy chart or blackjack strategy card, is a visual representation of the optimal plays for every possible hand combination in blackjack. These charts are based on mathematical calculations and are designed to help players make the most advantageous decisions in any given situation.

How to Read a Blackjack Chart

A blackjack chart typically consists of a grid that lists the player’s hand total down the left side and the dealer’s upcard across the top. Each cell in the grid contains the optimal play for the corresponding hand combination. The plays are usually represented by abbreviations such as H (Hit), S (Stand), D (Double Down), and P (Split).

Using a Blackjack Chart

To use a blackjack chart effectively, players should follow these steps:

  1. Determine Your Hand Total: Start by adding up the value of your cards to determine your hand total.
  2. Identify the Dealer’s Upcard: Look at the dealer’s upcard (the face-up card) to determine the column of the chart you should reference.
  3. Find Your Hand Total on the Chart: Locate your hand total on the left side of the chart.
  4. Refer to the Corresponding Cell: Once you’ve found your hand total and the dealer’s upcard, look at the cell where the row and column intersect to see the recommended play.
  5. Follow the Recommended Play: Based on the information in the cell, decide whether to hit, stand, double down, or split your hand.

Example of Using a Blackjack Chart

Suppose you are dealt a hand with a total of 16, and the dealer’s upcard is a 7. Consulting the blackjack chart, you find the cell where the row for 16 intersects with the column for the dealer’s 7. The recommended play in this situation is to hit. Following the chart’s advice, you take another card from the dealer.

Advanced Strategies for Using a Blackjack Chart

While basic strategy provides a solid foundation for playing blackjack, there are additional strategies and techniques that players can use to further improve their odds of winning.

blackjack chart

Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy used by skilled players to keep track of the cards that have been dealt and adjust their betting and playing decisions accordingly. While card counting is not illegal, it is frowned upon by casinos and can result in being banned from playing if detected.


While it’s not necessary to memorize every play on a blackjack chart, committing the most common plays to memory can speed up your decision-making process at the table and help you play more confidently.


The best way to become proficient at using a blackjack chart is to practice regularly. Many online casinos offer free blackjack games that allow players to practice their skills without risking any money. By practicing regularly, players can gain confidence in their ability to make the right decisions at the table.


Mastering the use of a blackjack chart is an essential skill for anyone looking to become a successful blackjack player. By understanding the basics of blackjack strategy and practicing regularly, players can improve their odds of winning and enjoy a more rewarding gaming experience. Whether you’re a novice player or a seasoned pro, incorporating basic strategy and utilizing a blackjack chart can help you maximize your potential at the blackjack table.

Frequently Asked Questions About “Blackjack Chart”

Q1. What is a blackjack chart?
A1. A blackjack chart, also known as a blackjack strategy chart or basic strategy chart, is a visual reference tool that outlines the optimal plays in the game of blackjack based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s upcard. It provides players with guidance on when to hit, stand, double down, split pairs, or surrender to maximize their chances of winning.

Q2. How does a blackjjack chart work?
A2. A blackjjack chart works by presenting players with a grid that matches the player’s hand (usually along the vertical axis) with the dealer’s upcard (usually along the horizontal axis). Each intersection point on the grid corresponds to the recommended play for that specific hand combination. The chart advises players on the statistically best action to take to minimize the house edge and improve their odds of winning.

Q3. Why is using a blackjjack chart important?
A3. Using a blackjjack chart is important because it helps players make informed decisions at the blackjack table based on mathematical probabilities rather than intuition or guesswork. By following the optimal plays outlined in the chart, players can significantly reduce the house edge and increase their chances of winning in the long run. It serves as a valuable tool for both novice and experienced players to improve their gameplay and overall success at the blackjack tables.

Q4. Can a blackjjack chart guarantee a win?
A4. While a blackjjack chart provides players with the best possible strategy for any given hand, it cannot guarantee a win in every situation. Blackjack is still a game of chance, and there are factors beyond a player’s control, such as the order of the cards dealt and the dealer’s hand. However, using a blackjjack chart consistently can help players make statistically optimal decisions that lead to better outcomes over time and minimize losses.

Q5. Are there different types of blackjjack charts?
A5. Yes, there are different types of blackjjack charts tailored to specific blackjack variations and rule variations. The most common type is the basic strategy chart, which applies to standard blackjack games with traditional rules. However, there are also specialized charts for variations like single deck blackjack, double deck blackjack, Spanish 21, and blackjack games with specific rules regarding surrender, doubling down, and dealer actions on soft 17.

Q6. Where can I find a blackjjack chart?
A6. Blackjjack charts are widely available and can be found in various formats, including printed cards, laminated sheets, downloadable PDFs, and interactive online tools. Many blackjack strategy books and websites also feature comprehensive charts that players can reference during gameplay. Additionally, some mobile apps offer blackjjack charts that players can use directly on their smartphones or tablets while playing at the casino.

Q7. How do I use a blackjjack chart at the casino?
A7. To use a blackjjack chart at the casino, familiarize yourself with the chart’s layout and instructions before playing. During the game, refer to the chart to determine the recommended play based on your hand and the dealer’s upcard. Make your decisions accordingly, following the guidance provided by the chart for hitting, standing, doubling down, splitting pairs, or surrendering. Over time, using the chart consistently will help reinforce the optimal playing strategy and improve your blackjack skills.

Q8. Are blackjjack charts legal to use at the casino?
A8. Yes, blackjjack charts are legal to use at the casino, as they are simply reference tools that provide guidance on optimal playing strategy. Unlike card counting, which is considered a form of advantage play and may be prohibited by casinos, using a blackjjack chart does not involve any form of cheating or manipulation of the game. However, it’s essential to use the chart discreetly and avoid slowing down the game for other players.

Q9. Can I memorize a blackjjack chart?
A9. While it is possible to memorize a blackjjack chart with time and practice, it may not be practical or necessary for every player. Memorizing the chart can be challenging due to the large number of possible hand combinations and corresponding plays. Instead, many players prefer to keep a physical or digital copy of the chart handy for quick reference during gameplay. With experience, players may gradually internalize the optimal strategy and rely less on the chart.

Q10. Can using a blackjjack chart improve my chances of winning?
A10. Yes, using a blackjjack chart can improve your chances of winning by guiding you to make optimal decisions based on the mathematical probabilities of the game. Following the recommended plays outlined in the chart reduces the house edge and increases the likelihood of favorable outcomes in the long run. While it does not guarantee immediate success or eliminate the element of luck, consistent use of a blackjjack chart can lead to more profitable sessions and overall better performance at the blackjack table.

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