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Single Deck Blackjack Strategy
- February 19, 2019 By Riley Wilson -
Single Deck Blackjack is highly popular with players at land-based and online casinos. Its popularity owes to the low house edge when compared with multi-deck Blackjack games. If you are new to the game of Blackjack and you want to learn more to improve your skills, we got you covered. Stay with us to learn the optimal strategy for the single-deck version of Blackjack that can help you beat the casino.
Single Deck Blackjack Basics
First of all, this version of the game is played with a single deck shuffled after each round. Once you place a bet, you will be dealt two face-up cards while the dealer gets one face-up card and the other you cannot see. Just like in other Blackjack games, your goal is to create a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand. The one who exceeds 21, busts and loses their bet. If both participants have the same score, it is called a push and you get your bet back. Now, let’s see how you can minimise the house edge by making the right moves. One of the rules that can be perceived as a shortcoming of the single-deck version of the game is that the dealer always hits on soft 17. This rule balances the low house edge as it is not favourable to the player. The following strategy is based on this rule.
Here are the possible situations when you hand consists of an Ace and another card and what you should do in them.
If you have a soft 13 to 16 hand, you should Hit in all cases except when the dealer’s face-up card is 4, 5 or 6. In these situations, you should Double Down.
When your hand is soft 17, Double Down on the dealer’s 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 card and Hit if they hold 7, 8, 9, 10 or A.
When you have soft 18, you should Stand on the dealer’s 2, 7 and 8 and Double Down when they have 3, 4, 5 or 6. When the dealer has 9, 10 or A, you should Hit.
With a soft 19 hand, it’s easy. Stand on all dealer’s cards with the exception of 8. When the dealer’s face up card is 8, you should Double Down.
Finally, with a soft 20+ hand, you should Stand regardless of the dealer’s face-up card.
Hands Than Can Be Split
If you have two 2s in your hand, you should Split them when the dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7. In case they have 8, 9, 10 or A, you should Hit.
With two 3s, you should Spilt when the dealer has 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 and Hit on the dealer’s 9, 10 or A.
Two 4s should be Split when the dealer has 4, 5 or 6. In case they have 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 or A, you should Hit.
As for two 6s, they should be Split on the dealer’s 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. You should Hit when the dealer holds 8, 9, 10 or A.
With two 7s, you should Split on all cards from 2 to 8, Hit on 9 and A and Stand on 10.
All 8s and As should be Split and with two 9s, you should Split in all cases except when the dealer shows 7 or 10. In this case, you should Stand.
What Else You Can Do?
With a hand with a value between 4 and 7, always Hit.
If you have a total of 8, Hit in all cases except when the dealer has 5 or 6. In this case, you should Double Down.
With a total of 9, Double Down on the dealer’s 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Hit when the dealer has 7, 8, 9, 10 or A.
With a 10 hand, you should Hit on the dealer’s 10 and A. Otherwise, Double Down.
When your hand is 11, you should always Double Down.
If your hand is 12, you should Stand on the dealer’s 4, 5 or 6 and Hit in all other situations.
If you have a hard 13 to 16 hand, you should Stand on the dealer’s 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and Hit when the dealer’s face-up card is 7, 8, 9, 10 or A.
In case you have a hard 17+ hand, always Stand.