Blackjack is a casino game where a combination of luck and skill can bring you a lot of money, and many players have their own “from rags to riches” stories to tell. Unlike playing slots, where you need to rely on luck alone, playing Blackjack requires understanding a blackjack cheat sheet, so you can devise a solid strategy and, ideally, card counting skill.
Stay tuned as I’ll provide details on soft and hard hand combinations, basic blackjack strategy, and frequently asked questions.
Blackjack Cheat Sheet Combinations
The goal of casino games is to entertain you while taking risks. Gamblers are always looking for ways to lower the house edge in order to make the best of a bad situation and improve their chances of winning. And, in order to achieve this, players use a blackjack cheat sheet. If you plan to play a game against the dealer, you can easily improve your chances of winning if you know how to use it.
The Blackjack cheat sheet is a necessary tool that was made to help players improve their game and increase their chances of winning big while lowering the house edge. We’ll look at two different cheat sheets in this guide. One is based on what happens when the dealer has a soft 17, and the other is based on what happens when the dealer hits.
First, you need to know what the phrase “soft hand” means. When a player has an ace in their hand and can’t go bust after a certain draw, they have a “soft hand.” Because an ace can be counted as either 1 or 11, the total value of your hand cannot be more than 21. If you have an A and a 6, for example, it could be a 17 or a 7. “Soft 17” is the name for this hand, and if you have it, you can draw freely without worrying.
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Here are all the different ways you can have a soft hand:
- A2/13 — 13 or 3
- A3/14 — 14 or 4
- A4/15 — 15 or 5
- A5/16 — 16 or 6
- A6/17 — 17 or 7
- A7/18 — 18 or 8
- A8/19 — 19 or 9 (in most cases you should stand)
- A9/20 — 20 or 10 (in this case you should always stand)
If you have an ace and a 10 or a face card, you’re guaranteed to have an unbeatable blackjack.
Hard Hand Combinations
Besides a soft hand, there’s a hard hand which is also called total. It’s any pair of cards other than an ace. With a hard hand, it’s likely that you’ll go bust after drawing another set of cards. Among the hard totals are the following:
- 9 — 7 (Hard hand 16)
- 8 — 6 (Hard hand 14)
- 10 —7 (Hard hand 17)
If you have a high card in this situation, it’s likely that you will break. Therefore, drawing when you have a bad hand is a risky thing to do. Before we go into the cheat chart, let’s go over moves and how they’re represented in the picture.
- H – Hit
- S – Stand
- P – Split
- Ph – If allowed, split, otherwise hit.
- Pd – If allowed, split, otherwise double.
- Ds – If possible, double, otherwise stand.
- Dh – If possible, double, otherwise hit.
- Rh – If you can, surrender, otherwise hit.
- Rs – If you can, surrender, otherwise stand.
- Rp – If you can, surrender, otherwise split.
Now, we’ll look at the optimal basic strategy cheat sheet for a game of blackjack with 4 to 8 decks.
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The Basic Blackjack Strategy
Before going into details about different actions, we’re going to explain basic moves of blackjack:
- Stand — You should choose to play stand when you have a good combination of cards. It’s counted as a positive move because you’re waiting for one more card.
- Double down — When it’s possible, you can double down on your previous bet. The most common thing players do in this situation is doubling down or hitting if they have a hard 10 or hard 11.
- Hit — When you don’t have a good hand, you should play hit and draw one more card, specifically when the dealer has already shown his card.
- Give up or not — The first thing you should think about when playing your hand is whether or not to give up. You can do this only after you’ve been dealt your first two cards. If you’ve taken a card, you’re not able to give up.
- Break or not — This is an option when your first two cards are a pair or when you have two ten-valued cards (a king and a jack, for example). It’s the second most important decision you’ll make.
- Double or not — Keep in mind that in certain online casinos you can’t double on some hands. Try to rule this out before moving on. If your basic blackjack chart strategy says you should double, take this as a good sign! What it’s telling you is that you’ll probably win the hand.
- Strike or stand — This is the last thing to think about in basic strategy. If there are no other options, you should choose hit or stand.
If you want to learn more, check out our article about different versions of Blackjack where you can read about additional rules.
Analyzing the Blackjack Cheat Sheet
If you want to learn how to play blackjack like a pro, you should practice by playing the game and looking at the blackjack cheat sheet at the same time so you can memorize it and use it properly when you decide to play for real money. For example, you may find that if the dealer shows an 8 or a higher number, you aren’t usually expected to split pocket pairs that are lower than 88s. Another important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t split tens because you’ll have 20 in your hand and the dealer can’t beat that so easily, you should just keep it and take your win.
Take a look at our table to find out more:
|The Dos Within Blackjack||The Don’ts Within Blackjack|
|Split 88s and aces||Don’t follow the dealer’s rules too strictly|
|Unless the dealer has a 7 or higher, you can split 2, 3, 6, 7, and 9s||Don’t hit again when you have a “soft 19.”|
|If you have 11 or less, take the hit||Don’t split pairs of Jacks, 10s, Kings, or Queens, which are all worth 10.|
|If the dealer has a 7 or higher while you have between 12 and 16, take the hit||Most of the time, when the dealer has an ace, he or she gets the standard 30%. So, it doesn’t make sense to put money on him. Avoid buying insurance.|
|When you have a soft 17, take a hit|
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It’s important to go beyond the cheat sheet if you want to get better at blackjack. Don’t worry, the game won’t scare you. It’s based on clear, simple rules — you just need to get all the necessary information.
Learn the basic rules of blackjack and the different ways you can play the game. Also, learn the game’s basic strategy, how to count cards, and how to use the blackjack cheat sheet like a pro. If you know enough about the strategy of the game and counting cards, you’ll be able to play blackjack without any problems.
Can you use a cheat sheet at a blackjack table?
Casinos don’t have cheat sheets rules, so players can use strategy cards.
Should you hit on a 12 or 13 in blackjack?
Blackjack players usually hit on eight or less and stand on 12 or anything higher. However, if the dealer has a three, you should hit on numbers from eight to twelve, and stand on thirteen or higher.