Blackjack is one of the coolest and most popular casino games around. In the past, single deck blackjack was the standard in all casinos, but unfortunately, this has changed with time.
We say unfortunately because this blackjack variation has the lowest house edge of all blackjack games. That said, just relying on a low house edge to win money is not a good long-term gameplan.
You also need to have a solid grasp of how to play according to your hand, budget, and the dealer’s cards.
Taking this into account, we’ve drafted the most useful single deck blackjack strategy guide you can find online.
From detailed charts to effective strategies and tips, we’ll share with you the most comprehensive manual for mastering single deck blackjack strategies. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Single Deck Blackjack Rules
Just like other blackjack variations, the main objective of single-deck blackjack is to hit 21 or get as close to it as you can without going over.
The game has a very straightforward betting mechanism.
Before you start playing, you have to place a bet. After that, the dealer will give you and themselves a pair of cards. Both of your cards will be face down, while one of the dealer’s cards will be face up.
Based on the two cards in front of you and the dealer’s face-up card, you have to decide whether you want to draw more cards (hit), stop drawing any more cards (stand), or double down.
This is all there is to it, and with just this information, you can start playing blackjack right away. That said, if you want to maximize your profits and ensure that you bet optimally with each hand, you need to learn and understand the single deck blackjack chart.
Single Deck Blackjack Charts – Ultimate Strategy to Master
One crucial thing to remember is that your single deck blackjack experience can differ significantly depending on where you play the game.
Different casinos have different rules, varying not only from multi-deck blackjack but also between casinos. The most notable differences are:
- If and when you can surrender
- Whether or not the dealer has to hit on a soft 17
- Whether or not you can double down after a split
Out of the three rules we listed above, the second one is arguably the biggest difference-maker in your experience.
Not only this, but the strategy will also vary depending on if you have hard totals, soft totals, or hands that could be split (pairs).
To cover both options from the dealer’s side, as well as all three outcomes on your part, we’ll take a look at all of the charts that cover the best odds and course of action on both when the dealer stands on a soft 17 or hits on it.
Before we delve deep into the charts, take note of the following abbreviations that will be featured in the charts:
- H – Hit
- P – Split
- S – Stand
- Ds – Double if you can; if not, stand.
- Dh – Double if you can; if not, hit.
- Ph – Split if it’s allowed, otherwise hit.
- Pd – Split if it’s allowed, otherwise double.
- Rh – Surrender if you can, otherwise hit.
- Rs – Surrender if you can, otherwise stand.
Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Dealer Hits of Soft 17
With so much information to keep track of, you might be asking yourself how is memorizing all of this even possible, and how do they make it look so easy in gambling movies?
In all fairness, the only way is to start slow and build your way up. To become a master at one deck blackjack, you should put in years of work and practice.
There’s no crash course to learn all of these single deck blackjack odds and probabilities in just a few days. If you want to master the single deck blackjack strategy, knowing your way around the chart is one of the most important and useful things you can do.
Also, if you plan on moving to multi-deck blackjack variations, keep in mind that these blackjack strategy single deck tips won’t apply to multi-deck games.
Multi-deck blackjack is an entirely different topic on its own and deserves a separate page covering all of the same points we talked about on this page but from a different perspective.
Tips for Playing Single Deck Blackjack
Besides the most important single deck blackjack strategies you should memorize, some additional tips could help you have a more enjoyable and successful time playing this blackjack variation. These include:
Avoid Insurance Bets
Insurance bets in single-deck blackjack seem like a good way to protect your initial bet if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. However, this is something you should avoid at all times.
You should stay far away from insurance bets because they significantly increase the house edge, up to 6% (compared to the regular 0.15% odds). Save your casino chips for better opportunities.
Be Nice to the Dealer
As much as the dealer can’t impact whether you win, neither can they control whether you’ll lose. Proper etiquette towards the dealer is required, as it will make the experience better for everyone at the single deck blackjack table. Have fun, be nice to the dealer, and don’t take any losses personally.
This is especially vital to remember if you’re a beginner. The casino never stops, but you do. A reckless big bet can run you dry quickly, and your experience will be over before it starts.
That’s why you should always start small and increase your bets if you feel that you have a hot hand during a particular session.
Always Bet Responsibly
No matter how well you learn the single deck blackjack charts and how much you practice, sometimes luck just won’t be on your side. For this reason, it’s crucial to make responsible bets and have a pre-set bankroll you can rely on. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Best Strategies for Single Deck Blackjack – Wrapping it Up
There’s a saying that blackjack, like poker, is easy to learn but hard to master. This is entirely true, as you can learn to play it within minutes, but it will take you years to become a world-class player.
With this in mind, blackjack is the perfect game to commit to in the long run. It is one of the most player-friendly ones you’ll come across, with a house edge of just around 0.15% when played optimally.
To wrap up this page, we urge you never to forget that playing blackjack should always be fun. Don’t force yourself to memorize charts if you don’t want to, and don’t play the game when you’re not in the mood for it.
Single deck blackjack can be extremely entertaining, and you should always look at it as such. Plus, with all of the detailed information we shared with you in this guide, you already know more than most players.