Single Deck Blackjack Strategy to Win More Often

We all know that Blackjack is one of the most popular table games out there.

But have you tried out the single deck version?

If you want to play with the best chances the game offers, you'll need a simple single deck Blackjack strategy and a few tips.

  • Single deck Blackjack games have the lowest house edge of all games
  • The low house edge gives players multiple advantages over the classic multi deck game
blackjack strategy single deck

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Before you jump in, you'll need to learn key strategical points and differences between playing single deck Blackjack and standard multi-deck.

Single vs Multiple Deck Blackjack

Back in the good old days, single deck Blackjack was the standard.

It was played widely around the world, with blissful players taking advantage of the 0.15% house edge.

It became popular with card counters, who swooped in with their own single deck Blackjack strategy to take a piece of the pie. The use of one deck makes card counting easy, but Casinos caught on quickly.

They began introducing Blackjack games with a double deck or more decks to raise their own edge and make it harder to count cards.

So, what are the differences between these types of Blackjack? Besides the number of decks, the payout is generally different as well—you'll find that many Casinos offer payouts of 6:5 in single-deck games, while multi-deck games generally pay 3:2.

Rules & Gameplay for Single Deck Play

The basic concept and objective remain the same in single deck Blackjack. You want to get to 21 points or as close to 21 as possible without busting.

single deck blackjack basic strategy
Not the best hand in the history of single deck Blackjack...

You'll place your bet, then the dealer will deal the hands. You'll get two face-up cards, and the dealer will get one face-up and one face-down.

You'll study your cards and the dealer's upcard, then decide to hit, stand, split, or double down.

Remember, both land-based and online casinos usually have specific rules for single-deck Blackjack which differ from multi-deck. These include:

  • Whether or not the dealer hits or stands on soft 17
  • Whether or not players may double down after a split
  • If and when players can surrender

It's common to have the dealer hit on a soft 17, to prohibit players from doubling down after a split, and to prohibit surrender because these rules increase the house edge.

However, these and other rules will vary depending on the online Casino site of your choice

Tips & Single Deck Blackjack Strategy Guide

It's imperative you learn how to make a decision as a player and follow the basics of single deck Blackjack strategy as you play.

blackjack basic strategy single deck
Use the basic strategy tips to decide what to do

Remember that every single card which is played in the single-deck game has an appreciable impact on the distribution of the remaining cards in the deck, more so than multi-deck games.

Always use this to your advantage and pay attention to the cards being played.

It's also a good idea to consult some Blackjack basic strategy charts to figure out the optimal play for your hand.

Our Blackjack cheat sheets display possible hands in conjunction with possible dealer upcards, telling whether you should split, double down, stand, or hit for that specific combination of cards.

Optimal Plays

Assuming that the dealer hits on soft 17, doubling down after a split is not allowed, and surrender is not allowed, you can follow these guidelines:
Hard Hands

  • 5-7: Always hit
  • 8: Double if dealer shows 5 or 6, otherwise hit
  • 9: Double if dealer shows 2-6, otherwise hit
  • 10: Double if dealer shows 2-9, otherwise hit
  • 11: Always double
  • 12: Stand if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • 13: Stand if dealer shows 2-6, otherwise hit
  • 14: Stand if dealer shows 2-6, otherwise hit
  • 15: Stand if dealer shows 2-6, hit on 7-ace
  • 16: Stand if dealer shows 2-6, hit on 7-ace
  • 17-21: Always stand

Soft Hands

  • A-2: Double if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • A-3: Double if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • A-4: Double if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • A-5: Double if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • A-6: Double if dealer shows 2-6, otherwise hit
  • A-7: Double if dealer shows 3-6, stand on 2,7, & 8, hit on 9, 10 & ace
  • A-8: Double if dealer shows 6, otherwise stand
  • A-9: Always stand
  • A-10: Always stand

Pairs:

  • 2-2: Split if dealer shows 3-7, otherwise hit
  • 3-3: Split if dealer shows 4-7, otherwise hit
  • 4-4: Split if dealer shows 4-6, otherwise hit
  • 5-5: Double if dealer shows 2-9, hit on 10 & ace
  • 6-6: Split if dealer shows 2-7, otherwise hit
  • 7-7: Split if dealer shows 2-7, stand on 10, hit on 8, 9 & ace
  • 8-8: Always split
  • 9-9: Split if dealer shows 2-6 and 8-9, otherwise stand
  • 10-10: Always stand
  • Ace-Ace: Always split

Keep in mind that this is not an optimal strategy for every game, because you won't just make different plays according to the dealer's upcard; single deck basic strategy play Blackjack is also dependent on the house rules.

House Rule Variations

If the dealer stands on soft 17, you know that he has no chance of improving this hand. Keep this in mind as you make your decisions, because it actually increases your odds of beating him with certain plays.

Double down rules will affect your bets, so pay close attention to them.

If you can double down after a split, you'll want to be a bit more aggressive with your splits than the guide displays—for example, you could split a pair of 3s if the dealer shows 2 or 3, not just 4 through 6.

Likewise, if you can surrender, you'll want to do so strategically. For example, if you have a pair of sevens and the dealer shows 10, you know your odds aren't good, so surrendering would be the best option.

Tips for the Table

When you're at the table, keep these tips for Blackjack basic strategy in mind:

  • Use your knowledge of the cards which have been played to infer which cards may come up. Remember, this knowledge comes easier when you play with a single deck.
  • Never take insurance or even money, because the house edge on insurance is 5.9% in single-deck Blackjack
  • Use a responsible betting strategy, making wagers which fit with your bankroll and allow you to bet for longer. Remember, it's all about having fun.

Now that you know about single deck Blackjack strategy, it's time to try a hand at the tables with this action-packed game.

The promotion presented on this page was available at the time of writing. With some Casino promotions changing on daily basis, we suggest you to check on the site if it still available. Also, please do not forget to read the terms and conditions in full before you accept a bonus.
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  • Use this Blackjack chart to get more winning odds when you play online!

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