Learn the Basic Blackjack Strategy in Canada

James Smith
julio 13, 2020
Modified: June 28, 2023

Blackjack is a casino game that is also strikingly dependent on skills. Unlike any other casino game, the decision you make when playing blackjack determines how the hand plays out. So, do you stand? Or do you hit? Should you double down? Or is the hand you have the correct one for you to split? In this basic blackjack guide, you will learn about the mathematically proven strategy that gives you the best advantage when playing blackjack.

Importance of the basic strategy in blackjack

For you to learn how to play blackjack like a pro, the first step is to learn the basic strategy in blackjack. The basic strategy will help you in various ways including bringing the house edge down to as low as 0.5% or even more! However, this can happen with dependencies – table rules for the game, number of card decks, and so on. It is not an automatic guarantee that the house edge will reduce, but the strategy will help you figure out your moves.

The Invention of the Basic Blackjack Strategy

The basic blackjack strategy was invented in the early 1960s by Julian Braun. Braun was an IBM computer expert and innovator. The strategy idea emerged from the concept that since blackjack was a card game, it is possible to calculate the possibilities and odds. Braun’s discovery changed the perception of the game and how to play blackjack. The discovery of the basic blackjack strategy was also the foundation for many other game strategies for players to predict the course of a game to some extent.

Importance of understanding the basic blackjack strategy

The importance of learning the basic blackjack strategy before playing the game cannot be stressed enough. As a blackjack player, it is imperative to understand this basic strategy because using it will help you to lower the normal 5 or so percentage advantage that a casino has over new and unskilled blackjack players. Using this basic strategy leaves the house with about 0.5 per cent advantage! This is less than the 1 per cent disadvantage to a blackjack player.

Blackjack basic strategy chart and counting cards

As a blackjack player, you also need to learn the blackjack basic strategy chart. If you can, memorize the basic strategy chart too. After memorizing it in your head, you need to learn about counting cards. This is a strategy where a player uses their memory to track cards that have been dealt in a blackjack game. This strategy enables a player to have an idea of cards remaining in the deck and adjust the strategy accordingly putting the house edge in the player’s favour.

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Playing blackjack

On the surface, the game of blackjack may look simple. Beneath the surface, the game is all about the right mathematical decisions and odds. Apart from being aware of how the house is getting an edge in the game or the advantage that you have to lower the house edge, you need to understand the probabilities of every scenario you are facing at the table. Every decision you make while playing should be based on the probabilities and not the cards you have been given.

Basic blackjack glossary for beginners

Many newcomers to blackjack are usually amazed by some of the interesting terms and phrases used by veterans when talking about the game. If you want people to see you as a true pro when giving them tips about the blackjack game, there are certain important words and phrases that you need to learn. We have put together popular blackjack terms and phrases commonly used at the blackjack table in a casino. This glossary is listed in terms of importance and popularity of use.

House edge – this is the percentage of a player’s bet a casino wins on average. It is a statistical way of measuring the house advantage over the player. For example, if you are wagering $100 for a game with a house edge of 5%, you are expected to lose $5 for every bet you place. Any blackjack trainer will advise you to always play games with the lowest house edge possible. This way, you will win the most, or lose the least if you do.

If you decide to play blackjack on an online casino like Betiton, you will need to create a player account, pick a player screen name, and fund your account by making a deposit. The blackjack simulator tables will look very similar to a table inside a real casino. The only difference is that you will not be able to put your bet out and ask the dealer to hit or stand. You will do this using a set of buttons on your computer or smartphone.

Splitting cards in blackjack

When playing a game of free blackjack, it is common to be dealt two cards that have the same value. In such a case, a player has the option of splitting these two cards in their single hand and make two separate hands. If a player opts to split the cards, the player will be dealt two extra cards one to every new hand. When splitting your hand, a player’s bet is doubled. The player also has two chances to beat the dealer.

Insurance in blackjack

Insurance is a term used in a game of blackjack to describe the special bet offered by a dealer that a player may take when a dealer lands an ace in the hole. When a player bets in the blackjack insurance box, a player gets odds of 2:1 if they get a blackjack. If the dealer does not get a blackjack, the insurance bet is lost. This is usually a losing bet since less than half the time would the dealer get a blackjack.

Double down in blackjack

Double down is the situation where, after a player has dealt two original cards, the player decides to double the initial bet so that they get a single card in return – with an option to either hit or stay eliminated – with a hope that the player will hit a hand that beat that of the dealer or when the dealers turn comes, they will bust. Although it is a risky strategy, it is better to take it if you want to win at blackjack.

Surrender rules in blackjack

In a game of blackjack, surrender is a move offered to players in sone blackjack variants. It is an option for players who wish to retreat and lose half their bet instead of losing the full bet amount. An inexperienced player may think this is a stupid move. For veteran blackjack players, this variant option saves a player a lot of money. It is important to note that the option can be used on the first two cards dealt during a game.

Blackjack side bets

To encourage more people to play blackjack in a more fun environment, casinos like Betiton have introduced various side bets on their online blackjack table. Blackjack side bets are additional bets that are placed during a standard blackjack game. They include insurance, perfect pairs, 21+3, lucky ladies, super sevens, royal match and over/under 13. Players use them to predict the cards that the player or the dealer will receive. It is important not to make them the main focus of your wagering or game.

How to adapt the basic strategy with the variations of blackjack games

Anyone can play blackjack, but not everyone can learn the basic strategy and adapt it with different blackjack games. Today, online casinos provide many different variations of the traditional blackjack game. This requires mastering the blackjack basic strategy and adapting it to the games to increase the chances of winning than losing. As such, before adapting the blackjack basic strategy or changing your style of play, you need to get familiar with the form of the game and the game’s basic rules.

Single deck in blackjack

The main goal of playing a single deck blackjack game is for a player to get a hand value that is as close as possible to 21 or exactly 21, before the dealer without going over or busting. Alternatively, as a player, you can stand and make the dealer bust. The main advantage of playing a single deck in a blackjack game is that you can easily track the cards that have already come out of the deck.

Double deck in blackjack

As the name implies, playing double deck in a blackjack game uses two decks, or in other words 52 cards. A player slightly benefits if fewer decks are used in a game. In this case, the house advantage is increased with the additional deck used. In this game, the dealer does not get a hole card and must hit on a soft 17. The player has the advantage of seeing the dealer’s hand eliminating the need to guess.

Multi-decks in blackjack

The idea of introducing a multi-deck was to minimize the chances of card counting. Multi-deck in blackjack involves the use of more than two, four, six or eight decks of cards at the same time. The increased number of decks, the house advantage and odds vary. For online casinos, the use of multiple decks provides better rule variation compared to a single deck game. For example, double down on any two cards as compared to double downs being restricted to 10 and 11 in single-deck games.


Now that you have learned all the important information about blackjack basic strategy and the basic rules in blackjack, it is important that you remember blackjack games vary from one casino to another. As a player, you should use the information and strategy presented here when playing blackjack whether in a real or an online casino. We recommend that you do further research about the strategy. If you are confident and want to try blackjack, sign up and register at Betiton as a player today!


The objective is to get a hand total of closer to 21 than the dealer without going over 21 (busting).

Every players can play as they like, moreover, this doesn’t affect other players

The basic strategy was developed in the first half of 1960s by Julian Braun

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James Smith

At the age of 28, James, an expert in technology and video gaming with a passion for online casinos, pursued studies in Creative Writing and Media Studies at the University of London. As an active contributor to the Gizmodo Twitter account, his goal is to share his knowledge of video game culture and technological advancements with you, the readers.