The No1 Real Money Blackjack Site Online!

Blackjack Strategy
Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack Basic Strategy

Blackjack is the world’s casinos most popular table game. It’s easy to learn and fun to play, but players who mimic the dealer by always trying to get at least 17 on each hand will play at about a 6% disadvantage to the house. On the other hand, if a player can follow a few simple rules they can reduce the house edge to less than 2%. That means your chance of going home a winner are reasonable, and you can have fun in the process.

Once you know how to play blackjack and know when to hit and stand, double down, and split pairs you can learn what is called basic strategy. This play was advanced by Dr. Edward O. Thorp in his book, “Beat the Dealer.” The actual odds for each play and the decisions themselves vary according to a casino’s rules, but for most games the follow play will reduce the house edge to less than 1%. This makes it well worth the time to learn and memorize.

Regardless of the rules in effect, the more cards in action, the higher the house edge. If you can find a single-deck game, that’s better than a double-deck game, and both of those are better than a six-deck shoe game. Beyond that, you don’t want to play on a game that offers less than 7.5 to 5 for a blackjack payoff, and the more liberal the rules for doubling down (such as any two cards) the better.

These rules have been simplified for use on any blackjack game except European no-peak and tables that offer surrender. If the dealer does not check for blackjack until after you have doubled-down or split pairs, you have to be very conservative. If you don’t know rules for surrender, simply use the option whenever you hold a two-card 15 or 16 and the dealer has a ten or ace showing.

For any other game, you will of course hit, split, or double down until you have at least a hard 12. Remember a hard hand is one with an ace that can be used as either a one or an eleven without putting the player’s total over 21 (ace/5 equals 6 or 16, a soft hand. Ace/4/7 equals hard 12)

Hard Hand

Player hand totaling 12 Stand against a dealer upcard of 4, 5 or 6, otherwise hit
Player hand totaling 13 Stand against a dealer upcard of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
Player hand totaling 14 Stand against a dealer upcard of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
Player hand totaling 15 Stand against a dealer upcard of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
Player hand totaling 16 Stand against a dealer upcard of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
Player hand totaling 17 Stand on 17 or higher unless you have a split or soft hand

 

Hard Doubles

Player first two cards total 9 Double against a dealer upcard of 3 through 6, otherwise hit
Player first two cards total 10 Double against a dealer upcard of 2 through 9, otherwise hit
Player first two cards total 11 Double against a dealer upcard of 2 through 10, otherwise hit

 

Pair Splits

Players first two cards are 2/2 Split against a dealer upcard of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are 3/3 Split against a dealer upcard of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are 4/4 Hit
Players first two cards are 5/5 Use doubling rules as a ten
Players first two cards are 6/6 Split against a dealer upcard of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are 7/7 Split against a dealer upcard of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are 8/8 Always split
Players first two cards are 9/9 Always split except against a dealer upcard of 7, 10 or ace
Players first two cards are 10/10 Never split
Players first two cards are A/A Always split

 

Soft Hands

Players first two cards are Ace 2 or Ace 3 Double down against a dealer upcard of 5 or 6, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are Ace 4 or Ace 5 Double down against a dealer upcard of 4, 5, or 6, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are Ace 6 Double against a dealer upcard of 3, 4, 5 or 6, otherwise hit
Players first two cards are Ace 7 Double against a dealer upcard of 3, 4, 5 or 6. Stand against 2, 7 or 8. Hit against a 9, ten or ace.

 

You’ll want to stand on any hand of soft 19, 20 or 21. Don’t take insurance on any hand, the house usually has a large advantage on this wager. In addition, the basic strategy player works hard to keep the house edge small, no sense giving back to the house by betting on the side bets like Lucky Ladies and Royal Match. Any bonus bet has a large house edge, so avoid them if you want to do well at the game of blackjack.

Once you have memorized and played basic strategy in casinos for a while and feel comfortable with all decisions, you may be ready to learn an advanced strategy like card counting. A simple aces and fives count actually puts the overall edge in your favor, as long as you follow the rules and vary your wagers at the right time!

Share this article:


Logo