There is no denying that blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world which provides players with the opportunity to make money. Added to this, blackjack also enables players to compete against the house or the dealer as opposed to taking on other players. With the right blackjack strategy under your belt, you can easily master this exciting and profitable game so let us explore the basic strategy of blackjack.
When it comes to the game of blackjack, the basic strategy used has been tried and tested over the years and today, after many improvements and fine-tuning; the blackjack strategy is designed in order to give a player the long run advantage over the dealer or the house. Using the mathematics of the game as well as gameplay simulations, the blackjack strategy provides the statistical probability of either beating the dealer or improving one’s blackjack hand.
It is not by chance that the game of blackjack has become one of the most popular casino games. This game provides players with a basic strategy and when you are armed with strategies, it enables you to master and succeed. Added to this, blackjack is based on probability which in turn translates into profitability.
The basic blackjack strategy is like having access to a step-by-step guide. A player has access to a mathematically based guideline which directs the player and tells them exactly what action they need to take for each and every possible card combination. There is no ambiguity here which means that guesswork is removed. In terms of the possible actions a player can take while playing blackjack, these can vary from stand, hit, split, double down and more.
In order to master the art of playing the game of blackjack, it is vital for a player to understand and to accurately execute the basic blackjack strategy. In this way, the player will be able to successfully shift the advantage that the other players or that the house or dealer has. In mathematical terms, this means that when a player uses the basic blackjack strategy correctly, they reduce the standard house advantage of between 4% and 5% to between 0.5% and 1%. Based on this, it is clearly evident that using the strategy of blackjack is an advantage and mathematically speaking, it reduces the house advantage extensively.
Basic Blackjack Strategy
Okay, so we have provided the foundation of the value of the basic blackjack strategy and how this can boost your success as a blackjack player. Now let’s review the strategy in more detail. To start, it is important to note that the strategy of blackjack will vary based on the overall conditions at the table as well as the number of decks which are being used by the dealer or house. This means that if the dealer is using one deck or, two, three, six or more decks, the basic strategy will be adapted accordingly based on different mathematical probabilities and rules.
When you initially view the basic blackjack strategy, you might feel overwhelmed since it is usually presented as a complex chart. Before you panic, if you take the time to exam the chart, you will notice that it is in fact quite simple to follow. The basic blackjack strategy can be easily interpreted into basic rules which one should follow when playing this enjoyable game.
So let us look at the chart in more detail. Below you will see a traditional blackjack strategy chart. It has been color coded for ease of use. The left-hand side of the chart, the first column from the left, represents the cards you have been dealt while the top row of the chart represents the dealer’s up card. The remainder of the chart tells the player what action they should take which includes, hit, stand, surrender (if permitted), double down and split.
Let us look at an example. If you are dealt the 8 card and the dealer’s up card is a 2, if we look at the chart, the instruction is for us to hit or to request another card. In another example, if the player is holding an Ace and a 9 and the dealer’s up card is a 10, the basic blackjack strategy instruction directs the player to stand.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the basic blackjack strategy chart. With a little practice, taking the correct action based on the cards dealt to you as well as the up card of the dealer, will become second nature.
More Advanced Blackjack Strategies
Mastering the game of blackjack does not stop at the basic strategy. There are also many other recommended advanced strategies that one can apply to their game. Here we will review some other blackjack strategies.
The first strategy when playing against the house is never to take ‘even money’ or insurance. For example, if the dealer’s up card is an Ace, do not take insurance and proceed with the round as normal. Another important strategy is if you are playing a hand and the basic strategy chart tells you to split the cards and you are unable due to limitations on re-splitting, you should then view your hand as a hard total and continue playing based on those rules. For example, if you are dealt two 3’s and you are unable to split your cards, then you need to view your hand as a 6 (3+3). In this example, based on the rules of the basic blackjack strategy chart, if the dealer has a 2 as an up card, your action should be to hit.
Here are some additional strategy tips to remember:
Always hit soft on 17 or less
Always stand hard on 17 or more
Always split 8’s
Always split double A’s
Never split 5’s or 10’s
Always hit hard on 11 or less
Remember that while the basic blackjack strategy is mathematically proven, there will be exceptions to the rules which are based on the conditions, the number of players as well as the number of decks used by the dealer.
The fact is blackjack is a game of probability and if you use the basic strategy accurately, you are more likely to win more often than lose in the long run. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a new player, the blackjack strategy is an excellent guide to keep you on the winning path.