Blackjack basic strategy is based on the mathematics of the game. It has been tested and refined through computer simulations. When it is followed correctly it reduces the house edge to the minimum, which is usually about one-half of a percent. Minor adjustments are made to basic strategy depending on certain rule variations that the different casinos can chose to use. For example some casinos will allow you to double down after splitting (DOS) and some do not allow it.
There are also some changes made to basic strategy for single and multiple deck games.
If you want to be a successful blackjack player you will need to learn basic strategy. Most players start learning by referring to a basic strategy chart. The strategy chart shows you how to play your first two cards based on the dealers up card. Referring back to the Blackjack 101 article, you know that the house gains its edge by the fact that the player must act first. Since the basic strategy chart only deals with the first two cards, you will also need to learn what decisions to make after taking a hit.
How to Play Hard Hand:
A hard hand is two starting cards that do not contain an ace.
If you have eight or less, always hit.
If you have Nine: Double if the dealer has 3 thru 6 – otherwise hit.
If you have Ten : Double if the dealer has 2 thru 9 – otherwise hit.
If you have Eleven: Double if the dealer has 2 thru 10, Hit if dealer has Ace.
If you have Twelve: Hit if the dealer has 2 or 3, Stand if the dealer has 4 thru 6, otherwise hit.
If you have 13- 16: Stand if the dealer has2 thru 6, otherwise hit.
If you have 17 – 21: Always Stand.
How to Play Soft Hand:
A soft hand is when one of your starting hands contains an ace.
If you have Ace 2 or Ace 3: Double if the dealer has 5 or 6 – otherwise hit.
If you have Ace 4 or Ace 5: Double if the dealer has 4 thru 6 – otherwise hit.
If you have Ace 6: Double if the dealer has 3 thru 6 – otherwise hit.
If you have Ace 7: Stand if the dealer has 2, 7 or 8. Double 3 -thru 6 – otherwise hit.
If you have Ace 8 or Ace 9: Always Stand.
Black Jack Tips
# Find a table whose minimum is no more than 5% of you total stash. In picking a table, consider rule variations that help the player like the option of doubling down on any two cards, or the dealer having to stand on soft 17. Even if you don’t completely understand them, these rule variations can work to your advantage.
# Start with the basics: Since the dealer has to hit (take a card) on any hand 16 or lower, you’ll never win with less than 17 unless the dealer busts. Take a hit on any hand below 17 when the dealer shows ace, K, Q, J, 10, 9, or 8, cards that are unlikely to make the dealer bust. Stand on any hand above 11 when the dealer shows a 4,5, or 6, cards that will lead then dealer to bust more than 40% of the time.
# “Doubling down” involves doubling your bet and receiving one additional card when your suspect strongly that you will beat the dealer by doing so. This is the player’s chief advantage, so don’t ignore this option. Doubling with 10 against a 9 or lower and with any hand of 11. Rules permitting, double with 9, or with “soft” hands (hands that count an ace as 11) of 13-17 against a 4, 5, or 6.
# If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you may “split” them, doubling your bet and playing two hands. Never split 10’s or 5’s. Always split 8’s or 7’s against a dealer’s card of equal or lower value. Always split 2’s or 3’s against a 4, 5, or 6. Always split aces. Never split face cards, 10’s, or 5’s.
# Tip (or “toke”) the dealer, as they are not unionized, work for lousy wages, and depend on your generosity. Unless you’re winning serious stakes, a dollar chip every twenty or so hands is generally appropriate. If you want to make sure the dealer has your best interests at heart, place the tip right in front of your wagering circle, essentially turning it into a side bet on your hand. If you win, the dealer’s tip doubles