Last updated on May 4th, 2021 at 11:15 am
Basic strategy Blackjack
The best chances of you winning with online blackjack depends on your ability to employ a blackjack basic strategy. As your game develops, you can start thinking about advanced strategies. But first lets start with the primary and most important Basic Blackjack Strategy.
While opinions may vary among experts, there are some basic strategies you can employ. You should arm yourself with these strategies if you choose not to use a blackjack chart. For your edification, here are some basic strategies you should keep in mind:
- Never split a pair of 5s and 10s
- Split a pair of 8s & Aces if dealer shows less that 19
- Always double down on a hard 11
- Never take insurance
- Always hit a 12 0r 13 against the dealers 12 or 13
- When dealer shows 16, get as much money on table without risking a bust
Whereas this is a partial list of intra hand blackjack strategies, they will help you stay close to the house's edge. To ensure you stay right at that percentage, you might want to study and memorize a blackjack chart.
In the sections of this article, we've informed you about the most basic blackjack strategy. In the next sections we inform you how to play, how to use a blackjack strategy chart and blackjack strategy card.
How to Play Blackjack
The game of blackjack pits the player against the dealer, who represents the house. To begin with, the rules that are in play will depend upon the blackjack variant you decide to play at a real money casino. For the most part, there is a basic blackjack version upon which other variants grew. Here is a partial list of popular variants:
- Blackjack Switch
- Spanish Blackjack
- Double Exposure Blackjack (both dealer cards showing)
- Speed Blackjack
For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the most basic option. Each hand starts with the dealer dealing two cards to you and two cards to themselves. Depending on the variant, either one or both of the dealer's cards will be faceup. Conversely, it is of little consequence how you receive your two cards.
After the initial deal, your blackjack strategy comes into play. That is when you hit the decision tree. Accordingly, blackjack basic strategy requires that you make your decisions based on what you have and the dealer shows.
First two cards
To start with, you will need to make a decision based on the first two cards showing (you and the dealer). Your initial decision choices will include:
- Taking insurance if the dealer shows an ACE
- Standing: no more cards
- Hitting: taking more cards until you are satisfied with your hand
- Double down: double up your money to receive just one more card from the dealer
- Splitting: taking two like cards and making two separate hands (requires an additional bet on second hand)
- Surrender: give up half your bet to bail on the hand
After making your initial decision to hit, you can continue doing so until you decide to stand. The objective is to beat the dealer's hand by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over (busting). Accordingly, blackjack strategy is all about how you will make your decisions. Please check our Blackjack game tips to win more when playing blackjack online.
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Blackjack Strategy Charts
When trying to play perfect blackjack, there are definite dos and don'ts. Accordingly, you can learn about the dos and don'ts by studying a blackjack basic strategy chart. The typical blackjack chart is laid out as follows: Player's hand down the left side and the dealer's up card across the top.
After looking at your cards and the dealer's card, you would refer to your blackjack basic strategy chart. It will tell you which decision would be best based on the circumstances. Keep in mind, you will be defying the most blackjack fundamentals if you defy your blackjack chart. Experts have developed these charts to keep you statistically in each hand until the end. Hence, you should not defy your blackjack chart because of a “gut feeling.“ Indeed, the math is the math, and you can't beat it.
When you are playing blackjack online in a live casino , you might want to keep a blackjack strategy card within reach. It beats testing your ability to memorize. Also, you will be surprised to learn some brick-and-mortar casinos actually encourage players to use a blackjack strategy card. Why? They already know they have a built-in edge. It shows good PR to players.
At this point, we have been focusing on intra hand strategies. When people hear the term blackjack strategies, they usually think in terms of general play or money management strategies. In fact, we want to share information with you about one controversial and popular advanced blackjack strategy. Have you ever heard about card counting?
Before we give a brief description of this strategy, we want to clarify something. Nowhere in the world is card counting illegal. Casinos don't like it because it creates a scenario where the edge could eventually tip in the player's favor. Casinos consider it cheating and will ask card counters to leave.
Also, card counting is of little value when playing virtual blackjack online. Why? You, as the player, never know when the dealer is shuffling. Conversely, card counting is a viable strategy when playing a live casino online version of blackjack. Under these circumstances, you can see when the dealer is shuffling cards. As long as you know how many decks the online casino is using, you are good to go.
The most basic card counting strategy will require you to assign a point value to each card the dealer exposes. You would assign the points as follows:
- +1 for 2s through 6s
- 0 for 7s through 9s
- -1 for 10s and ACES
To effectively use this strategy, you would increase your bets as the deck hits positive territory. Use +2 per deck as a general guideline. Conversely, you would decrease your bets as the deck goes negative. Use -2 per deck as a general guideline.
About Blackjack Strategies
Throughout most of the world, blackjack holds a place as the most popular casino game. That is true whether you visit a brick-and-mortar retail casino or one of the ever-popular online casino websites. The game has a tremendous following every you go.
Besides the game of blackjack, there are similar types of games that go by names like “Pontoon” and “21.” As part of these variants, the games are played by essentially the same rules, though there are a couple of minor differences.
While games like roulette, craps, and baccarat are really legitimate “games of chance,” blackjack involves some level of strategy. For the most part, blackjack strategy is a real thing. Blackjack strategy, when someone employs it properly, helps to minimize the house's advantage. If someone plays a perfect blackjack strategy, they can get the house's edge down to 0.48%, which is very attractive from a betting perspective. Without proper blackjack strategies, the house's edge could blossom to as high as 10%. Clearly, that is a huge difference.
Given the importance of blackjack strategies, a number of the top blackjack players in the world have developed their own blackjack strategies. Most of these homegrown strategies build upon the most blackjack basic strategy that came into being decades ago.
You can consider a blackjack strategy table to be the same thing as a blackjack chart. It is laid out in a similar fashion with the player's hand on one side and the dealer's hand across the top.
With over 280 different decision scenarios you might encounter, you should refer to a blackjack basic strategy chart for the answer to this question.
By playing the game the way the pros will teach you. Read, learn, apply what you learn.
Only with a live dealer option at a live blackjack table.
If you play the game near perfect, the Martingale betting strategy is a great strategy for money management.
If you want to have a legitimate chance of winning while playing online blackjack, learn basic blackjack strategies. You have to keep the house's edge near that 0.48% mark if you want a real chance to make money.