Why do you need blackjack strategy and smarts?

Blackjack is a game of skill. Players need to make meaningful decisions with their hands in order to have an advantage. The right decisions will of course help you to win or save a few chips rather than a wrong decision which would decrease your chips and in turn, cost you money.

The correct rules of playing blackjack is known as basic strategy. These rules aren’t just guesswork or a bunch of nonsense, they ave all worked out if you look at the mathematics behind it.

The house advantage.

The house edge against a blackjack player will vary significantly which means that it can’t a fixed percentage. The only real advantage the house has is when the dealer and the player bust at the same time, then the dealer will win.

There are certain methods a player can employ in order to counter the house’s advantage:

  • The player gets paid 3 to 2 for blackjack but if the dealer gets a blackjack, the player would only lose the original bet.
  • The player can make his or own playing decisions while the dealer sticks to the house rules.
  • The player can double down if the situation is favorable.
  • The player can split when there is an advantage.
  • The player can take insurance if there is an advantage.

The foundation of Blackjack strategy.

Basic strategy is a set of rules that tells you the right way to play your hand during a match. It work especially well when you have no knowledge of the remaining cards. These rules will reveal when to hit, stand, double split or surrender by taking these factors into account:

  • Your cards, and
  • the dealers upcard.

In the long run, basic strategy will help you to win more and lose less. It will maximize your expectation and bring you very close to even with the house. It will e the bet you can do without counting cards. In this case “basic” does not mean beginner or simplified but it means essential because these rules are needed for your success.

Proper basic strategy will always give you the best house edge in order for you to stand a chance. Eventually you should learn the complete blackjack strategy but the basic strategy will do for now. The house edge will still be very low.

Table of basic strategy rules.

Hard Hands.

9 or lower. Hit.
10 or 11. Double down if your total is more than the dealer’s upcard. Hit otherwise.
12 through 16 Hit when the dealer’s upcard is 7 or higher. Stand otherwise.
17 or higher. Stand.

 

Soft Hands.

13 through 18 Double down when the dealer’s upcard is 5 or 6.
17 or lower. Hit.
18. Hit when the dealer’s upcard is 6 or less. Stand when the dealer’s upcard is 7 or more.
19 or higher. Stand.

 

Pairs

Always split a pair of aces or 8s.
Never split 4s, 5s or 10s.
Split all other pairs if the dealer’s upcard is 6 or less.

Never take insurance!