Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is basically a game between the dealer’s and player’s odds. If you'd like to make some winnings out if it, you will need to turn those odds in your favor and away from the dealer.  The way to do it is to use a strategy that applies to as many hands as can be predicted and gives you the highest odds in that particular hand, i.e. the Basic Strategy.  

This is the primary difference between slots and card games. With slots, you are mostly relying on your luck because there aren’t many predictions to be made. That’s why so many casinos offer attractive welcome bonuses like free spins for their slots, but not so many for card games, as slots have more advantages for the house. If you don’t believe me, check out this list of tempting bonuses at http://www.freespinstracker.com/

However, basic strategies are the product of computer simulations that produce the situations with the highest odds for the player, which means that strategies are a way to increase your odds and not universal rules set in stone. So, before you start planning your next win by using a strategy, keep in mind that your outcome will depend on many factors, like the number of decks and players, when you enter a game, how long you play, etc.

A great tip for beginners is to practice the strategies on a computer game, until you learn the ropes and feel confident enough to sit behind a real table.

Basic Terms Explained

In case you’re new to the game, here’s a short explanation of what the basic terms mean.

  • “Hitting” is asking the dealer for another card;
  • “Doubling-down” is doubling your bet after getting your first two cards and only getting one more card;
  • “Splitting” is splitting a pair into two hands, each worth your original bet, i.e. your bet is doubled and you can play two hands at the same time.
  • “Standing” is when you stand and don’t ask for a card.
  • A “hard hand” is any pair without an ace in it. So a hard hand of 10 will mean that the pair’s sum equals 10.
  • A “soft hand” is the opposite, i.e. a pair with an ace in it. So a soft hand of 13 will mean that the pair’s sum equals 13 (an Ace+2).

Once you know the basic terms, you can apply the following “rules” to your game:

 

Hitting

Hitting Hard hands

  • Always hit a hard hand of 5-8
  • A hard hand of 9 should always hit on dealer’s 7-Ace
  • A hard hand of 10 should always hit on dealer’s 10 and Ace
  • A hard hand of 11 should always hit on dealer’s Ace
  • A hard hand of 13-16 should always on dealer’s 7 – Ace.
  • A hard hand of 12 should always hit on dealer’s 2, 3, and 7 and up.

Hitting Soft Hands

  • Soft hands of 13 and 14 should always hit on dealer’s 2-4 and 7-Ace
  • Soft hands of 15 and 16 should always hit on dealer’s 2-3 and 7-Ace
  • A soft hand of 17 should always hit on dealer’s 2 and dealer’s 7-Ace
  • A soft hand of 18 should always hit on dealer’s 9-Ace

Hitting Pairs

  • Always hit a pair of 2s and 3s on a dealer’s 8-Ace
  • Always hit a pair of 4s on a dealer’s 7-Ace
  • Always hit a pair of 5s on a dealer’s 10 and Ace
  • Always hit a pair of 6s on a dealer’s 8-Ace (7-Ace on 4 and more decks)
  • Always hit a pair of 7s on a dealer’s 8-Ace (9-Ace on 4 and more decks)

 

Standing

Standing on hard hands

  • Always stand on a hard hand of 17 and up
  • A hard hand of 13-16 should always stand on dealer’s 2-6
  • A hard hand of 12 should always stand on dealer’s 4-6. 

Standing on soft hands

  • A soft hand of 18 should always stand on dealer’s 2,7 and 8
  • A soft hand of 19-21 should always stand
  • Standing on pairs
  • Always stand on a pair of 7s on a dealer’s 10 in a single-deck game
  • Always stand on a pair of 9s on a dealer’s 7, 10 and Ace
  • Always stand on a pair of 10s

 

Doubling Down

Doubling hard hands

  • A hard hand of 9 should always double on dealer’s 3-6.
  • A hard hand of 10 should always double on dealer’s 2-9.
  • A hard hand of 11 should always double on dealer’s 2-10.

Doubling soft hands

  • Soft hands of 13 and 14 should always double on dealer’s 5-6
  • Soft hands of 15 and 16 should always double on dealer’s 4-6
  • Soft hands of 17 and 18 should always double on dealer’s 3-6
  • Doubling pairs
  • Always double down a pair of 5s on a dealer’s 2-9

 

Splitting

  • Always split a pair of 2s and 3s on a dealer’s 2-7
  • Always split a pair of 4s on a dealer’s 5 and 6
  • Always split a pair of 6s on a dealer’s 2-7 (2-6 on 4 and more decks)
  • Always split a pair of 7s on a dealer’s 2-8 (2-7 on 4 and more decks, only 9 and Ace on a single-deck)
  • Always split a pair of 8s
  • Always split a pair of 9s on a dealer’s 2-6 and dealer’s 8 and 9
  • Always split a pair of aces



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