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Blackjack Basic Strategy gives you the best odds

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The blackjack basic strategy is just the most sensible way of playing blackjack. There is no one way to play blackjack that is the best way and no one blackjack strategy that you need to follow. There are however a few blackjack basic strategies, sometimes called blackjack basic tactics, that you can follow to make your chances of winning better at both land based and online casinos.

Regardless of how you employ the blackjack basic strategy when playing blackjack, I can’t overstate how important it is to really study it well and know it by heart. If you consider using it in combination with counting cards, you will end up with quite a potent approach to your blackjack game and the results can be quite impressive…

Frequently Asked Questions about Blackjack Basic Strategy

Does the blackjack basic strategy give you the odds over the dealer?
No it doesn’t. It is the strategy that cuts down the house edge to the bare minimum when used accurately. The payout rate would then be at over 99%. So if you put in $100 in bets over a period of time, you can expect to get back a little over $99.

Is there any easy way to memorize the blackjack basic strategy chart?
It is not an easy chart to learn. It is however possible to get used to the chart and almost know it by heart by practicing online. Click on the button to the right to have a look at the online casino options. You can then download one of the casinos and play for free or play for low odds.
When playing online you would be able to work through many more hands than when playing at a regular casino. At an online casino you can typically see 4 or 5 times the amount of hands that you would in an hour at a regular casino.

Can you still use the blackjack basic strategy online to gain an advantage?
You can definitely use it online. Remember however that the basic strategy only cuts down the house edge. It doesn’t give you the edge. It is however the most dependable and most trusted option to minimizing the house edge.

How should you use the blackjack basic strategy when playing tournament blackjack?
It is always good to constantly use the blackjack basic strategy in the early parts of the tournament. The bet sizes are the most important though to take into account when playing tournament blackjack.
It is best to set a starting bet size, for example $10. If you win, you add another $10 on your next starting bet, so you start with $20 and so on. You should however only do this for four or five hands and then drop back to your original starting bet size. If you lose a hand, then drop back to the original amount.
At later stages in a blackjack tournament the way in which you will bet would really start to become weird. I won’t cover it here, because it’s getting a bit off topic. However you should read up on strategies for playing in the late stages of a blackjack tournament where you are trying to get into the money.

Where is the best place to learn the blackjack basic strategy?
Right here on the net. Use the chart on this page and read the instructions on how to use it. You can then click-through on the button on the right to have a look at our casinos and start playing.
Playing online is a lot faster than playing at a normal casino. This makes it possible for you to really push your learning of the blackjack strategy at a high pace.

Is it possible to make money at a casino using the basic strategy?
It definitely is. Playing with a gut feel or some or other bogus strategy will only result in fast losses. Okay so that’s not 100% true… you might get a few lucky wins.
The blackjack basic strategy really cuts down the house edge and does it more effectively than any other method of playing. This means that you will have many more winning blackjack sessions than you used to have. It will also mean that you minimize your losses.

If you are not keen to read any more of this, just click here to get to our blackjack basic strategy chart

If the blackjack basic strategy chart is a bit too confusing, I would like to suggest a simpler version of the blackjack basic strategy

Or perhaps you would just like to glance at the quick facts

loads of different basic strategy charts
There are just so many blackjack basic strategy charts out there, but if you have a closer look you will find they are the same!
The most basic part of a blackjack strategy is that it is usually not wise drawing another card when you have reached a total of 16. The reason for this is that the chances of you getting a card dealt to you that doesn’t push your total over 21, is very slim.

There is however exceptions to this rule based on what card was dealt to the dealer, but if you are fairly new to the game the best blackjack strategy would be not to draw another card. The most commonly used blackjack basic strategy is based on a strategy that was devised when different possibilities of hands that could be dealt was run through one of the first PC’s developed to test its mathematical capabilities and logic. It works exactly the same whether you are gambling online or playing at a regular casino.

One of many blackjack strategy books
There are loads of strategy books out there. Personally I think that the best possible training ground is getting your information online and playing at low stakes online.

We will discuss the most popular blackjack strategy, the blackjack basic strategy shortly, but at this time I must mention the ever popular card counting that most people interested in blackjack, must have heard of. This blackjack strategy is not the same thing, but we will be discussing both these basic blackjack tactics and its more controversial alternative…

The blackjack basic strategy

You would notice in most online casinos and land based casinos that the dealer stands on 17. There are some exceptions to this, but this is as rare as honest politicians. The strategy is based on the casinos where the dealer stands on 17.

I have put the table into a spread sheet to show you how this can be played. The letters in the blocks match up to the following key table:

  • H = Hit
  • S = Stand
  • D = Double if allowed, otherwise hit
  • D/S = Double if allowed, otherwise stand
  • Sp = Split
  • H/Sp = Split if allowed to double after a split, otherwise hit
  • Su/H = Surrender if allowed, otherwise hit
  • Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart

    If you follow this strategy you would be able to cut down the house advantage substantially and have much more playing time at casinos. So keep this sheet with the blackjack basic strategy handy when playing online and learn it by heart for when you want to go and play at land based casinos.

    The blackjack basic strategy in a simpler form

    Hard Hand

  • 12 – Stand against a dealer up card of 4, 5 or 6, otherwise hit
  • 13 – Stand against a dealer up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 14 – Stand against a dealer up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 15 – Stand against a dealer up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 16 – Stand against a dealer up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 17 – Stand on 17 or higher unless you have a split or soft hand
  • Hard Doubles

  • 9 – double against a dealer up card of 3 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 10 – double against a dealer up card of 2 through 9, otherwise hit
  • 11 – double against a dealer up card of 2 through 10, otherwise hit
  • Pair Splits

  • 2/2 – Split against a dealer up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
  • 3/3 – Split against a dealer up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
  • 4/4 – Hit
  • 5/5 – Use doubling rules as a ten
  • 6/6 – Split against a dealer up card of 2 through 6, otherwise hit
  • 7/7 – Split against a dealer up card of 2 through 7, otherwise hit
  • 8/8 – Always split
  • 9/9 – Always split except against a dealer up card of 7, 10 or ace
  • 10/10 – Never split
  • A/A – Always split
  • Soft Hands

  • A2/A3 – Double down against a dealer up card of 5 or 6, otherwise hit
  • A4/A5 – Double down against a dealer up card of 4, 5, or 6, otherwise hit
  • A6 – Double against a dealer up card of 3, 4, 5 or 6, otherwise hit
  • A7 – Double against a dealer up card of 3, 4, 5 or 6. Stand against 2, 7 or 8. Hit against a 9, ten or ace
  •  

    (I have seen quite a few of these around. This one was borrowed from the about.com blackjack page)

    Bad ideas:
    When you play you must never try to mimic how someone else plays. This will only lead to confusion and will more often than not result in you losing more often than winning. Many players have their own outlook on how to play poker and it is difficult to copy this accurately without first going down more money than is necessary.

    Card Counting:
    The idea of card counting is regularly glorified in movies with players (Rain Man to mention one) and mastering card counting is not as easy as it looks. In order for you to accurately count cards you need to first of all follow a basic strategy and then in your head do a few calculations on what the possible outcomes are depending on the amount of decks used in the specific game. The comparison of the possibilities of cards that could be dealt based on what is already on the table is beyond most people’s ability.

    The blackjack basic strategy is the perfect compliment to all card counting strategies. It offers players the opportunity to first of all play accurately based on the blackjack basic strategy. If they combine this with the power of a good card counting strategy it would really give the player a nice attacking platform when playing.

    In conclusion I must therefore advise that your best course of action would be to learn the blackjack basic strategy well and to stay away from most other possible tactics that you find out there. When you are gambling online the next time, try the blackjack basic strategy as I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.