Blackjack Basic Strategy
Are you ready to take your blackjack prowess to the next level? It's time to delve into the world of basic strategy and to start memorising some crucial charts.
In any blackjack game, there are “best practice” moves based on probability. If a player can memorise and make these moves during a game, they stand to minimise their losses and maximise their wins. However, these “best practice” plays are very detailed. For every visible card a dealer is dealt, and for every total a player reaches, there is a different play which is recommended. From splits, to soft totals, a different approach is required for different scores in different circumstances.
For example, if the dealer's visible card is a six, best practice means standing on a score of 12. If the card is an eight, players are advised to take a hit. Likewise, if you receive a pair of fours and the dealer's visible card is a four, basic strategy advises you to take a hit. If the dealer's card is a five, players should split.
Each of these decisions as outlined in blackjack basic strategy tables is carefully calculated based on probability. You most certainly will not win every time, however, over time losses should be minimised and wins should increase – if only slightly.
Here's a small snippet of what a basic strategy table looks like. Remember, these tables apply to most games of blackjack, but not all games. In Las Vegas casinos, for instance, the hit on soft 17 rule is widely used. This means that best practice play according to basic strategy changes slightly.
• Played with 4-8 decks
• Allow doubling after a split
• Dealer blackjack takes only the original bet
• Dealer stands on a soft 17
|DEALERS HAND & PLAYERS HAND||2||3||4|
This table is just a small basic strategy excerpt. Others cover many more dealer hands and player hands, including splits and soft totals.
The name “basic strategy” suggests that there are more advanced and sophisticated ways to try to minimise losses and enhance winnings in blackjack – and this is true. After memorising basic strategy, dedicated players can go on to marginally improve their decisions by taking into account exactly which cards are in their hand, rather than just the total score. This is known as composition-dependant strategy.
If you want to get even more serious about improving your advantage at the blackjack table, working on your card-counting, computational or observational skills will help you flesh out basic strategy even further and make even better decisions.
These techniques are legal as long as no external devices are used, however, players with these advantages often fall foul of casinos which can even lead to blacklisting.
Have you ever tried to use basic strategy in a blackjack game? Whether you fancy a simple flutter or want to perfect your play, try your hand at our exhilarating online blackjack tables.