Basic Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack can be a fun and entertaining game played with the knowledge that the house has the edge, or it can be a game played for profit, with the use of a basic blackjack strategy wherein the player has the edge.

If you’re just getting started playing blackjack, or learning strategy, the following basic blackjack strategy is the perfect place to start.

Playing blackjack is gambling, and when you gamble there’s always a distinct possibility that you will lose, however there’s nothing wrong with putting the math to use on your side.

Basic blackjack strategy is easy to memorize, and available on strategy cards at most casinos. In fact, blackjack strategy cards used to come inside just about every deck of cards sold in stores.

If you’re using a blackjack strategy card you’ll generally scan the left side of the card until you come to your hand. Then on the right hand side of the card you’ll locate the dealers up card. Find the place where these two columns meet and you have the best action for you to take.

It‘s preferable however to memorize and practice some basic strategy, so that you don’t have to be the guy sitting at the blackjack table taking peaks at a strategy card (if they’re allowed at all).

Basic Blackjack Strategy – When to take a Card

In the following situations the player will want to hit, accepting another card. These situations are based on a combination of the player’s hand, and the dealers UP card.

· When the total of the player’s two cards is 8 or any combination between 12 and 16 and the dealer is showing a 7, 8,9,10 or an ace the player should hit.

· If the player’s total of the players hand is 11 and the dealer has an ace showing, the player should hit, the player does not double down in this situation.

· When the players hand totals 10, and the dealer is also showing 10, the player should hit, this is another example of a situation where the player might mistakenly double down, when he should in fact only hit.

· When the cards in the players hand total 9 and the dealer is showing a 7, 8 or a 9, the player should just hit.

Basic Blackjack Strategy – When to Stand

A player that is content with his or her hand, or believes that the next card is likely to bust the dealer, will opt to stand, and not take any more cards.

· If the total of both of the player’s two cards is 17 or more, stand. Players should not take a card anytime their hand is higher than 16.

· If the dealer is showing a low card, 6 or lower, and the player is holding a hand higher than 12 (13 and up) the player should stand.

· If the player has a pair of tens, or two matching face cards the player should stand, the player shouldn’t ever split a hand totaling 20.

Basic Blackjack Strategy – When to Split

If a blackjack player has a pair, they are given the option of splitting that pair into two individual hands, and then playing the hands independently of each other.
· Pairs of twos and threes should only be split if the dealer’s up card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7.

· Fives shouldn’t ever be split, if the dealer is showing a 10 or an ace, just hit them, if the dealers showing anything else, double these down.

· 6’s and 7’s should only be split if the dealers up card is a six or lower.

· Aces and 8’s should always be split, regardless of the dealers card if allowed (Some casinos or games don‘t allow aces to be split).

Basic Blackjack Strategy – Doubling your Bet

Blackjack players double down when they believe they have a good chance of hitting 19 or better and the dealer does not have a 10 showing.

Players should:

· Double down whenever their hand totals 10, unless the dealer’s up card is a 10 or an ace.

· Double 11 unless the dealer has an Ace up.

· Double on 9 only if the dealer has a 3-6 up.

Because the dealer has to use a strict rule set when playing, regardless of your up card, using the above strategy tips will improve your overall ROI as a blackjack player.