Blackjack Basic Strategy

Blackjack basic strategy is a set of rules calculated and developed by researchers and statisticians to decrease casino advantage to a minimum and teach players how to win at blackjack. Blackjack researchers created a simulation program based upon all possible blackjack hands to develop what we now know as blackjack basic strategy. Blackjack strategy is a system of charts that players can use to obtain the best decisions based upon the game situation. The charts include basic player solutions as when to Hit or Stand. As well as recommending further options such as Splitting and Doubling Down which will increase the players odds. However, the strategy cannot eliminate casino advantage, but decreases it down to 1%.

Blackjack Basic Strategy
BASIC level
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Blackjack Strategy Rules: The Dealer

The strategy is based upon the fact that the dealer has to stand on 17 and above and does not have the chance to Split or Double Down.

Most common blackjack strategy decisions are based on the fact that the dealer is very likely to go bust (35%) in the cases that his up card is 3, 4, 5 or 6. Therefore, the strategy advises you to stand even in case your total is 13 - 16 (you both have the same chance of going bust, but unlike you, the dealer cannot stand and must hit). In addition to this if your total is the same (13-16) but the dealer's up card is 7, 8, 9, 10 or A, you are strongly advised to Hit as it is very likely that the dealer's hole card is a 10 and this time his hand will beat yours.

Rules That Affect Blackjack Basic Strategy

Blackjack basic strategy is created for the classic blackjack rules, but there are some casinos that make small changes in their basic rules. These changes sometimes make a big difference and should influence your gaming strategy. Let's take a look at the parameters that are to be taken into account.

  • Does the dealer stand or hit on a soft 17 (A & 6)? (stand is good, hit is bad)
  • How many times can you split one hand? (the more the better)
  • Can you double down after splitting pairs? (if allowed - it is great)
  • Is the surrendering allowed? If yes, is it early or late surrender? (early surrender is the best)
  • On what cards and which total can you double down? (the best is when you can double on any two cards and any total)
  • How many decks are used in the game? (the less decks - the better)

These rules greatly affect the game and basic strategy. You can see this by typing in different rules into our Strategy Chart Generator, House Edge Calculator and even Blackjack Game Advisor. As a result you will see how each of the game parameters affects the strategy.

Winning at blackjack depends partly upon your skills and partly on luck. A successful blackjack strategy is one that decreases the house advantage to minimum and allows you in some cases to gain a small edge over the casino. However, a real advantage over the casinos can only be obtained with the help of card counting.

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Blackjack Basic Strategy For Beginners:

Let's take a look at the most common points of Basic strategy, the ones that concern General rules, Rules for Soft Hands, Doubling Down and Splitting rules.

7 General GOLDEN Rules of Basic Blackjack Strategy

  • Stand on 12 if the dealer's up card is 6 or lower
  • Stand when you have 17 if the dealer has a 7 or higher
  • Hit with soft 17 or less and stand on soft 18 or more
  • Always Split a pair of Aces and 8's
  • Split if you have a pair of 7's against a dealer's 7 or less
  • Never take Insurance or Even money
  • Double down on 10/11 if your card total is higher than the dealer's up card

Below you will find the most common rules for playing soft and hard hands. In order to read more about each rule and find out the reasons for these solutions, checkout the pages for blackjack strategy for hard hands and blackjack strategy for soft hands and of course, blackjack strategy for splitting pairs.

Blackjack Strategy for Soft Hands
13-14 Double against dealer's 5-6, o/w hit.
15-16 Double against dealer's 4-6, o/w hit
17 Double is dealer has a 3-6, o/w hit
18 Double against 3-6;
Stand against 2, 7, 8
Hit against 9, 10 or an Ace
Blackjack Strategy for Splitting Pairs
2-3,7 Split against dealer's 2-7; o/wise Hit
4 Split only against dealer's 5 or 6
5,10 Never Split 5's or 10's
6 Split against dealer's 2-6, o/wise hit
A & 8 Split every time
9 Split against 2-6, 8-9; Stand if dealer shows 7, 10 or an Ace
Blackjack Strategy for Hard Hands
8 Hit on any hand of 8 or lower
9 Double if dealer has 3-6, otherwise hit
10 Double if dealer has 2-9, otherwise hit
11 Double if dealer's up card is 2-10, o/w hit.
12 Stand if dealer shows 4-6, o/w hit
13-16 Stand if the dealer has a 2-6, o/w hit
17-21 Stand always.
Some hands demand knowledge of basic strategy
more than others.

Blackjack basic strategy is not a 100% proven winning method, it is a tactic that offers mathematically correct solutions for all possible player hands against all possible dealer up cards. Basic strategy is the first step for any player who wishes to be professional in blackjack or simply to increase his edge. There are easier ways to consult Basic Strategies and they are the blackjack chart and blackjack game advisor.

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