Blackjack Basic Strategy

Blackjack is a game that requires both knowledge and skills, thus the only way players can win in the long run is if they know the rules of the game very well and follow an appropriate method. One of the most famous among them is the so called basic strategy. It is so popular that the house edge of a particular casino is always estimated providing that the players follow exactly this type of strategy.

The basic strategy shows the best possible moves players can make in a particular situation according to their hand and the dealer’s up card. Even though a great number of gamblers use it on a regular basis, many of them don’t know how to apply it correctly as they lack the thorough understanding of its rules. The basic strategy has many variations which gives gamblers the chance to choose the best one for them.

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Basic Strategy History

The basic strategy was developed in the first half of 1960s by Julian Braun, an IBM computer expert and innovator. His idea was based on the concept that due to the fact that Blackjack is a card game, its possibilities and odds can be calculated. Thus, if the pattern of the game is revealed, an appropriate strategy can be created accordingly which will enable players to predict the course of the game to some extent. Mr. Braun observed around nine billion different possible combinations of the players’ hands and the dealer’s up card. His discoveries changed how the game was perceived and played and were the base for many other strategies.

Reasons to Use the Basic Strategy

Many seasoned players use the basic strategy as they know that it gives them everything they need in order to have as much advantage as possible over the casino. It prepares them for every tricky and difficult situation as it shows players how they should proceed in such cases. Using the basic strategy doesn’t guarantee gamblers a 100% chance of winning a particular hand but it helps them to make better decisions which lead to the smallest possible amount of money loss. If gamblers decide to follow it and play according to its rules, they will certainly make a profit in the long run as it always works due to the fact that it is based on the game’s calculations of odds and probabilities.

Basic Strategy Variations

The basic strategy varies depending on the following criteria: number of decks, whether the dealer stands or hits on soft 17, whether doubling down after splitting is allowed and whether players initial bets will be lost when the dealer has blackjack. The reason why the strategy changes along with the above mentioned criteria is due to the fact that it’s based on the game’s rules and even if one of them changes, it directly influences the odds and probabilities of the game. Thus, when players use the basic strategy, they need to take into consideration whether it is in accordance with the casino and the game’s rules.

How to Apply the Basic Strategy Correctly

As already mentioned, the basic strategy is a great way for players to ensure that they will make a profit in the long run. However, in order to do so, they need to put a lot of efforts and time so that they can understand how it works and what lies behind its pattern.

Another very important thing to take into account is that gamblers should always stick to it from the beginning till the end of the game. Many players get discouraged at some point and give up on it which is the worst thing to do. If they have chosen to follow this strategy in order to make it work, they need to play according to it throughout the whole game. Even if they get a sequence of few losing hands, they need to remember that they won’t determine the final outcome of the game.

Gamblers need to bear in mind that what forms the bigger picture is not the small loses but the dominant outcome at the end of the game.

Since the basic strategy consists of the game’s patters, rules and mathematical equations based on its odds and probabilities, it can never go wrong. The bottom line is that if players use it they won’t win every time, but in the long term they will be winners. It is worth mentioning that in order to make profit, gamblers need to possess not only solid knowledge and skills but also money management and discipline. Without them, players are bound to lose every game and there is no way they can change that.

Basic strategy chart

The Basic strategy chart is a chart that indicates what is the best possible move players can make in a particular situation after they receive their first two cards and the dealer’s up card is revealed. It contains the four main options players can choose from every time – hit, double down, split and stand and it operates according to the players hand’s total value and the up card of the dealer. It is worth mentioning that no matter what strategy gamblers follow, they should always take into account the dealer’s up card.

Nowadays, players can find many variations of the original chart of the basic strategy which gives the chance to see which one works best for them. Of course it is recommended to follow a well-established one which has already been proven to be reliable and successful as after all Blackjack involves money and every wrong turn can come at a great price.

Basic Strategy Chart
Players’ Hand Dealer’s Up Card
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Ace
8 H H H D D H H H H H
9 H D D D D H H H H H
10 D D D D D D H H H H
11 D D D D D D D H H H
12 H H S S S H H H H H
13 S S S S S H H H H H
14 S S S S S H H H H H
15 S S S S S H H H H H
16 S S S S S H H H H H
A-2 H H H D D H H H H H
A-3 H H D D D H H H H H
A-4 H H D D D H H H H H
A-5 H H D D D H H H H H
A-6 H D D D D H H H H H
A-7 S D D D D S S H H H
A-8 S S S S S S S S S S
A-9 S S S S S S S S S S
Ace-Ace SP SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H
2-2 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
3-3 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
4-4 H H H SP SP H H H H H
5-5 D D D D D D H H H H
6-6 SP SP SP SP SP H H H H H
7-7 SP SP SP SP SP SP H H H H
8-8 SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP SP
9-9 SP SP SP SP SP S SP SP S S
H = Hit, D = Double Down, S = Stand, SP = Split

Conclusion

The basic strategy gives players a suggestion what will be their best move according to the players’ hand total and the up card of the dealer. It is very accurate and reliable due to the fact that it has been developed and improved greatly over the years so that players can take advantage of it nowadays. The professional opinion of many gamblers is that the basic strategy is the best method players can choose to follow and trust as it’s based on the game’s fundamental principles and patterns.