Main Menu
Casino
Casino Games
Blackjack
Basic Strategy
Down
How to Play BJ
Roulette
Blackjack
Casino Stud
Punto Banco
Craps
Prog-Poker
Sic Bo
Money Wheel
US Games
GGG
Top of Page
 
Top of Page
 
Top of Page
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Games   | News   | Email
 
 
Basic Stategy
The first step to becoming a good Blackjack player is what is known the world over as Basic Strategy. This is the best possible strategy choice of choosing to Stand, Hit, Split or Double for every possible player's hand against every Dealer's card. It is correct given just the basic starting information of the game, which are the rules of the game and the constitution of the deck of cards in use.

Basic Strategy uses a static set of rules and does not include modifying information the like of which you might get from card counting, card tracking or any other advanced technique that can be employed to beat the game of Blackjack. It is also correct whether the house is using conventional dealers, card shuffling machines or random number generators for machines or online gaming.

So for example lets choose the most popular mistake made by players, hard sixteen against the dealers 10, (hard hands are those that do not include an Ace). Knowing the probabilities of drawing all card combinations from the deck allows us to calculate by computer simulation that the correct play is always to take a card. This is true for standard Blackjack rules used around the world.

Rules matter. With a specific set of rules there is a specific Blackjack basic strategy. Whether you can split, double or the dealer checks for Blackjacks changes the equity value of your hand and so the Basic Strategy will fit those values. And blackjack rules change from country to country and even in places like Las Vegas, from casino to casino. We will look at that later.

For the purposes of this article we will consider standard UK rules. Between 4 and 8 decks of cards (usually 6), split any pair and double anything, dealer stands on soft 17 (Ace + 6) and does not check for Blackjacks (in the USA and some other places the dealer deals a down card and checks to see if they have a Blackjack).

Table 1. Splitting strategy against dealer's card.

 
1 Dealer's Card
P
L
A
Y
E
R
 
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
A
2-2
                   
3-3
                   
4-4
                   
5-5
                   
6-6
                   
7-7
                   
8-8
                   
9-9
                   
10-10
                   
A-A
                   
Split
 
No
 

Table 2. Doubling Down strategy against dealer's card.

 
 
2 Dealer's Card
P
L
A
Y
E
R
 
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
A
9
                   
10
                   
11
                   
Double
 
No
 

Table 3. Draw, Stand and Double strategy on soft totals.

 
 
3 Dealer's Card
P
L
A
Y
E
R
 
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
A
13
                   
14
                   
15
                   
16
                   
17
                   
18
                   
19-20
                   
Double
 
Draw
 
Stand
 

Table 4. Draw and Stand strategy for hard hands.

 
 
4 Dealer's Card
P
L
A
Y
E
R
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
A
4-11
                   
12
                   
13-16
                   
17-20
                   
Draw
 
Stand
 
Playing with these rules and this optimal Basic Strategy then the House Edge is 0.51%. If the dealer were allowed to hit soft 17 then this rises to 0.73%. However if the dealer checks for Blackjacks (which allows us to split 8s vs 10 and Ace, split Aces vs Ace and doubling of 11 against a 10) then the House Edge drops to 0.40%.

So starting with our base of House Edge +0.51% lets see what happens if the house changes the rules;
  • Dealer checks for Blackjack -0.11%
  • Four decks -0.1%
  • Eight decks +0.03%
  • Can only split once +0.05%
  • Restrict Doubling Down to 9,10 and 11 +0.1%
  • No Doubling Down on soft totals +0.1%
  • Can't double after splitting +0.1%
  • Dealer hits soft 17 +0.22%
  • Pay Blackjack at 6:5 +1.36%
All of these are rule variations are possible even in the United Kingdom although some you will never likely see.
 
Home | Index | Links | Information | Glossary | Film Review | Diary | This Week | News | Email
Lotteries | Casino | Games | Betting | Spotlight | Book Review | Advice | Archive | Columns

 

This document maintained by GGGwebmaster.
Material Copyright © 2000 - 2016 TheGoodGamblingGuide.com