Blackjack basic strategy chart

Blackjack Basic Strategy chart

Blackjack strategy card

The house always has a mathematical edge on every game in the casino. This applies to blackjack as well, but because choice enters each hand, this house advantage can be reduced to as low as 0.50% If you hope that blackjack strategy is a certain way to riches and fame, you’ll be disappointed. Blackjack strategies are usually based on the laws of probability and mathematics, but the very nature of the game means that often chance trumps math. However small, the house always has an advantage in the long term.

Mathematicians and scientists have tried to calculate a way of winning ever since blackjack was developed centuries ago. Edward O. Thorpe came up with the first breakthrough in 1962 when he created what we now call “basic strategy.” This strategy couldn’t guarantee that a player would win, but the house edge could be reduced to 0.50% per game session, increasing the player’s chance of winning. Given any particular hand, Thorpe’s system tells you when to stand and when to hit, and it also tells you when to double down or split. His basic strategy is based on your point total and the dealer’s card that you can see.

Take a look at the chart below to see how basic strategy operates:

Online blackjack strategy Chart

The basic strategy chart above applies to the most common Las Vegas Strip 6-8 deck rules. It assumes that the dealer will hit on a soft 17, doubling after a split is allowed, only one card will be dealt to split aces, multiple split aces are allowed, a blackjack pays 3:2, and (possibly) late surrender is permitted.

Important: How you play basic strategy changes depending on how many decks are used and what rules the casino has in place. Don’t treat this chart as absolutely true. Keep its limitations in mind: this chart is based on certain conditions, and is only a recommendation how to play a particular hand at that time.

Another system used to try and beat the house is card counting. All the variations on this system are based on the idea that as cards are dealt, the make-up of the remaining deck changes. When the deck has more 10-count cards in, the player has an advantage in getting a blackjack. The increased payout on this bet (3:2) means that a black jack win pays more than a regular win (even odds).

If you assign a simple value like -1 for low cards and +1 for high cards, you can get a rough estimate of the ratio of high cards to low cards. When the deck has more high cards, the player has an advantage and should wager more. If the deck runs the other way, containing more low cards, the player should only bet the minimum, thus cutting the losses. Decisions on when to stand, hit, double and split are also affected by the count. All online casinos shuffle after each round, so you can’t get an advantage on the house for their games. So use the basic strategy only when you’re playing at off-line casinos.

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