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Basic Blackjack Strategy

Variables

There are certain variables that alter the casino’s percentage advantage one way or the other and also have an effect on the correct basic strategy that should be used:

  • Number of decks used .
  • If the dealer has to stand on a soft 17 (Ace and 6).
  • If splitting pairs is allowed, and how many times.
  • If doubling down is allowed and whether allowed after splitting.
  • If surrender is allowed.

Winning at Blackjack is part skill and part luck. A player using a good blackjack basic strategy can reduce the online casinos advantage to a minimum and, under certain very favorable conditions, can gain an edge over the casino.

The Basic Strategy Rules

There are a basic set of rules that apply to all blackjack games:

General
Always stand on 17 or better.
Always hit on 12-16 when dealer shows 7 or higher.
Always hit on 8 or less.

Doubling Down
Always double down on 11.
Double down on 10 when dealer shows 9 or lower.
Double down on 9 when dealer shows 6 or lower.

Soft Hands
Always stand on soft 19 and 20.
Always double down on soft 13-18 when dealer shows 4,5, or 6.

Splits
Always split aces and 8’s.
Never split 10-face cards and never split 5’s.
Always split 3’s and 2’s when the dealer shows 4,5,6, or 7.

These are the basic rules but read on for a further explanation.