Winning at the blackjack table may be the result of a number of different strategies; money management, betting tactics, or basic strategy.
However, as much as the first two may aid a win, it is the third, basic strategy and only the third that if followed correctly will limit the house advantage to sometimes as little as 0.5%.
The Basic Strategy
Blackjack is very simply a game of mathematics and therefore winning it is simply a question of understanding and utilizing that math. Basic Strategy is the name given to the mathematical system that will provide guidance for any card combination.
The system is most commonly seen in a sequence of charts outlining all possible combinations and the subsequent advised move for the player to make. These charts do vary somewhat depending on the number of decks in use, but also specific table rules, for example if doubling after splitting is allowed
Understanding Basic Strategy
The charts themselves are available from a wide variety of sources including internet pages and often even casinos themselves.
A simple internet search at this point will provide such charts. It is important to be sure whether you are playing at a single deck or multi deck table, and also any specific table rules that may affect the advised outcomes.
Understanding the Basic Strategy chart however is not necessarily the easiest of activities, and for this reason a “plain English” breakdown is useful. Once this has been done, some basic steadfast, easy to remember rules can be drawn from the tables:
In the case of a “hard hand”, meaning neither of your starting cards being aces, the following basic strategies may be followed:
If you have:
In the case of a “soft hand”, meaning that one of your two original cards is an Ace:
If you have:
In the case of your original 2 cards being a pair:
If you have a pair of
These advised plays have been calculated with the aid of computer simulations, and if followed absolutely will yield very favorable results.
It is not easy to memorize all the combinations from the outset and practice is advised; but once you have internalized basic strategy and are able to implement it as second nature blackjack will be seen as both lucrative and logical.