Blackjack - The Basic Strategy

Blackjack – The Basic Strategy

When looking to try and achieve the best results when playing Blackjack you will hear and read on many sites of a ‘basic strategy’. This is what we will look at here and examine how to win at Blackjack.

Because the game of Blackjack relies on a player making decisions on every hand that they are dealt, it is extremely popular among both online and offline communities due to this ability to affect the outcome of any particular game. Excluding Poker it is therefore viewed as requiring more skill than most other casino games.

On saying this most sensible and even advanced players of the game will not deviate too much from the ‘basic strategy’ which is considered the best blackjack strategy. The reason this basic strategy works is because the optimal decisions from a player will be the same due to the dealer having to make no decisions

In the first instance a player will need to get to grips with the basic rules of Blackjack before moving on to learning how to optimise their chances of winning. You will probably be able to find many strategies and theories created to help a player gain an advantage against the dealer, however this can never really be achieved without the strategy probably being considered illegal from the casinos point of view.

This main strategy to gain an advantage is called ‘card counting’ which I am sure you will have heard of. This is banned in most casinos. This is something that this article will not be covering as we will be sticking to the basic strategy.

So What is the Basic Strategy?

This system is considered to be the best way to play blackjack. Based on looking at both the dealers initial card and your cards (as the player), it gives the best possible move and has been developed from statistical probabilities. The concept behind the basic strategy is ultimately to win and win as often as you can. However it is also devised to maximise your wins using such as double-down so as to minimise the chance of going bust. It is also to a degree a strategy to help keep any losses to a minimum.

As with all table games you will find in a casino the house will always have the edge. Using the basic blackjack strategy you are trying to significantly reduce that house edge. Unlike card counting which we mentioned earlier, the basic strategy does not take account of other cards that will have been seen in other players hands or have previously been dealt. This is more of an issue for offline casinos as online casinos generally play each round with a newly shuffled deck or decks (usually you will find this is a 6-deck pack).

We won’t be looking into how these statistical permutations came about to create the basic strategy but just look at the playing guide they created. As a new player and especially if you are playing online it is a good idea to keep this guide close by for reference. As with everything that has a learning curve, the more you play the less you will find that you need to refer to the guide as you will automatically know what the optimal next move will be.

Playing in an offline casino you may find that some frown at the idea of a player using a guide at the blackjack table especially on a mobile device. However some may actually have a reference sheet available at the table for you to make use of.

Looking at the basic strategy guide shown above you can see patterns for when to hit and stand. As a minimum you should always hit (and maybe sometimes double-down) if your hand is below 11 and if you have 17 points or more and still in play then you should stand.

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