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The Basic Blackjack Strategy

There are many rules and thoughts as to how to approach Blackjack, however if you follow the next few Blackjack strategies you will have an edge next time you sit down. When debating to hit or stand take a look at the dealerís face-up card. Most house rules that the dealer has to follow, are that the dealer must hit if their cards add up to 16 or less, and they must stay if their cards add up to 17 or more (some casinos allow dealers to hit on a soft 17). This can be a great advantage to the player. If the dealer shows a 6 there is a greater probability for a bust. If the dealer has a seven as a face-up card, there is a lower probability of busting. Knowing the dealers face-up card still doesnít guarantee a win, although it can aide you in deciding how to play.

When playing soft hand rules, meaning an ace can be valued as one or eleven whichever is more beneficial to the player, the player has a different strategy as you can not bust on a soft hand. If you look like you are about to bust, you just reveal the ace and revalue it to one. When the dealer shows a low face-up card the player should double down, as the dealer has a high probability of busting.

Basic card strategy table with an Ace as a card in hand (soft hand rules):

Your hand:
19-20 stand no matter what dealer shows

18 hit if dealer face up card is 9 or ace stand if dealer shows 2, 7 or       8, Double if dealer shows 3, 4, 5 or 6

17 it if dealer shows 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or ace, Double if dealer shows 3,       4, 5, or 6

16 or 15 hit if dealer shows 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 or ace, Double if dealer       shows 4, 5, or 6

14 or 13 hit if dealer shows 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 or ace, Double if       dealer shows 5 or 6

If you hit and go over 21 you must switch to using the strategy for a hard hand (Ace counts as one or no Ace in your hand).

Basic strategy without an Ace, or using the Ace as a value of one (hard hand rules):

When the player is dealt 12 to 16 and dealer shows a low value face-card, stand. There is a high probability the dealer will bust. If the dealer has a 7 or higher card showing however, you should hit and try to improve your hand.

If the player has 17 or higher they should stand as chances of busting are higher.

A Basic Blackjack strategy card can be found here.

When the dealer turns an Ace as a face-up card the game of Blackjack pauses. The player then has the option of betting half of their wager that the dealer has been dealt 21. There is a high probability in the dealers favor and the house for this reason will give a 2-1 odd for the wager. If the player decides to take it the dealer will take a look at their card that is face-down to see if it is a 10. If not the player loses the insurance and the game of Blackjack begins again. Most players will caution against the insurance bet as the probability is higher against the player. One word of caution is if you decide to take the house insurance bet, always risk it, if not, do not risk it at all. As the probability is in the dealers favor this strategy will allow you to at least break even as a gut instinct is hard to follow in deciding on insurance.

Here are some other Blackjack strategies:

Advanced Blackjack strategy: An example of more advanced Blackjack strategy including card counting.

Card counting: Learning effective ways to keep track of cards.

Shuffle tracking: Learning effective ways to keep track of cards as the deck is shuffled.

 
 
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