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A Conservative Approach to Playing Blackjack Games

By: Fabian Rictor, Thursday February 20th 2014
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When it comes to playing any type of card game, you'll often find that most strategic concepts are based from the perspective of trying to harness aggression. However, not everyone has an aggressive temperment. For people who prefer to be more conservative, studying blackjack from that particular perspective can be much more fruitful. In what follows, we're going to detail an approach to blackjack that is based on the idea of being conservative and held back with aggression only being used whenever the time is exactly right.

Let's start with the basics concept of busting out. Something that you need to think about is the fact that if both you and the dealer bust out, then you still lose the hand. In light of this, being conservative makes a lot of sense. You should only push to try to get a high total if it's absolutely called for and you have no other option for trying to maximize your value from your hand. This only ever happens when the dealer has a strong card (seven or higher) and you have a hard total of 16 or lower. In these cases, you simply must hit in an aggressive way.

In any other scenario, however, maximizing your value isn't really about aggression. For example, if the dealer is weak with a card between two and six, then your primary focus is going to be on the fact that the dealer is likely to bust out. If you have a hard hand of 13, for example, then you should be conservative against these cards and just stand. Most of your hands are going to be hard, so the right play will usually come down to whether or not you're justified in being conservative or if your back is against the wall and you absolutely must hit.

Even with the conservative approach in mind, there are times when you have a clear advantage over the dealer, and you have to make the most of them. For example, if you have a hard 11, then you absolutely must double. The same holds for plenty of soft hands against low dealer cards. You can also take what seems to be an aggressive action for a conservative reason in blackjack. A great example of this is when you split a pair of eights. You're doing so because the hard 16 is a bad hand, and even though you're doubling your bet, you're doing so to protect yourself from having to play the worst hand available.

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