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Basic Blackjack Strategy

By:, Wednesday June 4th 2008
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There have been several books written about the many strategies. We are going to help you understand the basic strategy of blackjack in this article. The very first thing you should know, if you don't already is that Blackjack has a very easy to learn objective.

In blackjack you need to come as close to 21 without busting to win. You also must beat the dealer hand. As with many casino card games, you are actually playing against the dealer, rather than the other players at the table. You can have up to five players at the same table playing against the dealer. When you have more players at the table that means you will have more cards in play, but usually the shoe has up to 6 or 8 decks so that card counting can be ruled out. Card counting is a strategy that we will look at in a later article. For now though let's talk about basic strategy.

You will be dealt two cards to start as will the dealer. The dealer cards will have one hole card and one face up card. This helps you to strategize based on the card showing. However, you don't want to just play off of the dealer's top card. It can be misleading to some extent.

In strategy, even basic strategy, you need to know when to take a hit and when to stand or surrender. Not all games allow you to surrender, so we won't concentrate on that option. There are two types of hands that you can play on. There is the hard hand which means you don't have an ace, and the soft hand in which an ace is a part of the play.

Hard Hands:

  • When the player has a total of 8 and the up card of the dealer is 2-9, ten or ace you will always take a hit.
  • When the player has nine and the up card is 2, 7, 8, 9, Ten or Ace you should take a hit. On the 3, 4, 5, 6 up card for the dealer you should double down.
  • If you have 10 or 11 for the total you will want to double down on any up card with the exception of the Ten or Ace. On those cards you will hit.
  • For a 12 you will take a hit when the up card is the 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, or Ace. For the 4, 5, or 6 up card you should stand.

Keep in mind if you are going to stand, some casinos will not allow you to stand on anything less than a 15. Other casinos go by the old school rule that if the dealer has 15 they may not stand, but you are allowed to stand when you want. It pays to know the rules so you can understand what strategy you should be playing. It will also depend on the up card of the dealer.

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Comment by: Edna222 On: January 02, 2010
Studying and understanding blackjack strategy is the only way that you can really minimize the odds in blackjack in such a way that the odds are not so much disproportionate to what they normally would be between yourself and the casino. If you're looking to become a better blackjack player whether you're looking to play online or offline it's highly advised that you learn this stuff and know it inside out. It will likely take some time but not to worry it's worth it once you figure it all out!

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