Black Jack - An Online Bet-Guide
Blackjack basic strategy is based on the mathematics of the game. It has been tested and refined through computer simulations. When it is followed correctly it reduces the house edge to the minimum, which is usually about one-half of a percent. Minor adjustments are made to basic strategy depending on certain rule variations that the different casinos can chose to use. For example some casinos will allow you to double down after splitting (DOS) and some do not allow it. There are also some changes made to basic strategy for single and multiple deck games.
If you want to be a successful blackjack player you
will need to learn basic strategy. Most players start
learning by referring to a basic strategy chart. The
strategy chart shows you how to play your first two
cards based on the dealers up card. Referring back to
the Blackjack 101 article, you know that the house gains
its edge by the fact that the player must act first.
Since the basic strategy chart only deals with the first
two cards, you will also need to learn what decisions to
make after taking a hit.
Translate the Chart
If your first two cards are and a 5 and a 3 you have a total of eight. The chart tells you to hit. You draw another 3, which gives you a total of eleven. The chart tells you to double on 11 but you can only double on your first two cards. Therefore you must hit.
When we translate the strategy chart into plain English, we use the word "otherwise" when dealing with situations that are different because of multiple cards. If we were to write out the example above it would be: If you have 11 - double, otherwise hit.
I have written out how to handle multi card decisions for hard hands, soft hands and split pairs. I have placed this information into three "How to Play" pages that you can link to below. Here is how to play basic strategy when there are more than two cards involved written out in plain English.
How to Play Hard Hands: -A hard hand is two starting cards that do not contain an ace.
If you have eight or less, always hit.
How to Play Soft Hands: - A soft hand is when one of your starting hands contains an ace.
If you have Ace 2 or Ace 3: Double if the dealer has
5 or 6 - otherwise hit.
How to Play Pairs
If you have a pair of Aces or Eights: Always split.
Translating the Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart into plain English makes it a lot easier to memorize. You can even make up flash cards to help you learn.