Blackjack Basic Strategy: the Main Idea and Strategy Charts

Blackjack basic strategy is very important to know for every gambler because it determines the optimal strategy for every hand a blackjack gambler is dealt and it helps him/her to choose the option to do next in order to win the game. As far as it is known, blackjack is the game of skills, and that is why it is possible to beat if a gambler knows its rules and strategies perfectly; blackjack basic strategy was developed in the form of charts both for a single deck and multiple deck blackjack, as well as for various blackjack hands.

Each blackjack strategy chart shows the correct scenario a gambler should follow if s/he wants to win; everything you should do is to learn how to read these charts and remember them. But do not think that such charts will bring you an automatic winning: basic blackjack strategy is just a foundation for all serious blackjack strategies, and that is why every gambler should know it.

Blackjack Strategy Chart

Look at this blackjack chart. It is not difficult to read it: the vertical column shows your hand of cards, and the horizontal column shows the faced up card of a dealer; you should put these two lines together and you'll see the option to do.

For example, you have an Ace and 6's and a dealer's up card is 9: look at the table and you will see that you should HIT in this case.

Everything you need to do is to learn how to read the abbreviations of such charts:

  • H - Hit
  • S - Stand
  • D - Double down
  • P - Split

Usually, all such abbreviations are explained beforehand for a gambler to understand them perfectly.

Strategies for Various Blackjack Hands

Blackjack hands can be of three types:

  1. 1. Soft hands - hands which contain an Ace and where this Ace can be counted as 11 without busting.
  2. 2. Hard hands - hands which do not contain an Ace or where this Ace is counted as 1.
  3. 3. Splitting pairs - hands which contain two equal cards (two 7's or two 8's for example) and can be split.

Soft Hands Strategy

  • You have Ace + 2 or Ace + 3: double on a dealer's 5-6; otherwise - hit.
  • You have Ace + 4 or Ace + 5: double on a dealer's 4-6; otherwise - hit.
  • You have Ace + 6: double on a dealer's 3-6; otherwise - hit.
  • You have Ace + 7: stand on a dealer's 2,7,8; double his/her 3-6; otherwise - hit.
  • Always stand if you have Ace + 8 or Ace + 9.

Hard Hands Strategy

  • Always hit if you have 8 or less.
  • Double 9 if a dealer has 3-6; otherwise - hit.
  • Double 10 if a dealer has 2-9; otherwise - hit.
  • Double 11 if a dealer has 2-10; if a dealer has an Ace - hit.
  • Hit 12 if a dealer has 2-3; if s/he has 4-6 - stand.
  • Stand on 13-16 if a dealer has 2-6; otherwise - hit.
  • Always stand on 17-21.

Splitting Pairs Strategy

  • Always split the hands of Aces and 8's.
  • Never split 10's!
  • Split pairs of 2's, 3's and 7's if a dealer has 2 -7; otherwise - hit.
  • Split 4's if a dealer has 5-6; otherwise - hit.
  • Double 5's if a dealer has 2-9; otherwise - hit.
  • Split 6's if a dealer has 2-6; otherwise - hit.
  • Split 9's if a dealer has 2-6, 8-9; otherwise - stand.

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