Blackjack Classroom Basic Strategy

Basic strategy changes slightly depending on the blackjack variation you are playing, as well as the number of decks in play. However, the strategy is still pretty much the same across the board. Read on for some tips that you can use to apply basic strategy to your blackjack games. The following strategies should be applied when you have a.

  • Blackjack basic strategy is a set of rules and guidelines which allow you to maximize your winning odds. It is very hard, if not impossible, to make a profit playing Blackjack, especially in the long term, if you’re not employing the basic strategy. The basic strategy can be displayed either as a table (multiple tables) or as text.
  • Blackjack is a game of skill and this is where you can learn the skills it takes to beat the game. The 24 lessons you see here will take you step-by-step through the process of learning how to play each hand properly, how to count cards, how and when to properly bet and literally hundreds of other “tricks of the trade”.
  • Start with learning basic blackjack strategy! Then, if you want, you can move on to perfect strategy. If you don’t have much time to learn, I recommend sticking with basic blackjack strategy. Remember that you’ll almost always make the right play with basic strategy, and the few mistakes you may make won’t cost you much.
  • However, it is not all about just skill and strategy: there are a few basic things that you can do right to ensure your blackjack experience is not a disaster. There are quite a few tips that you can follow and in this section we list out for you the different tips for playing blackjack.

On This Page

Introduction

To use the basic strategy, look up your hand along the left vertical edge and the dealer's up card along the top. In both cases an A stands for ace. From top to bottom are the hard totals, soft totals, and splittable hands. There are two charts depending on whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17.

Other basic strategy rules.

Blackjack Classroom Basic Strategy
  • Never take insurance or 'even money.'
  • If there is no row for splitting (fives and tens), then look up your hand as a hard total (10 or 20).
  • If you can't split because of a limit on re-splitting, then look up your hand as a hard total, except aces. In the extremely unlikely event you have a pair of aces you can't re-split and drawing to split aces is allowed, then double against a 6, otherwise hit.

If you play a mixture of six-deck games, some where the dealer hits a soft 17, and some where he stands, and you only wish to memorize one strategy, I would recommend you memorize the one where the dealer stands on soft 17. The cost in errors due to playing the wrong strategy is 2.3 times higher playing a stand on soft 17 game, with the hit on 17 strategy, than vise versa.

Basic Strategy in Text

For the benefit of my blind readers, here is the above strategy in text form, when the dealer stands on soft 17 and surrender is allowed. To use the strategy, start at the top, and follow the first rule that applies.

Blackjack classroom basic strategy template

Surrender

Blackjack classroom basic strategy examples
  • Surrender hard 16 (but not a pair of 8s) vs. dealer 9, 10, or A, and hard 15 vs. dealer 10.

Split

  • Always split aces and 8s.
  • Never split 5s and 10s.
  • Split 2s and 3s against a dealer 4-7, and against a 2 or 3 if DAS is allowed.
  • Split 4s only if DAS is allowed and the dealer shows a 5 or 6.
  • Split 6s against a dealer 3-6, and against a 2 if DAS is allowed.
  • Split 7s against a dealer 2-7.
  • Split 9s against a dealer 2-6 or 8-9.

Double

  • Double hard 9 vs. dealer 3-6.
  • Double hard 10 except against a dealer 10 or A.
  • Double hard 11 except against a dealer A.
  • Double soft 13 or 14 vs. dealer 5-6.
  • Double soft 15 or 16 vs. dealer 4-6.
  • Double soft 17 or 18 vs. dealer 3-6.

Hit or Stand

  • Always hit hard 11 or less.
  • Stand on hard 12 against a dealer 4-6, otherwise hit.
  • Stand on hard 13-16 against a dealer 2-6, otherwise hit.
  • Always stand on hard 17 or more.
  • Always hit soft 17 or less.
  • Stand on soft 18 except hit against a dealer 9, 10, or A.
  • Always stand on soft 19 or more.

As I've said many times, the above strategy will be fine under any set of rules. However, for you perfectionists out there, here are the modifications to make if the dealer hits a soft 17.

Blackjack Classroom Basic Strategy Examples

  • Surrender 15, a pair of 8s, and 17 vs. dealer A.
  • Double 11 vs. dealer A.
  • Double soft 18 vs. dealer 2.
  • Double soft 19 vs. dealer 6.

Blackjack Classroom Basic Strategy Template

My thanks to Kelly for putting together the above text strategy.


Blackjack classroom basic strategy examplesWritten by:Michael ShacklefordBlackjack classroom basic strategy tactics

Basic Blackjack Strategy can reduce the Casino’s edge down to just .5%! The chart above is an easy to follow guide on how to use the strategy in your game play. It shows the optimal strategy to implement in your play to give the Casino as little edge as possible without card counting. You should always use Basic Blackjack Strategy in your play to prevent mistakes that the majority of players make unintentionally which gives the Casino even more of an edge. We suggest you print out the above chart and use it while playing our Blackjack Simulator or at one of our recommended online Casinos. Some live Casinos will even allow you to use this chart while playing.


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