This basic blackjack strategy indicates the best way to play mathematically according to the dealer’s hand and your hand while reducing the casino edge to less than 1%.
The basic strategy is the most important strategy to know in blackjack to optimise your chances of winning.
This strategy decreases the house edge to less than 1% if followed. It is not easy to implement in a real situation at the casino: you have to memorise the basic strategy, concentrate and not be distracted by the commotion around the blackjack table, not to mention the fact that the dealer in blackjack is really fast.
Basic strategy at Casinos
This basic strategy is the one to be used for the rules used in most casinos and was initially proposed by Mr. G, a professional blackjack player who notably participated in an MIT team.
How to use the basic strategy?
Most casinos allow printed basic strategy charts. Remember that the game is fast and you will not always have time to consult it, and that many combinations are easy to remember, so learn it as soon as possible by practicing at home and dealing the cards.
A lot of people don’t believe in basic strategy because they once took the advice of someone who knew it and lost control. Let’s be clear: Basic strategy won’t win you all hands! In the long run, this strategy is the only valid one for reducing the house advantage. It’s up to you to see if you prefer to continue playing on instinct or if you want to put the odds in your favor.
A simplified version of the basic strategy
It takes a few hours to memorise the basic strategy. To get started, start by learning this:
- Never take insurance
- Always shoot with a total less than or equal to 11
- Double with a total of 10 or 11, whichever is greater than the bank’s
- Stop in any case if you are at 18
Hands with an Ace counted as 1:
- Stop with a total of 17 or more
- Draw with a total ranging from 12 to 16 inclusive if the open card of the bank is greater than or equal to 7
Hands with an Ace counted as 11 :
- Stop with a total of 18 or more
- Shoot with a total of 17 or less