Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine

Card-counting is a strategy that makes it possible to beat certain blackjack games if the conditions are right. If you have 15 points or 17 and the dealer is showing a hard 17 or more, the strategy says to surrender. Casinos usually track card counters by their changes in bet size, especially as the shoe runs out. The second most important decision is whether or not to split. Blackjack standard deviation details 5:

How to Use the Strategy Engine

Basic Strategy in Text

A reasonable expectation of house edge for any given blackjack game you encounter at a casino is somewhere between 0. If you take some time to examine the chart, you will notice that it is really quite simple to follow. The dealer only has 10 card values you need to track, ranging from the deuce to the ace. Looking at the blackjack chart, the blackjack strategy card tells us to stand whenever you have 17 points or more in your hand, regardless of what the dealer is showing for an up card.

It also says to hit if the dealer is showing a 7 or higher value card on the initial deal. After all, the goal is not necessarily to get 21, but to beat the dealer in whatever way you can. Mastering the game of blackjack does not stop at just basic strategy.

That only helps you choose when to hit or stand. Highly skilled 21 players know that splitting cards is a great way to maximize your profit potential.

A blackjack guide helps you to know the best times to split cards. Splitting cards requires a disciplined approach to prevent breaking up strong hands—especially if the dealer likely has a weaker hand. If you have any pair of 10s, Jacks, Queens or Kings, the strategy chart says to leave them alone and force the dealer to beat you. Unless the dealer gets 21, you have a great chance of winning on the 20 points you got on the deal.

Likewise, the chart says to always split a pair of Aces and a pair of eights, no matter what the dealer is showing. Another good example is when you have a pair of nines—totaling 18 points. In that case, you would split your cards and hope to improve at least one and preferably both hands.

If just one beats the dealer, you get a push. If both do, you win a lot more cash. Another advanced blackjack strategy is the double down, which gives you a chance to double your wager and potential winnings after the initial deal. The idea is for you to lay an additional wager, but you can only get one more dealt card. With the double down, when the first two cards in your hand total 11 points, the strategy card says you should always double your wager. If the next card gives you 21 points, you likely will win.

When your hand totals 10 points and the dealer is showing a 10 or Ace, the strategy card says to simply take another card, rather than double down.

Yet, if the dealer is showing a nine or lower card, and you have a hand worth 10 points, the double down is absolutely the right move. In fact, choosing to not double down in that situation would be the wrong choice. In such a case, not doubling down would be a big mistake, as you likely would win much more often than lose in that situation. Those who count cards in blackjack can find doubling down to be particularly useful.

Many casinos have a surrender play that cuts your potential loss in half after the deal. The surrender is one that players find useful when dealt a poor hand, and the dealer is showing an Ace or card worth 10 points. In that case, you can choose to surrender half your bet, but exactly when you can do this may vary between games. Some casinos allow an early surrender, which you do before the dealer checks to see if they have a blackjack.

There is also the late surrender, which you can do after the dealer checks to see if he or she has Knowing the right time to surrender requires using proper blackjack strategy. When playing a single-deck game, the time to consider whether or not to surrender is when your initial hand totals between 15 and 17 points. If you have 15 points or 17 and the dealer is showing a hard 17 or more, the strategy says to surrender. You would not surrender, however, if the dealer shows a soft 17 or lower hand.

Yet, if you have 16 points, the strategy indicates you should surrender if the dealer is showing 10 or more points. Like all blackjack strategies, this also adjusts for the number of decks in use. Another advanced play that can affect blackjack strategy is buying of insurance to protect yourself against the dealer hitting When the dealer is showing an Ace as the up card, you can lay up to half your original wager on whether or not the dealer has a point card in the hole.

If the dealer does have blackjack, then you get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance wager. A lot of players of 21 will choose to buy insurance if they get a hand worth 19 or 20 points off the deal, but the dealer is showing an ace. They view buying insurance as a way to protect a strong hand, but you still could lose both wagers, or wind up with a push and a loss.

If your hand is worth 19 points, and the dealer has a 9 in the hole, you would lose your bet, as well as the insurance. The only time it is useful is to card counters who are deep into counting off multiple decks, a situation that is not accounted for by strategy cards. Card-counting is a strategy that makes it possible to beat certain blackjack games if the conditions are right. Movies often inaccurately portray this as memorizing every card that has already come out of the deck.

There are actually a number of different count techniques, but the gist of all of them is to keep a count of how many high-value, middle-value and low-value cards have already come out. When lots of high-value cards are still in the deck, the player has a statistical advantage over the dealer, since their probability of hitting a natural blackjack is increased which pays out more than a standard winning hand.

They are also mathematically more likely to be successful when doubling down, and the dealer is more likely to bust when being forced to hit on a 12 or higher. The most basic counting technique has players add one unit to the count for when a low card comes out, and subtract one unit when a high card 10 and face cards comes out. The 7 to 9 cards are considered neutral value and not tracked.

As the count value gets higher, the player has more of an advantage and bets higher. There are more complicated counting techniques that are considered more accurate and profitable, but there is an increasing trade-off between tracking the count and continuing to play with the perfect strategy needed to make the system work. Even with perfect play, it takes a large bankroll and sometimes many hours of play to see a significant profit from card counting.

Unfortunately, card counting is completely useless at video blackjack games such as the ones seen on Game King machines , as well as the similar online counterparts. Live video streaming blackjack creates an interesting possibility for card counting. Players can use strategy cards without detection to take some of the mental workload off, focusing solely on their count. They may also be able to use apps and software that aid in counting, though apps that interact directly with the casino software may be detected and get the player kicked out.

The absolute biggest player-unfriendly rule is when the house has the dealer win any sort of push. This can swing the house edge from 3. Short pays increase the house advantage by anywhere from 0. Individually these rules each give the dealer about a fifth of a percent of an advantage, and all three together give the dealer about a full half of a percent.

Certain other rules have a negative impact, like not allowing the player to split beyond three hands, but they generally have a trivial impact on the house advantage in isolation.

There are no government or state laws prohibiting card counting, including at online games. Some regions actually have laws preventing casinos from barring card counters, like Atlantic City and Mississippi. However, outside of these odd exceptions, casinos are largely free to set the terms of their games and rules about player conduct.

You need to know these blackjack strategy charts backwards and forwards, doing a handstand, in a hurricane, giving your drink order to a waitress, while listening to Count Von Count serenade you on Sesame Street.

This is why surrender is the first thing you have to think about when playing your hand. The second most important decision is whether or not to split. This will only be an option when your first two cards are a pair or if you have two ten-valued cards like a jack and a king.

The last thing you should think about when it comes to basic strategy is whether or not to take another card. If the other options above are not appropriate for your hand then you would choose to hit or stand.

Soft 20 A,9 always stands Soft 19 A,8 doubles against dealer 6, otherwise stand. Soft 18 A,7 doubles against dealer 2 through 6, and hits against 9 through Ace, otherwise stand. Soft 17 A,6 doubles against dealer 3 through 6, otherwise hit. Soft 16 A,5 doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit. Soft 15 A,4 doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit. Soft 14 A,3 doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit. Soft 13 A,2 doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.

Here are some of the common ones and their answers: What is basic strategy based on? How can we trust basic strategy? Basic strategy was derived from a computer simulation. Somebody taught a computer how to play blackjack and then told it to play several hundred MILLION hands of blackjack and record what happened. Why are the blackjack strategy charts on this site different than the charts I saw on such-and-such website?

There are also slight variations in strategy when you play a 6 deck game versus a single deck game. Rather than teach you 9 different blackjack strategy charts for each variant of blackjack you will ever see, we decided to run our simulation against the games people will most commonly see and teach one basic strategy that is sufficiently effective against all numbers of decks.

We have a Keep it Simple Stupid , mentality when it comes to learning card counting. With that said, whatever strategy you choose to learn, we recommend sticking with ONLY those materials. If you get distracted with content from multiple sources it has a higher probability of confusing you than enlightening you. How do I memorize all this? We have some tips in our premium video course on how to approach the blackjack strategy charts and make them simpler.

We also have a free mini course we can email you with some step by step instructions on how to take your training seriously. We also have blank strategy sheets you can download and fill in every day for practice to test yourself.

Am I ready for the casino? We want to be like Mike, so we teach that you are probably making 2 or 3 mistakes in the casino for every one mistake you make in the distractionless, pressure-free, comfort of your home. If you keep messing up basic strategy, put it down for a while and come back to it.

What is Blackjack Strategy?