The basic blackjack strategy tells you which choice is best for each card combination. This way you make the advantage of the casino as small as possible and your own chances of winning bigger.
A basic strategy is a set of rules that indicates the mathematically best decision for every possible combination of dealer cards and playing cards.
If you play blackjack according to basic strategy, you always make the best possible choice. That is not to say that you always win or that you are guaranteed to play profitable blackjack. But you do maximize your chances of winning in the longer term. The house edge of the casino is then about 0.5 percent (depending on the exact rules the casino uses).
There is a simpler blackjack strategy for beginners that you can master in 5 minutes that gives you a house edge of about 0.7 percent. Mastering basic strategy perfectly takes a little more time. Therefore, make the decision yourself whether you think it is worthwhile to memorize and practice all the rules.
How does the perfect blackjack strategy look like?
Because there are so many different combinations possible in blackjack, it is most convenient to show this strategy in a table.
Such a blackjack table is also called a basic strategy chart. You can buy such a chart in the US in almost any casino in the gift shop.
Find your own hand on the left side of the table. At the top find the correct column for the dealer map. In the table you can now see which decision is the most sensible: buy (K), pass (P), split (S), or double (D).
You should already know that insurance is never wise.
The table above is valid for blackjack with 4 to 8 decks of cards and is based on a table by Michael Shackleford, mathematician and gambling expert. His book Gambling 102 (you can buy this on amazon) is an absolute must: it sets out the optimal strategy for all casino games.
Depending on the precise rules that a casino uses and the number of decks that are played with, the table may look slightly different. The table above is suitable for most blackjack variants that you will encounter in online casinos.
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