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Blackjack Strategy - An Intro.

Enjoy over 60 Casino GamesWelcome to our intro to blackjack page! We'll show you the basics of the rules, and teach you how to step up to a real blackjack table anywhere in the world.

To begin with you should get familiar with the concept of 'basic strategy' as it refers to blackjack. Don't be fooled by the name, basic blackjack strategy could just as easily be called 'most advanced strategy ever', because that's just what it is. A number of years ago (around the time personal computers were being introduced to the world) some guys who figured they were smart enough started programming most likely in an effort intended to help them beat the game by developing the ultimate blackjack strategy. What they ended up doing was comparing each possible outcome in every possible situation, and playing the hand out. This way they were able to determine which decision was the most advantageous in the long run statistically. So for any game, given we know the number of decks in use, and the rules governing the dealers decisions, we can check a chart to see if we should hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender at any given point in time.

The objective

The objective is to have a hand which totals 21, or beats the dealer's hand by coming as close to 21 as possible without going over. Going over is called "busting." If your first two cards are an ace and a ten, you have blackjack or "a natural" 21 which always beats a hand that totals 21 with more than two cards.

A face card is counted as 10, a card from 2-10 is counted at its face value, and an ace can be counted as either 1 or 11. A "hard hand" is a hand that does not contain an ace or contains an ace that can only be counted as 1 so as not to bust.

The terms

Hit: You, as the player, say this when you want the dealer to give you another card

Stand: You say this if you don't want the dealer to give you another card. You must be happy with your total.

Double Down: You say this as you place more money down beside your original bet, so that you're now betting double. The dealer then proceeds to give you one more card, but you wont be given a chance to draw another, so you only double down when you think one more card will get you very close to 21.

Split: If you are dealt two cards of the same value (ie. Two 8's or two 9's) you have the option to split them, and treat them both as first cards for two new hands. This is called splitting. To split simply tell the dealer that you want to split, and put down the equivalent of your original wager beside your first wager, but not directly beside it. The dealer will then separate your cards and begin to deal the two hands. Don't try to split the cards yourself, only the dealer is allowed to actually touch them.

Basic blackjack strategy: This is the strategy worked out by computers, which provides mathematically optimal decisions for every situation you may be presented with.

Basic Strategy chart

This basic blackjack strategy chart contains all the information you'll need to know to play perfect blackjack in Las Vegas. It is based around a six-deck game, which is most common in Nevada. Using these rules will bring the house edge down to around 0.36%, which is very respectable. To read the chart, look down the column on the left for the cards (or total) in your hand, then follow that row over to the right until it matches up with the dealers up-card column. So say you have and Ace and an 8, which is a soft total (since you have an ace that can either be 1 or 11) you go to the chart for soft totals and look down the left most column for A, 8, which is your hand. If the dealer is showing a 7 as their up-card, you follow the A, 8 row over to the 7 column and read what's in the box. You should find an S, which means stand. This makes sense because your nineteen will beat the dealers likely total of 17. We have also included a chart to let you know when or when not to split two cards of the same value.

Here is the full blackjack strategy chart.

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