Despite what the casinos would have you believe, the blackjack insurance bet is strictly a side bet that has nothing to do with increasing or decreasing your chances of winning the original bet. If you got some wrong, don’t fret, because the majority of blackjack players, even experienced players, flunk this quiz, which is why casinos continue to profit from a game that theoretically can be beaten. Some blackjack players argue that you should always insure a good hand (like 20) but not a bad hand (like the 12, above). You decide to make the insurance bet so you place a $5 chip above your original bet on the semicircular line on the layout labeled “Insurance pays 2 to 1.” Let’s assume the dealer checks his hole card and it’s a ten giving him a blackjack. Blackjack strategy can be broken down into two major components: basic strategy and card counting. Exception: occasionally, depending on rules, you stand on A-7 vs. A. Here’s another important point to keep in mind about soft hands. Note: All pairs that should be split are highlighted with a blue background. Blackjack basic strategy reduces the house advantage from typically around 5 per cent to 0.5 per cent, which is why blackjack is widely regarded as the most profitable game to play at casinos. The basic strategy for late surrender is summarized below in a black and white table followed by a color-coded strategy chart, for all games. Basic strategy is the best way to play a blackjack hand on the first round after a shuffle, assuming you see no cards other than your own and the dealer’s upcard. Because if you are holding a 20 made up of two ten-value cards, you’ve taken out of play two of the cards that the dealer needs for his hole card to have a natural. But it is not wise to do so because you will maximize your gain only when you maximize the permissible amount of your double-down bet. In this section, I’ll discuss the insurance (and even money) bet. If that ever happens to you, don’t let it bother you; be confident that you’ve been playing proper blackjack strategy, and that your results will prove that in the long run. In total, there are nine black and white tables and nine color-coded charts containing the summary for hitting and standing for all games and rules. So what's a blackjack player to do when 40% of the time you are going to get a 12 through 17 whether you like it or not? Most casinos allow you to double down on any two-card hand (hard or soft), whereas some restrict doubling to specific starting hands, e.g., doubling is allowed only on hard 10 and 11. The basic strategy can also be affected by the number of decks used in different blackjack variants. By splitting offensively you've turned the 16 cents per hand deficit into 8 cents per split profit, which is an overall gain of 24 cents. This rather rare option will give you another 0.2 percent gain. Or, can it? You hit and draw a 10. If you doubled down and drew a 2 for an 11, the only way you could win the hand would be if the dealer busted. I hope you agree that hitting 12 against a dealer 2 is a better play (monetarily) than standing, which is why the basic playing strategy states to “Hit 12 against dealer’s upcard of 2.”. The basic playing strategy is a set of rules that tells you the optimal way to play every hand dealt to you when the only information you have is your hand and the dealer’s upcard. The following black and white tables and color-coded chart summarize the doubling down basic strategy for: The following color-coded chart summarizes the basic strategy for doubling hard hands (including pairs) and soft hands for a single-deck game. They also make other adjustments, such as taking insurance (normally a sucker bet) when the deck is very rich in tens, and occasionally changing their basic strategy plays based on the cards that have been seen so far. Of course this happens with dependencies – the number of card decks, the table rules for the game, and so on. Six-deck game with DAS, you hold 9-9 and the dealer’s upcard is a 9. Blackjack Strategies. As you will learn shortly (Chapter 4), the last decision you should make when choosing which strategy to implement with your hand is whether to hit or stand. When you are dealt a natural and the dealer shows an ace, the dealer will end up with a ten in the hole for a blackjack 15 times out of 49, or about 30.6% of the time, in a single-deck game. Therefore the hitting and standing strategies below for hard and soft hands can be used with either DAS or NDAS. Suppose instead you split the 7s. The strategy chart shows you how to play your first two cards based on the dealers up card. The basic strategy for pair splitting is shown below in a black and white table followed by a color-coded chart for single-, double-, and 4/6/8-deck games. But then some bright casino executive decided on making it even easier for players that have a blackjack to insure their hand, so he dreamed up the “even money” proposition. You should surrender. On the other hand, learning just basic strategy will allow you to go into any good blackjack game getting excellent odds, sometimes good enough that you’ll show a profit with the help of comps and other rewards programs. 888 UK Limited is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission under the account number 39028. A 14 is not a very good hand even against the dealer 6 upcard. Our services in European Single Market member states (except for states in which our services are provided under a local license) are operated by Virtual Digital Services Limited, a company incorporated in Malta which is part of the European Union. Double-deck game with DAS, you hold 4-4 and the dealer’s upcard is a 5. But it doesn't have to be like this. EXAMPLES OF HOW TO USE THE BLACKJACK BASIC STRATEGY. Whenever the dealer shows an ace upcard, the dealer will ask the players if they want to make the insurance bet. So, isn’t it better to push on the hand by making the insurance bet rather than to lose the entire original bet? 6. Luckily, if you use basic strategy, you won’t be making any outlandish plays, which should keep anyone at the table from getting too angry at you or commenting on your play too often. For all blackjack is a simple game to play, there’s so much more depth to the game if you want to improve. You have an ace-10 and the dealer has an ace. Sitemap. For example, suppose you are dealt a 9-9 against the dealer 6 upcard in a 6-deck, s17 game with NDAS, and resplits are allowed to a total of four hands. Hitting a hard 12 against a dealer’s 2 and 3 upcard rather than standing. The only way you’ll know this is by keeping track of the cards as they are played (i.e., card counting). The Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine above provides a simple way to memorize a variety of different profitable decisions, such as when to split, double, surrender, hit, or stand. The chart above is an easy to follow guide on how to use the strategy in your game play. With all other pairs, split if the dealer is showing a six or lower, otherwise, play the hand according to the rules above, depending on your hand’s value. Multi-hand Blackjack. Simply follow the few rules below, and you’ll avoid ever making any major blackjack mistakes! Most of the time, the other players will be well-intentioned, but simply don’t have a deep knowledge of blackjack. For more information, check out our full article on card counting! In all, they will each wager $5 million. Not only is basic strategy rather complex, but there are also countless versions of the rules which affect what basic strategy you should choose. With the early surrender option, players can surrender their hand to a dealer’s ace and/or ten-value upcard before the dealer checks to determine if she has a blackjack. The most frequent playing decision that you will have to make is whether to hit or stand. Play Online Blackjack Now. Here’s what happens. While you won’t make money by following the rules of that strategy, it’s the first step you should take if you want to turn into a winning blackjack player. Stay tuned. Win 1 unit for certain by taking even money or. Let’s now consider the case where you are dealt a 20 (two 10s) and the dealer shows the ace. Never take insurance or “even money” on blackjacks – it is a sucker bet for the basic strategy player. When you are dealt two cards of the same value, you may split them into two separate hands. By playing basic strategy perfectly, Joe expects to lose about $20,000 over his lifetime, assuming a disadvantage of 0.4%. You should split. Consequently, the percentages are slightly better for: When the dealer shows a 7 through A upcard, there is a strong likelihood she will end up with a pat hand (i.e., a 17 through 21). Read More But here is the rest of the story. Double-deck game with h17, you hold A-8 and the dealer’s upcard is a 6. The basic strategy is a set of rules that tells you the optimal way to play every hand dealt to you when the only information you have is your hand and the dealer’s upcard. Blackjack basic strategy Blackjack strategy chart; The famous blackjack card counting strategy Martingale blackjack strategy; Splitting and doubling down The strategies above can be implemented at either land-based or online casinos. Invented Card Counting, Don Johnson: The Man Who Has Single-deck game with h17, you hold 16 and the dealer’s upcard is a 7. This easy to memorize strategy won’t get you exactly the same odds as a full basic strategy chart, but you won’t be giving much up; the difference in the house edge until typical rules should be .2% or less when compared to perfect, optimal play. 5. Payoff for a winning insurance bet is 2 to 1. Since you can’t change the cards that you are dealt, the best you can do is follow the basic playing strategy for hard (and soft) hands. Therefore, most players jump at the opportunity to take “even money” when it’s offered to them. This means the ratio of non-tens to tens in the remaining 49 cards is now 33 to 16, resulting in a net loss of $1 per $49 worth of bets or about 2.0%. Basic strategy is the mathematically correct way to play every hand because over time it will maximize the amount of money you will win and minimize the amount you will lose. Online Blackjack; Strategy; Blackjack Strategy - Basic & Advanced Blackjack is a simple game to understand, but has many different strategies when it comes to winning. The rules specify that the dealer must hit soft 17. Most players are perplexed when the dealer asks them if they want even money and usually they will ask the dealer or a fellow player for advice on what to do. In a single deck of cards, we know that the ratio of non-tens to tens is 36 to 16. Either way, if you decide to surrender your hand, the dealer will remove half of your bet then scoop up your initial two cards and place them in the discard tray. Basic strategy helps in another big way: it could help bring the house edge down to 0.5% or even lower! You should hit. In this section, I’ll cover the hitting and standing strategy for hard hands and soft hands. Let’s now consider the case where the two cards in your hand are non-tens (e.g., a 3-9 or 12) and the dealer shows an ace upcard. You should not split. Besides reducing the house edge, surrender also has this benefit: it will stabilize your bankroll, meaning surrender will flatten the fluctuations in your bankroll, compared to a game where surrender is not offered and you have to play all your hands to completion. While no secrets can help you beat the house edge, some of a blackjack basic strategy can help you have the upper hand. Basic Blackjack Strategy. Double-deck game with S17, you hold A-6 and the dealer’s upcard is a 2. Nevertheless the right play is to double down because of the extra money you put into action. To give credit where it is due, this strategy is heavily based on one suggested at wizardofodds.com, an excellent gambling information site. If you are still on the fence about even money, look at it from the casino’s perspective. However, it is critical to have a complete understanding of basic strategy before moving on to card counting, since counting relies on your ability to make the right plays along with keeping track of the cards that have been dealt. You disadvantage by making the insurance bet is 5.9%, which is a horrible bet to make. About Us | With soft hands of 15 or lower, always hit. You will turn a losing hand into a winning one (offensive strategy). If you follow the hard doubling down basic strategy, your gain will be about 1.3 percent. LOGIC FOR HITTING AND STANDING ON SOFT HANDS. Always hit hard 11 or less. If you always insure your blackjack hand (possibilities 1 and 2), you always win even money regardless of the dealer’s outcome. In other words, if you had a 5-3 and drew a 3 for an 11, you could double down after the third card was drawn. Double-deck game with NDAS, you hold 4-4 and the dealer’s upcard is a 5. For more information on support tools, please visit our Responsible Gambling page. In fact, by the time you finish reading this section you will learn when and why to split pairs so that you can use this option efficiently to win more money when you play blackjack. The score of their hand; 3. Therefore 30.6% of the time you will win even money by insuring your blackjack hand. Underground Casinos? Early surrender is a much more favorable rule for players than late surrender. Most people recognize that unlike many casino games, blackjack is a game of strategy. How would you play these hands? Since the basic strategy chart only deals with the first two cards, you will also need to learn what decisions to make after taking … Over his lifetime, Jack is expected to lose about $100,000 at the blackjack tables, assuming a disadvantage of about 2%. Single-deck game with hard 17, you hold 16, dealer’s upcard is a 10. Blackjack basic strategy is the ultimate playbook for perfect blackjack. Stand on soft 18 except hit against a dealer 9, 10, or A. One final word of warning: it’s often the case that you’ll get bad “advice” from other players at the blackjack table, which contradicts what you’ve read here or seen on a basic strategy chart. The basic strategy rules for hitting and standing. basic strategy player is this: Is there ever a time when the insurance bet ever becomes profitable to the player? Take a 6-3 against a dealer’s 5 upcard. In a single-deck game, you would double down on a pair of 5s, and sometimes on a pair of 4s. It’s an optional and separate bet in which the player is betting that the dealer’s hole card is a ten or picture card. You have ace-8, and the dealer shows a 6. The address of our Malta based companies is: Level G, Quantum House, 75, Abate Rigord St., Ta’ Xbiex, XBX 1120, Malta One reason is the double down option. This is a perfect strategy for anyone looking to quickly learn how to play blackjack very well, without taking the time to memorize an entire basic strategy. The basic strategy rules for splitting a pair. If you bet $1 per hand, playing this hand 100 times, you can expect an average profit per hand of $59 - $41 divided by 100 = 18 cents. They reason that if you take insurance on a 20, you will avoid losing money on a good hand should the dealer end up with blackjack. You are either going to double down per the doubling strategy summarized in section 2.4, or hit. Edward Thorp: The Man Who The doubling down strategy gives the player the opportunity to go on the offensive and bet more money when they are the favorite. All Rights Let’s look at the math for one hand so you will understand why the basic strategy says to hit some hands and stand on others. Although millions of players play blackjack, the vast majority of them misplay their hands. Their average bet will be a modest $10 per hand, playing a typical six-deck blackjack game where the dealer stands on soft 17, and double down after pair splitting is allowed. Still, as I’ve mentioned several times (and I hope it sinks in), your best strategy is to: Next up are the insurance and even-money propositions. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF BLACKJACK SURRENDER: LATE SURRENDER AND EARLY SURRENDER. Double-deck game with soft 17, you hold 15, dealer’s upcard is an ace. The casino rules for pair splitting are pretty straightforward. Note: When casinos offer the more liberal DAS, you will be splitting more hands than when the rules specify NDAS. LOGIC FOR HITTING AND STANDING ON HARD HANDS, Not risk busting your stiff hand (resulting in an automatic loss) when the dealer’s upcard is 2-6 because she may end up with a stiff hand, Instead, stand pat, let the dealer draw, and hope she busts. You must signal the dealer to indicate if you want to hit or stand. Often, these players use strategies like always assuming the dealer has a ten in the hole, which – while often pointing the player in the right direction – causes the player to lose more money than with basic strategy. It’s immediately obvious when you sit down to play a little blackjack; players have to make a large number of decisions on almost every hand, and the choices you make often make the difference between winning and losing. Always hit soft 17 or less. Double-deck game with s17 and DAS, you hold a pair of 9s and the dealer’s upcard is a 7. Basic Blackjack Strategy. One hand has a $5 bet and contains a 2, ditto for the second hand. All rights reserved. Of course, you would. Win 1.04 units on average by declining to take even money. Blackjack Basic Strategy Chart. The double-bust rule is what gives the casino its built in edge against players. Blackjack has a single correct basic strategy, given the game’s basic rules. the insurance bet is lost, and play continues. In fact, taking insurance when you hold a 20 is an even worse bet than taking insurance when you have a “bad hand.” Why? Many players believe they know the basic strategy and. https://www.blackjacksimulator.net/strategies/basic-strategy Aggressive Blackjack Strategy. She asks you if you want even money. The rules of the blackjack game they are playing; Whether they have the option to split and/or double. If instead you double down, you stand to win only 57% of the hands but at double the amount bet. Suppose, in an s17, multi-deck, NDAS game, you are dealt a pair of 7s, the dealer has a 6 upcard and you stand. Your net expected loss per hand is ($64 – $36)/100 = 28 cents. Let’s assume twin brothers Jack and Joe, in their long lifetime of gambling, will each play 10,000 hands of blackjack per year, for 50 years, assuming 100 hands per hour, and 100 hours of blackjack per year. Stiff means a hand that can be busted by a one-card draw; for example a hard 12 through 16. Here’s why. This approach informs players, based on their hand and the dealer's upcard, which action is most likely to win. Check out the blackjack basic strategy calculator for any number of decks or any set of rules, along with recommendations for best online casinos for bonuses… But you are still the underdog even with the 7. Blackjack Strategy. Play Basic Strategy. Our services in the UK are operated by 888 UK Limited, a company incorporated in Gibraltar. Without that foundation, other, more advanced strategies – namely, card counting strategies – will fail, as players will simply make too many basic mistakes to overcome. What is ironic about doubling down is that with some hands, you will actually be reducing your chances of winning the hand because you get only one draw card. Some casinos allow players to double down for less. To convince you what a fool you are for taking even money, let me first convince you that even money is the same as insuring a blackjack hand. 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