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Blackjack Strategy

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What is the best way to play Blackjack, if there is any?

In order to minimize the house edge, it is best to follow a Blackjack strategy and not to base your decisions on your guts or on some sort of superstition.

Thanks to computers, all possible scenarios have been analyzed so that it is known what the best way of playing blackjack is. This is called blackjack strategy: a set a defined actions that you should follow to play blackjack well.

Blackjack strategy explained

Let's start with the fundamental principle of blackjack. As you play before the dealer, if you bust and the dealer bust (hypothetically), this is not a tie; you lose the hand. Therefore it is a good idea to avoid busting and to let the dealer bust, if you can.

So a basic strategy can be defined by saying that in situations where the dealer has a higher chance of busting, it is preferable to stand. On the contrary when the dealer is unlikely to bust, it is recommended to attempt a higher score by hitting.

If the dealer shows a low up card (from 2 to 6), then he will have to hit at least two cards. As the general casino rule is that the dealer must draw to 16 and stand on 17. Given that there are many tens in the deck, it is expected that after the first card he will reach the mid teens, and he has a high chance to go over 21 with the second card.

On the other hand if the dealer has a card 7 or higher including ace, then it is probable that he will not need to draw another card. His chance of busting is low.

From the above it is clear that you should play differently depending on the dealer's face up card. If there is a good chance the dealer busts, you will want to stay on your cards for the most part unless you have very low cards. Note that you should always hit if your total is less than 12, as you have no chance to bust.

Conversely if there is only a small chance the dealer busts, you must take more risk and hit in order to get a high total.

Basic Strategy tables

The general idea of the blackjack strategy was summarized in the above section. But in order to know exactly what to do you need strategy tables. Depending on your total and the dealer's up card, the table tells you if you should hit or stand.

For example if you have 15 and the dealer has 6, you should stand. Or if you have 12 and the dealer has 3, you should hit. This is basic strategy but the game of blackjack also involves other decisions such as doubling down or splitting.

Here again all the analysis has been done long time ago and all you need to do is consult and follow the complex strategy tables, which says the best course of action.

Of course no table will be universal to tell you exactly what to do in all situations. As each casino has his own house rules for some minor rules, the tables should be adapted to these blackjack variations. But following such general tables guarantees that you are playing close to optimal blackjack.

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Now it is time to visit one of the best online casinos for blackjack.

Good Luck at the blackjack tables.