Blackjack – Basic Strategy

Understanding and perfecting basic strategy in blackjack at a casino can make the difference between winning and losing at online gambling in the same way as with 80 Ball Bingo. Outside of poker, where the players compete against each other, not the house, blackjack is the only casino table game where the player can affect the outcome by his skillful play.

While card-counting may yield slightly greater results, basic strategy is much easier and can be mastered by learning a few key rules. Luck still plays a major role in the outcome of playing sessions, but over the long term, basic strategy gives a player the best chance of winning.

Playing situations vary widely at casinos in America. For maximum benefit, the basic strategy should be altered for different conditions. Basic-strategy players looking to get the best of the casino should look for situations where they have the best chance before they even sit down to play.

The single most important variable is the number of packs used. Players want games that use as few decks as possible. One pack is ideal but two or four packs can also provide positive situations. Games dealt with six or eight packs are more difficult to beat. Keep in mind that the number of packs can vary not only from casino to casino, but also from table to table within the same casino.

Rules also vary between jurisdiction, and, ideally, basic strategy should also be altered to account for these differences. The most important rule variation is the dealer hitting or standing on soft 17. In Downtown Las Vegas, for instance, dealers hit a soft 17, which adds to the house advantage. On the Las Vegas Strip and in Atlantic City, dealers stand on all 17’s.

Also important are restrictions on doubling down and splitting pairs. In some casinos, players are only permitted to double down on card totals of 10 and 11, another rule adding to the house advantage. On some Caribbean islands, doubling down is only permitted on 11, further reducing a player’s chance of winning. Other casinos restrict the number of times players can split pairs. Since players theoretically only split pairs when they have the advantage to begin with, the casinos that deny additional splits want to limit their exposure. It is for that reason that many casinos also bar players from doubling down after splitting, another option that adds to the players’ advantage.

Whenever possible, players should look for the most liberal rules when scouting out a positive blackjack situation. The following review of basic strategy is applicable for any playing situation, but players who want to obtain the best chance of winning must remember that different rules and conditions may affect the outcome