The basic strategy is described in the table below where the sum of each of players cards points to a certain row. The value of the dealer's upcard points to a certain column. The symbol in the table at pointed row and column determines the move recommended by basic strategy. The table is divided into hard totals, soft totals, and pairs. Recommended moves are dispalyed in the table below:
- stands for hit
- stands for stand
- stands for split
- stands for Double (if that is not allowed, then Hit)
- stands for Double (if that is not allowed, then Stand)
- stands for Surrender (if that is not allowed, then hit)
The basic strategy described in the table is for American type of Blackjack blackjack with 4 or more decks. Dealer always stands on 17, doubling is possible after split and you can surrender against any card.
For the totals 12 to16, we draw a card only if we are betting against the dealer´s 7 and higher. The total of 12 is an exception and we draw a card against the dealer's card 2 and 3.
The worst upcards for the dealer are the cards 5 and 6. In this case, the chance that his total exceeds the limit 21 is the highest. We can use this situation to our advantage by doubling the bet on the soft combinations up to soft 18. The total sum of 18 is a relatively high sum, so it might seem risky to draw another card.
When dealing a pair of cards, we never split two 10s, we split two 9s only against the dealer´s 7, 10 and an ace. A pair of 8’s is always split with the exception of the European form of the game – in this case, we draw a card only against 10 and an ace. The pair we split the least is a pair of 4’s. This pair is split only if the dealer has the card 5 or 6.
If there is a possibility to surrender, we should do so only if our total is 16 and we are against dealer´s 9, 10 and an ace. Having the total of 15, we should surrender only against the dealer´s 10.
The bet most commonly doubled is when the total of our hand is 10 or 11, in this case, we should double until we are against the dealer´s ten or an ace. In such cases, we should only hit. When the sum is 9, we should double the bet if we stand against the dealer´s 3 to 6.
As you can see the basic strategy consists of a set of simple rules. If you decide to play you should have these rules with you. You can either open it on your phone or print on a crib sheet. To play the optimal game, it is always essential to check the rules of the particular game of blackjack. However the differences in basic strategies for different rules are not that high. The easiest way to remember the strategy is to play and to repeat the correct moves until they become routine. For beginners, it is advisable to play blackjack at a highly ranked online casino which offers the chance to play for free with virtual money. This way you can test your abilities without taking any risks.