If you’re in any way serious about playing blackjack online or otherwise, you’re familiar with blackjack charts. If not, you can find basic ones here. Blackjack strategy charts are your bread and butter. Alpha and Omega. You need to be familiar with them before even trying to employ any other blackjack strategies.
In fact, the common 99.50% RTP for blackjack assumes you’re using charts or the so-called basic blackjack strategy. Without a chart, you’re just increasing the house edge for no reason. If you want to make the most out of the good old game of 21, keep reading.
Thankfully, following a simple chart is not rocket science. You can do so effectively even if you just started playing blackjack to win. Let’s take it from the top, though.
The game of 21 has been around for quite a while. Over the course of its existence, players figured out that there is always a limited number of decisions a player can make. Some are simply better than others. Some, quite literally, can be described as the best move to make in the given circumstances. Simply put, there’s always a decision that offers the best probability of winning. Not that winning is guaranteed at any point – sometimes the best decision is to take a big risk.
That’s pretty much what optimal blackjack strategy is all about. Considering that there’s a limited number of cards, combinations, and situations you can find when playing blackjack, these decisions can be memorized. Otherwise, they can be summed up in a handy chart like the one we found above.
If you’re wondering how to use blackjack charts, don’t sweat it. Simply look at your own hand (displayed to the left of the chart), the dealer’s upcard (displayed at the top), and find the decision you should use. It’s really that simple. Just make sure you’re using the correct chart, and take into account table rules. For instance, when you can double/split, whether the dealer stands on 17, or whether you can surrender. As soon as you use a chart and never deviate from it, you’re using the full ~99.50% RTP. That’s better than any other casino game on the market.
It’s a big chart, though, and may seem daunting to beginners. This can especially be a problem if you play blackjack at a land-based casino. To that end, we’ll summarize some important things on the chart with some simple blackjack strategy tips. Essentially, we’ll just draw conclusions by looking at the chart and condense them into easy-to-remember advice.
There are fure ‘always’ tips for advice, and this is one of them. A hard 11 is one of the best hands you can get with 2 cards. Always double down to increase your profits.
The pair of Aces should be obvious here. Two aces is the perfect moment to split, and this doesn’t take much explanation. You’re doubling your potential payout and your chances of getting a strong hand down the line. The same can be said for 8s – an 8 can easily move into 18 or higher. This is true even if the dealer is showing 9, 10, or Ace. Things get riskier, but the value is still in your favor.
Most players consider a Dealer 5 or 6 to be the weakest card they could be showing. As such, it’s almost always a good idea to take advantage of this and get some more cash moving.
A hand of 20 right off the bat is too good to give up that easily. Sure, two hands of 10 is still an advantageous position. However, statistically, you’re more likely to turn a profit with the 20 if you don’t split.
Many players don’t dare to hit a hard 12 because they fear busting – especially against a low dealer hand. However, this is one of the risks that are generally worth taking. You’ll end up busting with this call occasionally, yes, but you’re still more likely to win than by standing on 12.
Again, this is a “risk worth taking” sort of scenario. Sure, 18 (Ace + 7) is a strong hand. However, if the dealer appears to be holding a strong hand as well, your advantage is not quite there. Instead, hit for a card and try to get an even better score.
These were very easy blackjack tips for beginners. They are easy to remember and, more importantly, easy to understand. There aren’t many “always/never”-type scenarios in blackjack strategies (except maybe “never take bet insurance”) but you can safely consider the above as such.