When it comes to any blackjack game be it an online game, a demo, live blackjack, the basic blackjack strategy will always come in handy. This is the unique part of blackjack where skill is rewarded and so optimal moves allow for the best payouts. You need to be able to do as much as you can with just two cards and a dealer’s face-up card. Decisions are crucial at this step. Therefore, blackjack mathematicians and theorists have been able to determine night-perfect moves for any situation. While you cannot foresee what you draw, you are able to do the best you can with what you are dealt. Let us take a look at some great moves for various situations.
The concept of a hard and soft hand should be familiar and always present in any blackjack game. When you have a hard hand your card values are locked, while a soft hand has an ace (1 or 11) that can allow the hand to be two scores at once. Depending on whether you have a hard or soft hand can dictate your moves quite drastically as you are about to see.
Assuming the dealer has to stand off Soft 17s as per the majority of blackjack rules, if your hand totals anywhere from a four to eight, you should always hit. In contrast, scoring a seventeen or higher means that you should always stand. These are the basics of any blackjack strategy. But there is more.
Hard-valued hands like a nine should always hit against lower-valued dealer hands like a two. Anything between a seven and an ace as well. However, if the dealer has anywhere between a three and a six, you should always double. Tens and elevens should also be doubled if the dealer has a low value like a two up to a nine. The main difference lies in how you play with tens and aces. Hard tens should be hit against both tens and aces. A hard eleven should be doubled against a ten.
Additionally, a twelve-value hand should stand if the dealer has a four, five, or six. You are safe to hit if the dealer has any other number. When we say safe, this, of course, means a low likelihood of failure, basic strategy is not perfect. Lastly, hands between the values of thirteen and sixteen should stand if the dealer’s up card I between two and six. Hit if the dealer has anything higher.
In the case of a soft hand, drawing a thirteen or a fourteen-value hand means doubling if the dealer sports a five or six. Hit against any other number. The same goes for fifteen and sixteen-value hands except that you should double if the dealer has a four. Soft seventeens should be hit against all numbers except three to six. You should double against those numbers if you can.
Additionally, eighteens should only be hit if the dealer has a nine, a ten, or an ace. They can potentially score blackjack here, but you cannot afford to worry about that. If the dealer has any other card, standing is recommended. For the higher value hands like nineteen and twenty, the player should always stand no matter what face-up card the dealer has.
Soft eighteens can only hit if the dealer has a nine, ten, or Ace. If the dealer has any other number, you should stand. If you have unrestricted doubling, try to double if the dealer has anywhere between three and six as a face-up card.
In case your blackjack table ruleset includes the dealer hitting on soft 17s, there are some changes to be made. When it comes to hard hands, instead of hard elevens hit against an ace, you want to double instead.
As for soft hands, eighteen-value hands now want to double if the dealer has a two. Double nineteens if the dealer has a 6. If doubling is not an option here, you should stand instead.
We are not reinventing the wheel here, but we are pointing out some optimal moves as per blackjack basic strategy as a reminder. The blackjack strategy sheet has a lot of this already showcased in a visual format, but the moves outlined here in the text are some of the more crucial ones you will find. Using the basic blackjack strategy can be quite beneficial to new players who seek to learn optimal moves. We also recommend free or demo versions of online blackjack games for practice. May your skills be sharp and your winnings grand.