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Total-Dependent vs. Composition-Dependent Blackjack Strategy

Staff Writer 01/21/2019 Blog 255 views

All Blackjack players have the same goal – to reduce the house edge and beat the dealer. On our gaming portal, we have covered different strategies and now we want to get back to basics and discuss how you can improve your skills using them. They are called the Total-Dependent (T-D) and Composition-Dependent (C-D) strategy. In this article, we will talk about the main differences between these two and how applying them to the gameplay can affect your odds at a Blackjack table.

Key Differences

When we talk about the Total-Dependent strategy, we talk about the basic strategy where you take into consideration all the cards and their total. You don’t pay attention to individual cards or the moves you can make based on them. On the other hand, the Composition-Dependent strategy considers all the cards in a hand thus allowing you more options to lower the house edge. While there are charts you can use to apply the T-D strategy, there are no charts for the C-D strategy. However, we present you a few examples that can help you make a decision in particular situations.

Total Dependent and Composition-Dependent Strategy Examples

If you have a hand worth 16 and the dealer has a 10 card, according to the T-D strategy, you should hit the first three hands. Or, if you have two 8s, you should split them. In case your hand does not consist of two 8s and the surrender option is available, you should use it. When applying the C-D strategy, you should consider the cards constituting your hand of 16. For instance, if your hand consists of 10 and 6 or 9 and 7, you should hit whereas, with a three-card hand, it is preferable to stand.

In the situation when you have a total of 12 and the dealer’s card is 4, according to the T-D strategy, you should stand. The C-D strategy advises you to pay attention to the values of both cards and act based on them. So, if you are dealt 10 and 2, you should hit. In the case when your hand consists of 9 and 3, 8 and 4 or 7 and 5, you should stand. When you have two 6s, you should split them.

Another situation in which you can see the difference between the two strategies is when you have a hand of 15 and the dealer has 10. According to the T-D strategy, you should surrender. With the C-D strategy, you should hit when you have a hand consisting of 8 and 7 and surrender when it consists of 10 and 5 or 9 and 6.

Closing Thoughts

Odds in Blackjack depend on a number of decks in play and other rules such as soft 17. That’s why you should always take into consideration all these aspects when you play the game. Applying the Composition-Dependent strategy can lower the house edge by up to 5.3%, so if you want to master your skills at a Blackjack table, make sure to use it. At least, you can go for the moves given above since these are some of the situations that can easily occur during the game of Blackjack.

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