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Blackjack Charts and Strategy

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If you have begun to play the very popular game of blackjack and wish to increase your chances of winning more often then you are undoubtedly looking for some advice regarding blackjack strategy.

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Basic blackjack strategy is based on the math of the game. This strategy has been tested and refined over the years and when followed in the correct manner it reduces the edge the house has, to about one-half of one percent. Some minor modifications must be made to a basic blackjack strategy because some casinos use different rules like allowing you to double down after splitting and some don’t.

In order to succeed at blackjack you should learn a basic strategy. Most players use a chart that illustrates how to play your first two cards based on what the dealer has for an up card. It is important to remember that the house gets its edge because the player acts first in blackjack. Basic strategy charts for single deck games only address the first two cards so it’s important that you know what is best after taking a hit.

If you are not a ‘chart’ type of person, we will translate the average chart into plain English here which will tell you how to play a hand with 3 or more cards. You should however, take the time to find a basic strategy chart online so that you can take a look at it. You may actually find the chart to be quite helpful when memorizing the strategy.

If you have a 5 and a 3 as your first two cards, you have 8. A basic chart will tell you to hit. If you happen to draw another 3 you will have 11. The chart says you should double on an 11 but since you can only do so on your first two cards, you have to hit.

When you are dealt a hard hand, you have two initial cards that do not include aces. You should always hit on 8 or less. If you have 9, double if the dealer has 3 – 6, otherwise hit. If you have 10, double if the dealer has 2 – 9, otherwise hit. If you have 11, double if the dealer has 2 -10 and hit if he has an ace. If you have 12, hit if the dealer has 2 or 3 and stand if he has 4 – 6, otherwise hit. If you have a 13, 14, 15 or 16, stand if the dealer has 2 -6, otherwise hit. Finally, if you have a 17, 18, 19, 20 or 21, always stand.

When you are dealt a soft hand, you have an ace in your initial hand. You should double if you have an Ace 2 or Ace 3 and the dealer has 5 or 6, otherwise hit. If you have an Ace 4 or Ace 5, double if the dealer has 4 – 6, otherwise hit. If you have Ace 6, double if the dealer has 3 – 6, otherwise hit. If you have Ace 7, stand if the dealer has 2, 7 or 8. Double if he has 3-6, otherwise hit. If you have Ace 8 or Ace 9, always stand. Playing pairs involves a different strategy than soft or hard hands.

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