Blackjack Basic Strategy Engine

The background colors for each decision are: Basic strategy cannot overcome the house edge even if you get lucky with it from time to time. Risk of ruin statistics The dealer will resolve insurance wagers at this time. How a Slot Machine Works?

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ONE FINAL TIP:

The first is a black-and-white table and the second is a color-coded chart. Throughout the document I will refer to them as table and chart. In other words, play the multi-card hand as if it were an original two-card holding. And so you should stand. You hit per the blackjack chart or table , and draw a 4. You now have A, which you should consider as A You split the 6s and on one 6 you draw another 6.

Suppose instead the casino rules allow replits and you draw two more 6s, giving you four hands, each one starting with a 6. On one or more of the 6s you draw yet another 6 which could occur in a multi-deck game. The reason is that some players find it easier to learn the basic strategy with a blackjack strategy chart. To find the correct strategy, go down the first column to A-7 and then go across the row until it intersects with the column labeled 6 i.

The abbreviation Ds means double down if the rules allow it, otherwise, you should stand. The background colors for each decision are:. In most single-deck games, the dealers pitch the cards face down to players and a discard tray is not used although a few casinos have used them. Be sure you know the correct etiquette for holding your cards and signaling your playing decision to the dealer when playing in a single-deck game.

The basic strategy for pair splitting changes slightly when the rules specify NDAS vs. If you look at the pair splitting strategy in the strategy charts for NDAS vs.

Many single-deck games in land-based casinos pay only 6 to 5, instead of 3 to 2, for a winning blackjack. When the casino pays only for a blackjack, the house edge increases by 1. The house edge against a basic strategy player in a single-deck game is a function of the mix of playing rules. The following table summarizes the relationship of typical rules that you will find in a single-deck game and the corresponding house edge against a basic strategy player.

You will be hard pressed to find a multiple-deck game with house edges as low as a single-deck, game, with H17 and RSA 0. The house edges are from the respected book Blackjack Attack: The edges were computed for a basic strategy that considers just the total of all the cards in your hand such as the basic strategy in the Tables and Charts in this chapter , without consideration of the individual cards that comprise that total.

This basic strategy is known as Total-Dependent basic strategy. You can find which land-based casinos in the USA offer good single-deck blackjack games i. This subscription-based newsletter is emailed to subscribers every month and lists the rules and house edge for blackjack games in casinos all over the U. Most single-deck games are H17 or H17 with no doubling on soft hands.

Surrender is rarely offered in a single-deck game but I included it in the strategy charts and tables for the sake of completeness. You can always find out if a local casino offers a single-deck game by calling the main casino number, asking the operator to connect you with the blackjack pit, then asking the person that answers usually the floor supervisor if they offer a single-deck game, and what the rules and payoffs for a blackjack are.

In most cases, they will provide you with the information. The abbreviations also appear below each table and strategy chart. The rules are Hard 17, DAS. What does the strategy table or chart say to play it? The answer is to Split. Be sure you know the correct Blackjack etiquette for holding your cards and signaling your playing decision to the dealer when playing in a double-deck pitch game.

Some double-deck games in land-based casinos pay only 6 to 5, instead of 3 to 2, for a winning blackjack. The house edge against a basic strategy player in a double-deck game is a function of the mix of playing rules.

The following table summarizes the relationship of typical rules that you will find in a double-deck game and the corresponding house edge against a basic strategy player. If both do, you win a lot more cash. Another advanced blackjack strategy is the double down, which gives you a chance to double your wager and potential winnings after the initial deal.

The idea is for you to lay an additional wager, but you can only get one more dealt card. With the double down, when the first two cards in your hand total 11 points, the strategy card says you should always double your wager. If the next card gives you 21 points, you likely will win. When your hand totals 10 points and the dealer is showing a 10 or Ace, the strategy card says to simply take another card, rather than double down.

Yet, if the dealer is showing a nine or lower card, and you have a hand worth 10 points, the double down is absolutely the right move. In fact, choosing to not double down in that situation would be the wrong choice. In such a case, not doubling down would be a big mistake, as you likely would win much more often than lose in that situation.

Those who count cards in blackjack can find doubling down to be particularly useful. Many casinos have a surrender play that cuts your potential loss in half after the deal. The surrender is one that players find useful when dealt a poor hand, and the dealer is showing an Ace or card worth 10 points.

In that case, you can choose to surrender half your bet, but exactly when you can do this may vary between games. Some casinos allow an early surrender, which you do before the dealer checks to see if they have a blackjack. There is also the late surrender, which you can do after the dealer checks to see if he or she has Knowing the right time to surrender requires using proper blackjack strategy.

When playing a single-deck game, the time to consider whether or not to surrender is when your initial hand totals between 15 and 17 points. If you have 15 points or 17 and the dealer is showing a hard 17 or more, the strategy says to surrender. You would not surrender, however, if the dealer shows a soft 17 or lower hand. Yet, if you have 16 points, the strategy indicates you should surrender if the dealer is showing 10 or more points. Like all blackjack strategies, this also adjusts for the number of decks in use.

Another advanced play that can affect blackjack strategy is buying of insurance to protect yourself against the dealer hitting When the dealer is showing an Ace as the up card, you can lay up to half your original wager on whether or not the dealer has a point card in the hole. If the dealer does have blackjack, then you get paid 2 to 1 on your insurance wager. A lot of players of 21 will choose to buy insurance if they get a hand worth 19 or 20 points off the deal, but the dealer is showing an ace.

They view buying insurance as a way to protect a strong hand, but you still could lose both wagers, or wind up with a push and a loss. If your hand is worth 19 points, and the dealer has a 9 in the hole, you would lose your bet, as well as the insurance.

The only time it is useful is to card counters who are deep into counting off multiple decks, a situation that is not accounted for by strategy cards. Card-counting is a strategy that makes it possible to beat certain blackjack games if the conditions are right. Movies often inaccurately portray this as memorizing every card that has already come out of the deck.

There are actually a number of different count techniques, but the gist of all of them is to keep a count of how many high-value, middle-value and low-value cards have already come out.

When lots of high-value cards are still in the deck, the player has a statistical advantage over the dealer, since their probability of hitting a natural blackjack is increased which pays out more than a standard winning hand.

They are also mathematically more likely to be successful when doubling down, and the dealer is more likely to bust when being forced to hit on a 12 or higher. The most basic counting technique has players add one unit to the count for when a low card comes out, and subtract one unit when a high card 10 and face cards comes out.

The 7 to 9 cards are considered neutral value and not tracked. As the count value gets higher, the player has more of an advantage and bets higher. There are more complicated counting techniques that are considered more accurate and profitable, but there is an increasing trade-off between tracking the count and continuing to play with the perfect strategy needed to make the system work.

Even with perfect play, it takes a large bankroll and sometimes many hours of play to see a significant profit from card counting. Unfortunately, card counting is completely useless at video blackjack games such as the ones seen on Game King machines , as well as the similar online counterparts. Live video streaming blackjack creates an interesting possibility for card counting. Players can use strategy cards without detection to take some of the mental workload off, focusing solely on their count.

They may also be able to use apps and software that aid in counting, though apps that interact directly with the casino software may be detected and get the player kicked out. The absolute biggest player-unfriendly rule is when the house has the dealer win any sort of push.

This can swing the house edge from 3. Short pays increase the house advantage by anywhere from 0. Individually these rules each give the dealer about a fifth of a percent of an advantage, and all three together give the dealer about a full half of a percent. Certain other rules have a negative impact, like not allowing the player to split beyond three hands, but they generally have a trivial impact on the house advantage in isolation.

There are no government or state laws prohibiting card counting, including at online games. Some regions actually have laws preventing casinos from barring card counters, like Atlantic City and Mississippi. However, outside of these odd exceptions, casinos are largely free to set the terms of their games and rules about player conduct. This means they are allowed to bar players they suspect of card counting.

One might get in trouble for suspected card counting at a live video streaming blackjack game, however. Casinos usually track card counters by their changes in bet size, especially as the shoe runs out. This means they need to monitor an extended period of play to determine if someone is actually counting cards. Once a card counter is identified and asked to leave a casino, however, they can expect that information to be shared with some amount of other casinos and to find themselves unwelcome at their blackjack games even if they have never played there before.

You need to keep an eye on the chip piles of other players relative to your own, and also be mindful of how far along you are in the tournament to determine the best bet amount for any given hand. Some general tips are to match the biggest bettor when you are leading in chips, bet opposite of the leader when you are trailing in the chip count, and hold back one chip when everyone else goes all-in on the final hand.

This technique involves observing a table and keeping count without actually playing, then jumping in only when conditions are favorable.

Some tables forbid new players from joining in the middle of a shoe specifically because of this technique. This practice is more common at smaller casinos that consistently have more demand for blackjack action than they do available table space. Online casinos rarely bother with this as a theoretically infinite amount of players can be accommodated at any time.

When piggybacking is allowed, the players who are not seated do not make any decisions about how the hand is played, but they are usually given the option to independently opt not to split or double when the player does. This creates an opening for teams of players to exploit certain hands to reduce the house edge, but casinos usually forbid this practice and will 86 anyone they suspect of doing it. Aside from the piggybacking examples mentioned above, no, not at all. There are some popular casino urban legends about how bad players can give the dealer an advantage, particularly those at the third position.

These are nothing but misinformation and superstition. Aside from getting better ongoing coupon and comp offers for their play, high rollers who become regulars at a casino can often negotiate a rebate percentage for all of their blackjack play.

What is Blackjack Strategy?