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Welcome to “Blackjack Basic Strategy” page. In this section, we’ll run through some strategies that, when employed consistently and accurately during a blackjack game, will reduce the house edge by nearly 2 percent.

Unlike baccarat and other non-interactive games, you have quite a few options when playing a game of blackjack. Naturally, this makes strategy all the more vital. Below, are the different decisions you will face in a typical hand of blackjack, and a few suggestions on how you should go about handling them:

Blackjack basic strategy is the most basic system that all blackjack players must master in order to become a successful player. Basic strategy is a mathematical system of charts that show you the correct mathematical play in any blackjack scenario. You need to learn these basic strategy charts inside and out to know every proper play. This is the fundamental system that blackjack strategy is based upon. By correctly using blackjack basic strategy, you can almost turn the casino’s house advantage of 7%-8% into 1%.

The system of blackjack basic strategy has been developed over several years of research and computer simulation to perfect the basic strategy charts. There are a wide variety of charts that change with slight varations, depending on the exact type of blackjack you will be playing. The two most common basic strategy charts are the single deck and multiple deck charts.

Blackjack basic strategy is based on the mathematics of the game. It has been tested and refined through computer simulations. When it is followed correctly it reduces the house edge to the minimum, which is usually about one-half of a percent. Minor adjustments are made to basic strategy depending on certain rule variations that the different casinos can chose to use. For example some casinos will allow you to double down after splitting (DOS) and some do not allow it. There are also some changes made to basic strategy for single and multiple deck games.

If you want to be a successful blackjack player you will need to learn basic strategy. Most players start learning by referring to a basic strategy chart. The strategy chart shows you how to play your first two cards based on the dealers up card. Referring back to the Blackjack 101 article, you know that the house gains its edge by the fact that the player must act first. Since the basic strategy chart only deals with the first two cards, you will also need to learn what decisions to make after taking a hit.

Blackjack Strategies

Hitting and Standing
Splitting Pairs
Doubling Down
Taking Insurance

Memorizing Basic Strategy

You’ll need to memorize the basic strategy charts inside and out so you can make your decision (the proper play) in a split second while sitting at a blackjack table. Newer blackjack players often find it difficult to memorize the charts. The easiest way to commit the charts to memory is to look for logical patterns in the charts that help you understand why each play is made.

When you first begin playing or if you are having trouble memorizing the strategy charts, you might consider getting a blackjack strategy card. These are convenient laminated cards, about the size of a credit card, which have the basic strategy charts on them. Most casinos will even allow you to use the cards at the table while playing. For more information, visit our blackjack strategy card page.

Winning with Basic Strategy

There is one last thing to keep in mind when it comes to blackjack basic strategy – it’s not a guaranteed winning system. There are some players who will try to discredit basic strategy because they tried using it once or twice and ended up with a losing night. Basic strategy just shows the proper mathematical decision, for every blackjack scenario. This does not guarantee that you will always win when using it. It’s simply the foundation for all other blackjack strategies and is a must learn for any serious player.