Applying a basic strategy in blackjack

By: Cecelia Calista    

Blackjack game

A basic blackjack strategy can vastly improve your odds

A basic blackjack strategy can cut the casino edge and most players already know this, but what most players are not aware of is - not all casino Blackjack games are the same. Where you play the game, can increase or decrease the effectiveness of your basic strategy dramatically.

So let’s look at basic blackjack strategy and its advantages and how it is affected by favourable and unfavourable rules. How a basic blackjack strategy increases your odds of success and what does the basic strategy get you in terms of cutting the casino edge in blackjack

Basic Blackjack Strategy
The casino's initial edge in the game is about 5.75 per cent, but by using a basic blackjack strategy, it is possible to reduce the casino edge to around 0.5 per cent. Here is an example of how:

  • Initial casino house edge 5.75 per cent
  • Hitting and standing -3.25 per cent
  • Doubling -1.5 per cent
  • Pair splitting -0.5 per cent

Casino Advantage with basic Blackjack strategy 0.5 per cent.

Increasing Your Advantage
You can increase your advantage using a basic blackjack strategy further by picking a casino with favourable rules, and avoiding those with unfavourable rules.

Here is an overview of the advantages gained in relation to specific rule variations and how player's odds are decreased, or increased.
Favourable rules for player:

  • 2:1 payoff blackjack +2.32 per cent
  • Early surrender +0.62 per cent
  • Double down cards any number +0.20 per cent
  • Drawing to split aces +0.14 per cent
  • Double down after splitting +0.13 per cent
  • Re splitting of aces +0.03 per cent
  • Late surrender single deck +0.02 per cent
  • Unfavourable rules for player
  • no doubling on hard 11 -0.89 per cent
  • no doubling on hard 10 -0.56 per cent
  • 6 decks (v’s single) -0.60 per cent
  • 4 decks (v’s single -0.51 per cent
  • 2 decks (v’s single) -0.35 per cent
  • dealer hits soft 17 -0.20 per cent
  • no doubling on hard 9 -0.14 per cent
  • no doubling soft hands -0.14 per cent
  • dealer takes no hole card -0.13 per cent
  • pairs no re splitting -0.05 per cent

Mathematical simulations of millions of hands have shown the effectiveness of the basic blackjack strategy and it is the basis of all card-counting systems.

Many players don't however, play it to its maximum potential, as they don't play with favourable rules. If you don't, you are missing great longer-term profit potential for your blackjack game.


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