Rules & Strategy

Remember, optimal basic strategy varies with the version of the game that you play, and there are tables such as these that outline exactly what action to take given the circumstance. And while they may be challenging to memorize, if making money as a blackjack player is you’re ultimate goal, there’s simply no other option. A person may be tempted not to split a pair of 2s against a dealer 5 or 6 card. In this situation a cunning player would offer to pay the bet and play one of the split hands, because 2 versus a 6 actually favors the player. A cunning player will often ‘team up’ with other players so they feel obligated to split pairs, even tens. It is important to remember, however, that the small house edge only applies over long period of play.

Most of the house’s edge comes from the fact that the player loses when both the player and dealer bust. Blackjack players using basic strategy lose less than an average of 1% of their action over the long run, giving blackjack one of the lowest edges in the casino. The house edge for games where blackjack pays 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2 increases by about 1.4%, though.

This tip involves doubling your existing stake to receive a supplementary card. Well, as much as only a few people give it attention, it can be a very rewarding trip. This hand favors the house whether the sevens are split or not, but the proper strategy is to split because 14 loses twice as often as a 7. Now if a smart player is able to offer one of the sevens to someone else, he is actually getting rid of a bad hand, and only having to play one hand of 7 against a 3, instead of two. If the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the player is offered the option of taking Insurance before the dealer checks his ‘hole card’.

All of this had happened long before blackjack online was introduced, but it set foundations for the popularity the game enjoys to this very day. To recap, a soft hand is where the dealers ace is an 11. So, to make a soft 17, your hand needs to be ace-11 and a six.

But your odds are good enough that you’ll still win a fair number of hands. Anybody who’s played blackjack for a considerable amount of time has gone through winning and losing streaks. Blackjack gives you around a 50/50 chance of beating the casino. Of course, even with these odds, you need some luck to win in any given session.

Ed Thorp used Baldwin’s hand calculations to verify the basic strategy and later published Beat the Dealer. Thus, one key advantage to the dealer is that the player goes first. If the player goes bust, they have already lost their wager, even if the dealer goes bust as well. If the dealer goes over 21, the dealer pays each player who has stood the amount of that player’s bet. If the dealer stands at 21 or less, the dealer pays the bet of any player having a higher total and collects the bet of any player having a lower total. If there is a stand-off , no chips are paid out or collected.