Blackjack Rules and Hitting Strategies

Blackjack is a popular casino game and involves an element of skill along with the factor of chance like most casino games. By using a strategy you can decrease the chances of losing if not improve the chances of winning. All decisions including hit or to stand will directly impact the result on a hand. You can reduce the house edge by consistently making correct decisions to change the game in your favour.

Basic Strategy

The basic Blackjack strategy helps you obtain the best odds and it is called so because it is used widely and has a proven efficiency. The Blackjack basic strategy was developed by Blackjack researchers using a simulation program which is based upon all possible Blackjack hands.

The basic strategy is best for the recreational players, the ones who play the game for the experience and fun, while profit comes second.

Blackjack rules affecting the Blackjack basic strategy

The Blackjack basic strategy is created for the classic blackjack rules, to which some casinos make minor changes. These changes make a huge difference at times and could influence the Blackjack strategy. The best way to win at a real Blackjack game is to follow some basic rules during the situations you come across which are outlined below.

How to play Blackjack with the Basic Rules:

The number of decks used will affect the game and the basic Blackjack strategy.

Surrenders:

  • 16 surrenders against dealer 9 through Ace, otherwise don’t surrender (revert to hard totals).
  • 15 surrenders against dealer 10, otherwise don’t surrender (revert to hard totals).

Splits:

  • Always split the aces.
  • Never split the tens.
  • A pair of 9’s splits against dealer 2 through 9, except for 7, otherwise, stand.
  • Always split 8’s.
  • A pair of 7’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 6’s splits against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 5’s doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 4’s splits against dealer 5 and 6, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 3’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.
  • A pair of 2’s splits against dealer 2 through 7, otherwise hit.

Soft totals

A soft total is any hand that has an Ace as one of the first two cards, the ace counts as 11 to start.

  • Soft 20 (A,9) always stands
  • Soft 19 (A,8) doubles against dealer 6, otherwise, stand.
  • Soft 18 (A,7) doubles against dealer 2 through 6 and hits against 9 through Ace, otherwise, stand.
  • Soft 17 (A,6) doubles against dealer 3 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 16 (A,5) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 15 (A,4) doubles against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 14 (A,3) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 13 (A,2) doubles against dealer 5 through 6, otherwise hit.

Hard Totals

A hard total is any hand that does not start with an ace in it, or it has been dealt with an ace that can only be counted as 1 instead of 11.

  • 17 and up always stands.
  • 16 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 15 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 14 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 13 stands against dealer 2 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 12 stands against dealer 4 through 6, otherwise hit.
  • 11 always doubles.
  • 10 doubles against dealer 2 through 9 otherwise hit.
  • 9 doubles against dealer 3 through 6 otherwise hit.
  • 8 always hits.

The risks of Blackjack strategy

With Blackjack basic strategy there is an accompanying problem which makes it difficult to establish the correct decision accurately. The Return to Player for Blackjack is more than 99% if the basic strategy rules and recommendations are applied while playing at real as well as online casinos.

As Blackjack players, it is important for you to know that the basic and other advanced strategies will not promise you 100% winnings as there is no perfect Blackjack strategy and hence you have to be prepared for losing.

As a first step towards winning at Blackjack, it is necessary for you to keep the bets at the minimum and wager only the amount which you can afford to lose, despite using numerous strategies and methods.

Summary

Name: Blackjack Rules and Hitting Strategies
Author: Helen Stratford
Published Date: 17/05/2019