Basic Blackjack Strategy

If you can count cards or you are an above average player who frequently produces win streaks, then this blackjack method may not be for you. However, for the average player like myself, it has been proven very effective.

First, you must know the basic blackjack strategy. It tells you when to stand, hit, double down, or split pairs. In case you haven't seen it before, please learn it by heart and play exactly as instructed. Never take hits on whims or hunches.

A "soft" hand is an ace plus any other card. A "hard" hand is with no ace.

Always Hit:

  • Hard 11 or less (Exception: Doubling down)
  • Soft 13 thru 17 (Exception: Doubling down)

Never Hit:

  • Hard 17 or more
  • Soft 20

Quick Decisions:

You have

  • Hard 13 thru 16 - stand on dealer's 2 thru 6, otherwise hit.
  • Hard 12 - stand on dealer's 4 thru 6, otherwise hit.
  • Soft 18 - hit on dealer's 9 or 10, otherwise stand.

(Except on doubling)

Always take advantage of every double-down or split pair situation.

These rules vary far from casino to casino, so check house rules.

Splitting Pairs:

You have

  • 2's... Split when dealer's upcard is 2 thru 7.
  • 3 ' s . . . Split when dealer's upcard is 3 thru 7.
  • 4 ' s . . . Split when dealer's upcard is 5.
  • 5 ' s . . . Never split (possible double-down).
  • 6 ' s . . . Split when dealer's upcard is 2 thru 7.
  • 7 ' s . . . Split when dealer's upcard is 2 thru 7.
  • 8's... Always split.
  • 9 ' s . . . Split when dealer's upcard is 2 thru 6 or 8-9,
  • 10's.. Never split.
  • A ' s . . . Always split.

Doubling Down:

You have

  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 5 or 6.
  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 5 or 6.
  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 5 or 6.
  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 5 or 6.
  • A 6 . . . Double when dealer's upcard is 4 thru 6.
  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 3 thru 6.
  • .. Double when dealer's upcard is 6.
  • 8 . . . Double when dealer's upcard is 6.
  • 9 . . . Double when dealer's upcard is 2 thru 6.
  • .. Double except on dealer's 10 or Ace.
  • .. Always double.

Insurance:

  • Never take it unless you are "counting".

Now that you know what plays to make, as with any casino game, you must have a money management system to have any chance of winning consistently. The best way I've found for those of us who "win a few" and "lose a few" is as follows:

Start with one unit. Each time you lose, increase your bet by 1 unit. Each time you win, decrease your bet by 1 unit. " When you have 2 winners in a row, go back to 1 unit and start over again.

Each time you have 2 winners in a row, you are ahead. Now, we all know that blackjack is streaky for both player and dealer. To stop the dealer's win streak, when you win on 6, 7, or 8 units, go back to 1 unit on any single win. You won't be ahead but you minimize your losses. If you go all the way to 8 units without a win, go back to one unit anyway. Take a break and go to the crap table. I have won several hundred dollars at a single sitting with this method on blackjack.

Important Note: This money management system is also very effective with partner play on craps. Try it, you may like it better. It seems to handle streaks better.